Role of Sanskrit in the birth of other languages
Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It is a classical language of South Asia. Sanskrit is the language of classical Hindu philosophy, as well as that of historical texts of Buddhism and Jainism. It is the sacred language of Hinduism. It became a language of religion and a symbol of high culture, and language exhibited to show prestige and knowledge by some political elites. Sanskrit had a lasting impact on the languages of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, especially in their formal and learned vocabularies
In this article we will see why Sanskrit is given so much importance and its relevance.
History and Presence
Even though Sanskrit originated in South Asia, its presence exists in lands far beyond South Asia. Inscriptions and literary evidence suggest that the Sanskrit language was already being adopted in Southeast Asia and Central Asia in the 1st millennium CE, through monks, religious pilgrims, and merchants who took it there.
Beyond ancient India, significant collections of Sanskrit manuscripts and inscriptions have been found in China (particularly the Tibetan monasteries), Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Sanskrit inscriptions, manuscripts, or its remnants, including some of the oldest known Sanskrit written texts, have been discovered in dry, high deserts and in mountainous terrains such as in Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Some Sanskrit texts and inscriptions have also been discovered in Korea and Japan.
Sino-Tibetan languages like Telugu have hints of Sanskrit vocabulary. The Indonesian language of Javanese and Malaysia’s Malay language also show a history of Sanskrit influence. Scholars believe that language spoken in the Philippines has a minor Sanskrit flavor, as well. Sanskrit is related to Greek and Latin, with similarities in phonetics, grammar, and script. There are similarities in Sanskrit and other European languages like German, also.
The Indian language, Tamil, which is also one of the oldest languages in the world has many similarities with Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciations, etc.
From all the above accounts, we understand the reason behind Sanskrit being called ‘the mother of many languages’.
Has Sanskrit learning become obsolete, but? Is no one interested today in learning Sanskrit? If you think that the answer to this question is ‘yes’, think again and again.
Even better, just read the following!
According to research, NASA claims that Sanskrit – the ancient Hindu language – is the most suitable language to develop computer programming for their Artificial Intelligence program.
the grammar of Sanskrit is rule-bound, formula-bound, and logical which makes it highly appropriate to write algorithms. If Sanskrit is being considered the best language for artificial intelligence programs, will it die?
Moreover, language enthusiasts, philologists, archaeologists, and the similar kind of people who revere studies of languages find this ancient and yet ever-young language, not just interesting, but also enthralling.
They take studies of the Sanskrit language seriously so as to excel at it. Once they master the language, they have greater scope for success in their professional fields, too.
As many as 14 universities in Germany and at least 4 in the United Nations offer courses in the Sanskrit language. Apart from this, Sanskrit is also offered as a subject in various educational institutes across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Language training institutes almost all over the world have Sanskrit language-based courses in their list of courses to offer. This is because they have an idea about the far reach of the language and also about the demand for it.