When people speaking different languages came from other lands to meditate, did that ever necessitate speaking the language in which they chanted?

Has there ever been a situation where circumstances necessitated conversation in Pali or Sanskrit?

  • Seldom, aside of formal (trans-) acts of the Sangha (where it is required to use the Pali), good householder, at least for Pali, since a "death language", similar to latin. Scholars might use it as means if no other for communication. Of course it help when looking to find meanings of teachings. One easy gets meaning exchange when familar with Pali in traditional countries and also learns the language then fast.
    – user11235
    May 9, 2020 at 16:18
  • Of the question actually askes "are there sociaties, Sanghas, communicate in Pali with each other (1. language in use): not having come avross such even a little till yet.
    – user11235
    May 9, 2020 at 16:20
  • Afaik there are still people who primarily use Sanskrit for conversation.
    – user8527
    Feb 21, 2021 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


Yes, though Pali is a "dead language" in the sense that it has no native speakers left to use it, that doesn't mean it can't be used to communicate with others. I remember Professor Gombrich mentioning that it got used to communicate by monks who did not have any other common language.

You can also find examples mentioned in this thread: can people who are pali experts converse in it? in posts by "James the Giant" and "cooran".

  • Welcome to the community. ;-)
    – Max
    May 1, 2021 at 7:32

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