• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages, Translation Studies, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Language Studies More...
  • Major code SANS-MAJ

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Sanskrit, the classical language of India, has long been renowned for its beauty, subtlety and complexity. It is the key to the civilisational treasures of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, and provides direct access to a vast repository of literary, scientific and philosophical wisdom. At the ANU we seek to balance the traditional practice of textual reception—reading and grammar—with language production—speaking, chanting and singing—to provide a truly balanced curriculum. By the completion of the major, students will be able to independently read texts from a wide range of genres, they will have mastered basic spoken Sanskrit, and will be able to chant and recite with a high degree of accuracy.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Read a variety of literary genres, including Epic Sanskrit, courtly poetry and drama, smoothly and accurately, and chant or recite the root text in an appropriate manner.  
  2. Translate the texts at hand with a high level of competence in using a Sanskrit-English dictionary.
  3. Demonstrate thorough understanding of the advanced grammatical structures employed in Sanskrit, and demonstrate expertise in using reference grammars.
  4. Appraise the linguistic registers of the root texts, and their place among the various genres of Sanskrit literature, and reflect this in appropriate English translation. Respond creatively to the root text in an appropriate medium.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to interpret commentarial texts, showing an understanding of commentarial techniques and vocabulary.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the social and historical contexts of text at hand.

Other Information

Students with previous “language experience or exposure” are required to take a language proficiency assessment to ensure enrolment at the most appropriate level. 

Relevant past experience includes:

-     Previous study of the language (both formal and informal, for example but not limited to, at school, or, home, or through online activities, etc.)

-     Being exposed to the language in childhood via a family member or friend

-     Travel or living in a country where the language is spoken

-     The language being spoken in your home (even if you do not speak it yourself)

Students who are not sure if they need to take a proficiency assessment should seek advice from the course or language convenor. 

Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may results in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course.

Students are not permitted to enrol in a language course below one that they have already successfully completed, except with permission of the language and/or course convenor.

International students who are studying all or part of their program on a student visa are advised that this major is available for in-person and online study. Under the Education Services for Overseas Student Act 2000 (ESOS Act), international students on a student visa cannot do more than 33% of their study online. International students interested in enrolling in the online version of these courses should contact the CAP Student Centre (cap.student@anu.edu.au) for advice prior to enrolling.

Areas of Interest

  • Asian Languages
  • Translation Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Asia Pacific Studies
  • Language Studies
  • Asia-Pacific Studies
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

6 units from the completion of the following compulsory course(s):

SKRT3005 Sanskrit 6 (6 units)

A minimum of 30 units from the completion of the following core courses:

SKRT1002 Sanskrit 1 (6 units)

SKRT1003 Sanskrit 2 (6 units)

SKRT2103 Sanskrit 3 (6 units)

SKRT2104 Sanskrit 4 (6 units)

SKRT3004 Sanskrit 5 (6 units)

SKRT3002 Sanskrit 7 (6 units)

SKRT3003 Sanskrit 8 (6 units)

A maximum of 12 units from the completion of the following elective list:

ASIA2100 Linguistic Histories in Asia and the Pacific (L) (6 units)

ASIA2103 Language in Asia and the Pacific (L) (6 units)

ASIA3108 Research Topics in Asian and Pacific Languages (L) (6 units)*

LANG3001 Translation across Languages: the translation of literary texts (6 units)**

LANG3002 Translation across Languages: specialised material (6 units)*

*The course is offered in semester 1 and 2 each year. Students may enrol in this course code up to 4 times, under different topics of Sanskrit to be included in this major. Enrolment in this course is subject to the availability and agreement of an appropriate supervisor. It is a requirement that students confirm the approval of the potential supervisor before enrolling in the course.

** Students must first complete ASIA3108, where appropriate, prior to enrolling into these LANG courses.

**These courses must have a Course Topic of Sanskrit to be included in this major.

A maximum of 0 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
  SKRT 2106: Sanskrit 3B
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