Important things to know
Samskrita Bharathi has free classes for elementary Sanskrit on a spoken level. There are several other courses they offer too. but unlike this 10-day thing, they are not free. Learn basic grammar. They have a magazine called Sambhaashana Sandesha for this, which is in Sanskrit. Try to read more books and implement the vocabulary you are exposed to, to speak with greater diction. There are several elementary Sanskrit teaching pamphlets and small books like Balabodha, or Swami Dayananda’s work on the same, among several others, you get several ones for free if you put a search on Yahoo! and Google. But many slyly get you to pay, so be careful searching. Good luck, Sanskrit is beautiful, happy learning! There are two ways of learning Sanskrit. One is the traditional way where you won’t get any notebooks to write, where you will hardly write anything and most knowledge is imparted orally; initially through rote learning, without understanding, but later on with the meaning. This way is much better and it worked for me as my father started to teach me Ashtadhyayi Sutras and Amarakosha Shlokas as soon as I turned 5 and left me entirely to my Guruji after my rote learning process was completed.
The other way is the modern way where you learn by writing on the blackboard and the teacher will tell you names of fruits and vegetables by showing pictures and give you exercises based on translation. This method may be easy and a bit faster, maybe less boring, but according to me won’t work in the longer run. It depends upon how dedicated to this language you are.
Sanskrit is very regularly the language of instruction if one is reading a classical text with a Sanskrit pandit. Spoken Sanskrit uses the classical morphology (the verbal system perhaps somewhat reduced in its range), but its syntax often follows whatever spoken mother tongue the speaker uses. Sanskrit scholars in India quite often speak Sanskrit among themselves; I have heard scholars from different parts of the country choose Sanskrit as the most efficient medium for them to communicate with one another (on the bus, in the street, and of course in academic settings). For a good Sanskrit scholar, Sanskrit is probably more useful and accessible in such meetings than English or Hindi. Spoken Sanskrit is, of course, a scholastic language, though there have been attempts in recent decades to generate new, modern words for various bits of modern life. There’s a pretty good book, with conversations, published I think by the Kuppuswami Sastri Institute in Chennai: there one finds discussions in Sanskrit about how to fix a flat tire on your bicycle, about going to political demonstrations, and other such contemporary topics. Sanskrit is very regularly the language of instruction if one is reading a classical text with a Sanskrit pandit.
It’s a complete myth that Sanskrit wasn’t the language of the commons. Small children, uneducated men, and women too had knowledge of this language. Sanskrit was not the language of communication and only rituals are just a complete myth. Learn Sanskrit online by practicing with a native speaker who is learning your language. Write or speak Sanskrit online to improve grammar or conversation.
A language exchange complements other forms of learning such as classroom, cultural immersion, and multimedia because you get to practice all that you have learned with native speakers in a safe and supportive environment. Advantages of language exchange learning include:
- Learning the real Sanskrit language (slang, expressions, etc.) used by ordinary native speakers
- Getting accustomed to the way native speakers speak in real (casual) Sanskrit conversation
- Making a friend in Sanskrit-speaking culture.
Language exchange learning is also inexpensive because we provide free tips and conversation lesson plans that allow you to do a language exchange on your own.