Coptic Language Summer School

I have received a blessing from Metropolitan Seraphim, to organise a Coptic Language Summer School, sponsored by the British Orthodox Church.

The student numbers are limited to 10, and places are already filling up.

The details are as follows:

Coptic Language Summer School
King's College, London

Monday 5th - Thursday 8th September, 2011

Session 1: 11:00-13:00
Lunch and Discussion Break: 13:00-14:00
Session 2: 14:00-16:00

The tutor will be Dr Carol Downer, an experienced and well qualified lecturer in the Coptic language.

The course material will be based on Introduction to Sahidic Coptic by Thomas O. Lambdin.

The cost of the School is £60, payable in advance.

Those wishing to book a place should contact the School organiser: Father Peter Farrington - [email protected]


  • My Dear Father,

    Are you willing to expand the enrollment to 20, if necessary?
  • The issue is the size of the room we are using at King's College, and that the lecturer felt that 10 was a good number.

    Do you have 20 people in mind?
  • I was assuming that 10 would fill relatively quickly.

    I will send a PM with further thoughts.
  • Dear all, especially in the London area and South of England.

    There are a few spaces left for the Coptic Language Summer School. I am offering them here before I fill them up with various academics. If you attend a Church within London or the South then do pass this message to anyone you know who is interested in Coptic language studies.

    Presently there is a good mix of academics, PhD students and Orthodox christians. At a push we could probably increase the class size to 12. This is an important and unique opportunity to learn Sahidic Coptic intensively and in an interesting and stimulating class led by a lecturer in Coptic.

    People wishing to register should do so fairly urgently by emailing me ([email protected]) their contact details (name, address, telephone etc), and following the link to paypal and making a payment of £60 for the school.

    Even if you do not wish to attend the School, please do email these details to someone who might be interested. I'd like to have a few more Copts at the Coptic Language Summer School, otherwise it looks as though we are not interested.

    Father Peter
  • Dear Fr. Peter,
    Is there any room for material to be recorded onto CD's, and sold later (at a reasonable price of course). Please advise if that is possible. Thanks...
  • There is 1, or perhaps 2, spaces left for the course.

    It would be good to have more than one Copt attending, so if you know anyone who might be interested and you attend a Church in London and the surroundings then do please pass the information on to them.


    Father Peter
  • The Coptic Language Summer School organised by the British Orthodox Church and held at King’s College, London over the 5th-8th September was a complete success and even exceeded the expectations of those who participated, and myself who organised it.

    Over four very intensive days of study a group of eight students progressed with growing understanding and enthusiasm through the first third of Thomas Lambdin’s Introduction to Sahidic Coptic through the inspiring teaching of Dr. Carol Downer, one of the few experts in Coptic teaching in the UK at the present time.

    The group of participants included a variety of university lecturers from different institutions, several PhD students, and a handful of independent students such as myself. The class turned out to be ideally matched and we progressed through the studies at a very fast pace while also working together so that no-one was left behind.

    We were fortunate to be able to hold the Summer School at King’s College, London, at the Strand campus, and some of the faculty and students at King’s were participants on the course. The excellent cafeteria facilities on site meant that we did not have to spend time each day looking for somewhere to have lunch together. The room we used was just the right size and had a view out over the Strand.

    Many of the group were already competent in a variety of other ancient languages, but thanks to the teaching ability of Dr. Carol Downer even those of us whose willingness to learn was greater than our present grasp of Sahidic Coptic were soon able to translate increasingly complex sentences. Working through the exercises, both together in the class, and on our own in the evening, meant that the lessons we were learning took root.

    By the end of the intensive course we were even able to begin to read passages from the Scripture with some understanding and each participant was able to measure the real progress they had made. Having studied the first third of our text book many of the class asked if a second and even a third such intensive week of studies could be organised in January and at Easter so that a more complete grasp of Sahidic Coptic could be acquired over the course of the year.

    Some of the comments I have received from participants are as follows:

    I absolutely loved the course – the atmosphere was friendly and open, and I felt welcome at once even though I am no language expert. It was just the push I needed to get me interested and motivated to continue pursuing Sahidic Coptic, and the encouragement and support I received has increased my love for the language even further.

    I enjoyed the course immensely – and hope that the suggested January follow-up actually comes to fruition.

    I very much enjoyed the course and found it extremely useful. The intensity of four days together was, I think, just about right and the group size and dynamic just enough to spur me on, without intimidation that can sometimes come with language learning. Carol is a wonderful teacher, and there were plenty of course materials provided so, overall, I have no suggestions for improvement. I’d certainly want to take another 4 day course as we discussed.

    Plans are now underway for a second week of study in early January which will consider the next 10 chapters of our text book.

    From my own point of view, I am extremely pleased to have reached the end of the Coptic Language Summer School with a genuine grasp of the material we have covered. I shall certainly be reviewing it so that it isn’t lost, and will try to make use of it in the study of simple passages from Scripture. Having picked up Lambdin many times in the past, and put it down again because of difficulties studying on my own, I am very grateful that Dr Carol Downer has led me through these chapters.

    Father Peter Farrington
  • Sounds great Fr. Peter. I am still wondering how can one access the material used in that course?
    Oujai qen `P[C
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