- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies; 2 Sub edition (January 11, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0844238252
- ISBN-13: 978-0844238258
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Sanskrit: A Complete Course for Beginners (Teach Yourself Books) 2 Sub Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
you have to know how to use a book like this. it's dense and assumes some general linguistic knowledge, so you may need to skip back and forth as particular aspects become clear. [the author in fact expects you to do this -- in order to keep related info together, he often includes advanced info, denoted with parentheses, that you are not expected to tackle until you handle later chapters.] you definitely need to keep referring to grammatical and sandhi tables. but the fact is, sanskrit is *not* an easy language by any means. if you haven't already learned another language, you really shouldn't be starting with sanskrit. this book does a remarkably good job of covering the essentials of sanksrit given its size -- something that would not be possible if it had to spend a lot of time on detailed explanations of basic linguistic concepts.
imo, this book does a lot of things right:
 it does not force devanagari down your throat. i have nothing against devanagari, but having to learn even a simple language while dealing with an unfamiliar alphabet makes it orders of magnitude more difficult. i speak from abundant experience here. e.g. recently i also tried tackling ancient greek, and soon gave up because of this -- and the greek alphabet is far easier than devanagari.Read more ›
This is a pity, as Sanskrit is an exceptionally beautiful language, but there is a remedy at hand. Instead of wasting one's time with Coulson, the beginner would be far better off acquiring a copy of Thomas Egenes Introduction to Sanskrit, Part 1 and, once having worked through that and to practise your reading, his Introduction to Sanskrit, Part 2. Almost all introductory treatments of Sanskrit have been produced for linguists and philologists, but here finally is a truly practical and useful primer of Sanskrit for ordinary folks and human beings.Read more ›
I also recommend taking a look at Devavanipravesika, the text used by Berkeley for its Sanskrit course. It is very thorough and not as difficult as Coulson's.
The negatives, and they're major, are: (1) he constantly and infuriatingly interrupts his task of language teaching in order to go on disquistions about conparative indo-european phonetics and other linguistic issues; (2) he not only transliterates everything, making it much too easy for the student to be lazy about learning the script, but incredibly he stops using the script altogether, halfway through the book, relying on transliteration alone; (3) most unconscionably, he unnecessarily enhances the reputation of Sanskrit as a difficult language by (a) using a convoluted system of diacritics and punctuation in order to analyze compounds to death, and (b) making incredible statements like "The devanagari script is complicated, and most students need several weeks, even months, to read it with complete fluency." Bless your heart, the script is quite regular and logical, and every Sanskrit student I've talked to finds it quite simple once it's tackled.
It's a real pleasure to note Coulson's devotion to Sanskrit drama. He's absolutely right when he says the drama is attractive and accessible.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written in 1973, there are several more modern introductions to Sanskrit available now, but I strongly suggest you give this book a chance. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Andreas Carl
This book is very thorough, but the chapters introduce way too much material before moving to the practice exercises. Read morePublished 13 months ago by J. Stephen Pearson
The book, “Sanskrit: A Complete Course for Beginners”, by Michael Coulson, was, for the most part, a pleasant, straight-forward guide to reading the ancient indian language known... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Christian Sosa
Not the best book for beginners because there is no difference between important and less important arguments. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Giovanni Neri
When I think about this book the first word that comes to mind is "packed." I mean, the format is small, and the sum total of all Indian linguistics is packed into it. Read morePublished on April 8, 2014 by lorne
In Sanskrit, verb form changes with case (8), gender (3), and number (3) giving it a very large number of variations. Read morePublished on January 15, 2014 by Kirti
There is no way that I could teach myself Sanskrit using this book. It's big and dense and daunting. Einstein would have problems with this one.Published on April 16, 2013 by C. Bratton
Coulson's Primer is definitely a book for the educated. The very fact that later "introductory" books have been dumbed down is testimony to that fact. Read morePublished on September 29, 2004 by Santeria