What is the proper way to learn Sanskrit on your own?
The Javanese language of Indonesia and the Malay language of Malaysia both have a history of Sanskrit influence. Scholars believe that the language spoken in the Philippines has a slight Sanskrit influence. In Korea and Japan, some Sanskrit texts and inscriptions have also been discovered. Sanskrit inscriptions, manuscripts, or remnants have been discovered in dry, high deserts and mountainous terrains such as Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, including some of the oldest known Sanskrit written texts. Sanskrit is related to Greek and Latin, with phonetics, grammar, and script sharing similarities. There are parallels between Sanskrit and other European languages such as German.
The best way a learner could learn to speak a language is through the conversation method itself.
You could engage in conversations by finding a native Sanskrit speaker on online platforms such as Italki, Hello Partner, Tandem, conversation partners language partners etc.The entire idea is to basically create an environment of immersion, by surrounding yourself with Sanskrit speakers.
Listen to as many relevant audio resources as you find online so as to be able to improve your listening skills. Learn through as many audiobooks you can get hold of. Listen to the audio clips multiple times to be able to make sense of what you are understanding intuitively following it with a reading of the transcript and then listening to the audio again to be able to assess your listening
Watch Sanskrit movies to help train your ear to the Sanskrit language which you will be able to identify from when many languages are being spoken together. Use any if the following to improve your spoken and auditory Sanskrit:
- The first Sanskrit film ever made was Adi Shankaracharya in 1983 by G.V. Iyer. At the 31st National Film Awards, it won four awards, including Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Audiography.
- The second film was Bhagavad Gita in 1992, again by G.V. Iyer. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film at the 40th National awards for 1992. The next film made was in 2015, after a gap of 22 years.
- From 2015 to 2017, 4 Sanskrit films were made in Kerala, India. Priyamanasam was the 3rd Sanskrit film and the first Sanskrit film from Kerala. The film won the award for ‘Best Feature film in Sanskrit’ at the 63rd National awards. The film was screened at the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa in 2015. Ishti made in 2016 was the first Sanskrit film based on a social issue. The film was screened at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa in 2016, in the panorama section.
- Suryakantha is the fifth Sanskrit film and the third one made in Kerala. It is the first Sanskrit film on contemporary life. The film won ‘Special Jury award’ in Kerala Film Critics Associations awards, 2017.
- Anurakthi is the first Sanskrit 3D film with a song in the film picturised in 3D format. That also made Anurakthi the first Sanskrit film to have a song in it. The film was screened at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa in 2017.
- Pratikritih is the first Commercial film in Sanskrit. This is written and directed by Dr. Nidheesh Gopi.
- Punyakoti is the first animated film in Sanskrit.
- Madhurasmitham World’s First children’s Sanskrit film. Directed by sureshgayathri 2019.
- Namo screened at IFFI in 2021 and its story resolve around friendship between Sudama and Sri Krishna.
Remember we cannot speak what we cannot listen properly only when your listing is strong would you be able to speak out the language.
Use a lot of online resources and tools such as memrise, Anki, Sanskrit podcast online, news in slow Sanskrit and many more that will help you catapult yourself from being slow to a fast learner.
Sanskrit is a South Asian classical language that belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It is not only the language of classical Hindu philosophy, but also a sacred language of Hinduism, and it rose to become the language of Hindu religion, a symbol of high culture, and a source of prestige and knowledge for political elites. While Tamil is the most similar to Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, Sino-Tibetan languages such as Telugu only show hints of Sanskrit vocabulary. Sanskrit is also the language of Buddhist and Jain historical texts. Despite the fact that Sanskrit originated in South Asia, its influence can be found throughout the world.
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