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Unit information: Introduction to Sanskrit 1 in 2020/21

Unit name Introduction to Sanskrit 1
Unit code THRSM0097
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Langer
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

no

Co-requisites

no

School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

Sanskrit is the single most important language in Indian culture. The fundamental texts of Indian religions, philosophy, law, science, poetry, drama, etc. are all composed in Sanskrit. For anyone who wishes to gain an appreciation of Indian religions and culture the study of Sanskrit is therefore of paramount importance. Indian culture itself has traditionally regarded the study of Sanskrit grammar and literature as basis of all education. Moreover, in the contemporary study of Indian religion and culture Sanskrit terminology serves as something of a "lingua franca".

The unit aims to introduce students to the basics of the Sanskrit alphabet, its vocabulary, and grammar, as a foundation for the reading of short passages of Sanskrit texts.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit student will:

  1. have gained experience and practice in reading, writing and transcribing simple Sanskrit texts (both in Roman and Devanāgarī script);
  2. have acquired the basic skills of analysing grammatical forms and sentence structure;
  3. have some experience in translating from Sanskrit into English and vice versa;
  4. be able to demonstrate a more critical approach to translations and secondary literature based on Sanskrit texts;
  5. have developed a greater understanding, hence appreciation, of an important classical language and basic linguistic skills, such as handling grammar books and dictionaries as well as analytical thinking

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of short-form lectures, vocab and translation exercises, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with lessons and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback. Teaching is shared with equivalent units at levels 4, 5 and 6.

Assessment Details

This language unit will be assessed summatively by two timed assessments testing introductory knowledge and understanding of the basic elements of the alphabet, vocabulary, and grammar of Sanskrit. Class test 1 =20% of overall unit mark; class test 2 = 80%.

ILOs 1 and 2 are tested by class test 1, and ILO’s 3-5 are tested by class test 2.

Reading and References

Ruppel, A.M. The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2017)

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