illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
If you're ready to
• block 3 weeks, and
• over that period, spend 4.5 hours online, Monday to Saturday, and
• spend offline an extra 1 to 3 hours every day on 'homework',
extra exercices, additional translations, etc.,
if you want to be able to read (not write, not speak: read) Pāḷi and access some of the closest (or the closest) sources we may have of the Buddha's teachings, then I highly recommend this course (which was previously endorsed by too, who many people who follow me will also know on g+, at least as a moderator of the "Buddhism & Meditation" community plus.google.com/communities/105840296523530134569).
Please note, however, that I cannot stress enough that extra work outside of class is needed to fully benefit from the class.
Students quickly split into two levels: those who perform extra work, and those who don't. If you cannot do the homework because of other commitments or difficult circumstances, you might still benefit from the course, naturally, but far far less than if you're really, fully committing three weeks of your life!
Sometimes it's wiser to admit that circumstances are temporarily not supportive (or that you're not that much ready to "do whatever it takes" to learn) than to commit to do what you cannot really do. Just be realistic: learning to read a new language in three weeks can't truly be a half-time job. And don't assume you're so inherently talented that you can pull it off with minimal homework… "Seeing things as they are", remember?
The next session would be March 22 – April 9, 2016, assuming there's enough demand. For all we know, unless there's more demand arising, it might also be the last session… so maybe some people should keep in mind that "later" might prove "too late".
The schedule for the coming session is Asia time zone friendly, but anybody in the world is welcome to attend. Please be mindful of daylight savings time.
Hong Kong time: Mon-Sat 17:00–21:30 (HKT)
London time: Mon-Sat 9:00–13:30 (BST)
Pacific time: Mon-Sat 1:00– 5:30am (PDT), for insomniacs
This is an excellent course, with a great teaching team. This is, however, an "intensive" course, so please kindly plan for the intensity! All classes are mandatory and build upon each other so missing even one class can have a detrimental effect.
If you can afford this expenditure (time-wise and money-wise), then at the end of the course you should be able (using the normal aids available, i.e. dictionaries, grammars and contextual knowledge (maybe from other translations)) slowly to read a Pāḷi canonical text and understand it for yourself.
If you're interested, you can get more info at ocbs.org/courses/pali-online-school/ (or by contacting ). Even if you cannot make the next March-April session, it might still prove useful / constructive to let Ilona know of your interest for future sessions (for they might never come into existence otherwise)!
PS: you do not need to buy additional books for this course… but you might later on, if you want to keep progressing… The course however gives you an opportunity to "test the water" before buying grammars and/or dictionaries.