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Rutger Kortenhorst

Learn Sanskrit through self study

Why Study Sanskrit?

Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide : The Sanskrit language numbers 50 letters: 15 vowels, 25 consonants, 4 semi-vowels, 3 sibilants, 1 aspirate, and 2 compounds.

Christmas Then and Christmas Now : ...as neither the modern Hindu devotee understands a word of the Sanskrit, nor the modern Parsi one syllable of the Zend, so for the average Roman Catholic the Latin is no better than Hieroglyphics. The result is that all the three--Brahmanical High Priest, Zoroastrian Mobed, and Roman Catholic Pontiff, are allowed unlimited opportunities for evolving new religious dogmas out of the depths of their own fancy, for the benefit of their respective churches...

1. Forty-Five Years On, Sanskrit Dictionary Still a Dream Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/nonfram/240602/detNAT12.asp

PUNE, INDIA, June 24, 2002: The ambitious Sanskrit dictionary project - arguably the largest lexicographical work ever -- at the Deccan College in Pune has become a hostage of time as the work, though under way for 45 years, has not even completed the first letter of the alphabet as yet. The monumental project, titled "Deccan College Sanskrit Dictionary" started in 1948, and since then it is still seized with the very first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet which has got at least 44 functional characters. According to an estimate of Dr V.B. Bhatta, the project coordinator, it will take at least 85 years to complete. The uniqueness of the project lies in the fact that, unlike other dictionaries, the present work sets out to cover all 64 disciplines in Sanskrit (Chaturshasthi Kalas) covering a period between Rig Veda and Balambhatti -- an 18th century work. Besides the vast period, it has to give the origin, evolution, history and supportive citations of a particular word. "Sanskrit is full of compounds and there is no room for bluffing. It is running at a normal speed," Bhatta reasons. It should be consolation to the editors that the Oxford English Dictionary when conceived in 1857 was expected to take ten years to complete. Five years into the project, they had reached "ant." The final volume of the unabridged dictionary was printed in 1928. At least the Sanskritists have one advantage over the OED's editors -- because of the rapid evolution of English, the OED was out of date the instant it was completed.

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