Sanskrit is the primary sacred language of Hinduism and has been used as a philosophical language in the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Sanskrit is a standardized dialect of Old Indo-Aryan, originating as Vedic Sanskrit as early as 1700-1200 BCE. One of the oldest Indo-European languages for which substantial documentation exists, Sanskrit is believed to have been the general language of the greater Indian Subcontinent in ancient times. It is still used today in Hindu religious rituals, Buddhist hymns and chants, and Jain texts. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, the most ancient Hindu scripts, compiled c. 1500-500 BCE. The Vedas contain hymns, incantations called Samhitas, and theological and philosophical guidance for priests of the Vedic religion.
The idea of learning a new language can definitely be overwhelming. So many words! Such unusual grammar! Nevertheless, learning a language isn’t something that needs to take years and years of study. There are many people who become adept at multiple languages as adults. But can you really learn a language in just a year? In this post, we’ll highlight some of the most important parts to focus on while learning Sanskrit.
Important things to know
Set language-learning goals
The first step to learning a new language fast is to set goals for what you want to achieve. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. If you don’t set goals, how can you know what you want to achieve and measure whether you have achieved it? Writing down goals helps you commit to them. Post your goals in a prominent place, like your bathroom mirror or the home screen of your smartphone.
Use Learning Material that’s best for you
Nowadays you can find news sites online in any language, and these are really useful for your reading skills. The language tends to be very functional and informative and it’s relevant to a wide range of language learners since it gives you up-to-date vocabulary that native speakers are using in their day-to-day lives.
Start using the language all day, every day
First, make use of every moment you have to learn new words. Take flashcards with you, and study them during your train or bus commute or when you’re waiting to meet a friend. As a beginner, it can seem overwhelming to try to use the language all day, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. There are many easy and even fun ways to make the language a part of your regular life.
Greet others politely by saying namaste
Carrying through with politeness shows respect for the other person as well as for the sacred language. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language, and this is reflected in the way people use the language to communicate with each other. Namaste is used both when greeting someone and when departing from their presence, and at any time of day.
Planning to take a standardized test several months to a year after you begin learning a new language can also keep you motivated, and having the results can help you “prove” your language level to potential employers, schools, or even just yourself. Knowing that you plan to take a test is a great way to motivate yourself to learn faster.
You can focus your learning on things that you find interesting, like a favorite hobby. Make a point of talking to people and learning more about their lives and cultures. In case you’re looking for an online course in Sanskrit, Multibhashi is an excellent solution.