A teach yourself introduction

to the Buddha's language

This book is not your typical Pali Grammar. It was created to help any interested Buddhist to get started with comprehending and reading pali in as short a time and as small an effort as possible.

pali buddhas language cover

About the book

Much of the most essential grammar is explained in the first few chapters, always using primary (actual) texts from the Tripitaka to explain the basic concepts of Pali grammar. The later excersises repeat that information and add some advanced aspects while providing already longer paragraphs of teachings of the Buddha. By Lesson 10 an ardent student is able to tackle any Buddhist scripture with a good dictionary. Though it will not turn you into a pali scholar this is one of the most straightforward and no-nonsense books on how to learn and understand pali, the language of (*) the Buddha.

Highly recommended: A new method for learning classical languages

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A pali course that is to the point

While many Pali Grammars "beat around the bush" Kurt Schmidt's classic Pali introduction focuses on the earliest Pali, the Pali of the Buddha. In an ingenious way he wraps the language into small very manageable pieces and allows students to progressively gain a sound foundation in this beautiful old Indian language. 

(*) or a dialect related to his language. The Pali Canon is the best preserved, most authentic and comprehensive collection of teachings of the Buddha surviving 2500 years. See this article for reasons why the Buddha spoke Pali.