Sanskrit, an ancient language belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages, is the root of many Indian languages. It is also the language of religious texts, not only Hinduism but also for Buddhism and Jainism. For any reason, if you are interested in learning the language and are looking for an answer to “what can I do to learn Sanskrit?”, well, many things. Let us first understand that there are two forms of the language found, Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of Vedas and Upanishads. Classical Sanskrit can be considered as a more contemporary version which is a more refined form with standardized grammar.
Different ways to learn Sanskrit
Books can be your best friends to learn Sanskrit. There are different types of books available to learn Sanskrit. If you are not sure, you can start with the basic levels of Sanskrit from NCERT. It is always recommended to stick to one particular style of learning and publication until you are comfortable with the language to a certain extent and ready to experiment with other texts and publications.
Learning from books combined with interactive learning from a teacher can help you learn Sanskrit in a more organized and structured manner. You can find a language teacher in your area or choose to learn from a teacher online. There are many online language learning platforms where you can find a qualified teacher who can help you with your learning goals.
3. Professional academy
If you are planning to learn Sanskrit for academic or professional reasons, there are many universities that offer various courses in Sanskrit which range from six months to three years and beyond. Diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral courses are available in Sanskrit in many universities in India. These are your options to start learning Sanskrit language. Now, read on to know what you can do to learn the language. First and foremost, you need to understand that learning Sanskrit is not different from learning any other language. There would be vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and listening, the different aspects of language learning that you need to focus on.
4. Videos and tutorials
You can find many videos and tutorials online which are free of cost. These videos can help you with getting accustomed to the language through listening. As you listen, you can practice speaking by repeating after the speaker. You can also find other students or join a community where people speak Sanskrit to improve your spoken Sanskrit.
5. Practicing reading and writing
Practicing reading and writing are equally important. For someone who knows Hindi, this could become comparatively easy as the script and sounds are the same. Apart from watching videos or tutorials, you can also listen and practice reciting the many slokas and stotras that would give you a hang of the pronunciation and help you follow the rhythm of this language. It is only through continuous practice that anyone can learn a new skill and this applies to languages as well. If you would like to become proficient in Sanskrit, it is important to practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking simultaneously on a regular basis.
Grammar may look intimidating for beginners, however, once you learn the rules and basics, you can find it easy to remember the rules. Also, Sanskrit can be very flexible when it comes to sentence order. Stick to a resource that you find most engaging and helpful, do not hesitate to seek help while learning and practice continuously to learn Sanskrit.