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[deleted] t1_j0rvasd wrote



[deleted] t1_j0s3b08 wrote



atre324 t1_j0siy68 wrote

Just curious… For Sanskrit learners/speakers- does knowing any other language help you learn Sanskrit? Are there similar words/grammar with other languages?


biriyani_lover t1_j0sopnf wrote

Lotta indian languages have their roots in Sanskrit and thus share a common vocab and some rules


kittylkitty t1_j0t7u70 wrote

Thai / Laos / Burmese too


Fiyanggu t1_j0tjtoy wrote

Their written script is based off of Sanskrit, but those languages themselves don't derive from Sanskrit.


Terpomo11 t1_j0tn77r wrote

What do you mean by saying their written script is based on Sanskrit?


KhyberPass49 t1_j0tocnb wrote

Like Mongolian is written in Cyrillic but is not related to any Slavic language


kindred_asura t1_j0tqant wrote

never heard of that, that's crazy.


Iwantmyflag t1_j0tsf9v wrote

More like pretty common. The Alphabet you are using right now was originally developed for Phoenician, a Semitic language, adapted by the Greeks for Greek, not related. Also adapted to Etruscan, not related. From there adapted to Latin, not related to either of those and then once more to English, which is related to Latin but not that closely. Cyrillic is an adaptation of the Greek variant for Slavic languages and of course also not related to Phoenician.

And let's not even talk about cuneiform.


Vaelos t1_j0u40rv wrote

What about cuneiform? 🤔


SaiyaJedi t1_j0uihdn wrote

It was later adopted by the Akkadians, whose language was not related to Sumerian.


Iwantmyflag t1_j0wzug6 wrote

That's only the beginning. Over about 3000 years Sumerian cuneiform was used (at least) by the Sumerians of course, a language not related to any other as far as we can tell. Then Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian, those 3 are semitic languages.

Also used for Elamite, another contemporary language not related to anything.

Hittite, an indoeuropean language. Again completely different from all the others.

Urartian, which I can't recall right now what it is related to but it's not semitic

and finally, heavily adapted, Old Persian, another indoeuropean language.

And it's not trivial to just use Cuneiform for a different language as the "letters" don't fit the sounds. For example it's a pain to map cuneiform symbols to Hittite sounds and uncertainties remain in transcribing and translating the texts.

What's more, we can only read, translate and even to an extent speak those millenia old languages because the writing was used so long and was still used for languages where we have modern descendants and/or texts in different scripts and alphabets like the Rosetta stone or the Darius inscriptions.


crostrom t1_j0ujnv8 wrote

This is reading like a Monty Python skit


Iwantmyflag t1_j0x37ef wrote

Over about 3000 years Sumerian cuneiform was used (at least)

  • by the Sumerians of course, a language not related to any other as far as we can tell.

  • Then Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian, those 3 are semitic languages.

  • Also used for Elamite, another contemporary language not related to anything.

Hittite, an indoeuropean language. Again completely different from all the others.

Urartian, which I can't recall right now what it is related to but it's not semitic

and finally, heavily adapted, Old Persian, another indoeuropean language.

Also Eblaite, Hurrian, Luwian which are related to the ones already mentioned and a few more where we have very little texts remaining.


Allidoischill420 t1_j0uqnxb wrote

How do you gain knowledge on language like you have


Iwantmyflag t1_j0wwnio wrote start with Latin and ancient Greek in school, then you study linguistics and history with a focus on old languages. And you keep reading and reading whenever you come across something you don't understand. It also helps to be curious.

There's probably easier ways today like just reading Wikipedia. Not everyone has to suffer through deciphering Hittite cuneiform ;)


Terpomo11 t1_j0ttnm9 wrote

But Sanskrit is a language, not a writing system. It can be written in multiple writing systems.


Emotional-Top-8284 t1_j0tai5e wrote

I do not believe that these languages are descended from Sanskrit, though they may share vocabulary. Sanskrit is an indo-European language, and Thai/Laos /Burmese are not.


BBFA369 t1_j0tyfm7 wrote

They likely are - the whole region was heavily influenced by Hindu / Buddhist cultures. further south, Malay has a lot of lingual overlaps with Sanskrit for instance


McDodley t1_j0uhswz wrote

Not sure exactly what you mean, but you may be mistaking cultural influence for linear descent. Malay, Thai, Lao, Burmese are members of three different language families: Austronesian (Malay), Tai-Kadai (Thai, Lao) and Sino-Tibetan (Burmese). Sanskrit is a member of an entirely different one (Indo-European). There is a lot of borrowed vocabulary from Sanskrit in Malay, Thai, Lao and Burmese, but their grammars all work extremely differently from Sanskrit.


BBFA369 t1_j0vvk4q wrote

Ah I think you’re right. I don’t speak those languages so I have no idea how their grammar works but it’s really fascinating that you can borrow vocab between languages that way.

TIL, thanks for sharing!


Background-Throat-88 t1_j0t5qp9 wrote

Hindi helps a lot in learning sanskrit. They have almost same grammar


theshredder744 t1_j0tdkaj wrote

Yep. If I'm not mistaken Hindi is the closest related language.

Source: All my North Indian friends had no trouble learning it in school, but as a South Indian I barely passed the class 😭


Terpomo11 t1_j0tnbml wrote

I would be surprised if it's the closest living language to Sanskrit. Usually the most conservative language varieties are ones spoken in relatively out-of-the-way locations and not the widely-spread lingua francas. Like, say, Lithuanian or Icelandic. That said, it's still much closer to Sanskrit than any Dravidian language.


AdventurousEarth533 t1_j0ubtq1 wrote

Maybe counter point - I speak Kannada (fluent), Hindi (fluent) and Sanskrit (not fluent). From my experience it depends on which flavour of Hindi you speak. For example, Hindi in (purely for the sake of an example), let’s say Hyderabad, is pretty much Urdu. In that case, my Kannada has a higher overlap with Sanskrit. Hindi is not uniform. It has a lot of regional nuances. Perhaps in certain regions Hindi is closer to Sanskrit, but I’m going to say Kannada (other than the written script) is a heck of a lot closer to Sanskrit than many people realise.


Shay_throwaway t1_j0uhtg8 wrote

Can confirm, I'm a native Kannada speaker (aren't we all lol?) and I honestly had an easier time taking Sanskrit classes as a kid than Hindi classes.


Terpomo11 t1_j0wgq6g wrote

Doesn't most of Hindi's core vocabulary descend from Sanskrit? Or are the sound changes enough to obscure it?


PenPineappleAppleInk t1_j0udpcx wrote

A slight counterpoint to this, I speak Telugu which is also a South Indian language but has more Sanskrit influence. I've found that Sanskrit words are more commonly used in everyday language in Telugu than in Hindi. Hindi does use Sanskrit words as well, but while commonly speaking, we often resort to Pali/Prakrit or Urdu words.

I've also noticed something similar with Marathi. Of course, I grew up in Mumbai so my Hindi wasn't as "pure" as the one spoken in North India.


theshredder744 t1_j0uz55a wrote

That's interesting. Admittedly, I'm not knowledgeable enough to tell the difference between Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Urdu words in conversations.

But I completely agree about how many Sanskrit words are used in Telugu, Kannada, and even Malayalam to an extent. It's always interesting how some words and phrases are the same across borders.


freddy_guy t1_j0tfmh6 wrote

Lithuanian is a very conservative language in terms of the changes that have occurred in it in the many centuries since it diverged from PIE.

This means that to someone who speaks, say, English, learning Lithuanian is just as difficult as learning Sanskrit. So while it's useful in some sense, in that if you already speak Lithuanian it will be somewhat easier for you to learn Sanskrit, it's not like you should learn Lithuanian in order to better learn Sanskrit.

Plus, the similarities between Sanskrit and Lithuanian tend to be somewhat overstated by non-linguists.


Pinkletskillz t1_j0ti3u4 wrote

I am taking classes in Sanskrit at the moment, and knowing Latin and Ancient Greek (as well as some other PIE languages) is really helping me understand much of the grammar. Those languages as well as Indonesian have been useful for vocabulary too, although you sometimes do need to get into the historical linguistics if you want to recognize the similarities. Above all, it's really a lot of fun studying other languages and seeing the interrelatedness and possibilities of each of them :)


Yugan-Dali t1_j0tmims wrote

Isn’t Indonesian an Austronesian language?


Pinkletskillz t1_j0tn7yl wrote

It is, but the vocabulary was influenced by a lot of other languages such as Sanskrit, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese and English. It's a very interesting mix :)


Terpomo11 t1_j0tnck9 wrote

Yes, but it has a lot of Sanskrit loanwords.


Iwantmyflag t1_j0ts0if wrote

Latin or ancient Greek help as they train analysing sentences. But there is no point in learning those first and then Sanskrit.


HillbillyJimbo88 t1_j0ufux2 wrote

To be honest, I have found learning Webdings has been the biggest help in learning Sanskrit.


Weary-Independent991 t1_j0uq6yo wrote

It's the other way round. Learn Sanskrit and you can understand a little bit of this and that


CalEPygous t1_j0v0gfl wrote

Supposedly Latvian and Lithuanian are the closest living, spoken, languages to Sanskrit. This likely reflects the fact that Sanskrit being that it is not spoken doesn't evolve and Lithuanian and Latvian have changed the least among living Indo-European languages.


ragnarok62 t1_j0s1qpz wrote

If there are 25,000 contemporary speakers, why would they not be able to make sense of the underlying algorithm? Are modern Sanskrit and ancient Sanskrit that much different?


Yrcrazypa t1_j0sjl5k wrote

Try to read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English. That's nowhere near as far back as Old English and it's already really difficult for most speakers of English, if not outright impossible for another huge portion.


Duggy1138 t1_j0sl9ab wrote

People have enough trouble with Shakespeare and that's early Modern English.


willun t1_j0sn8di wrote

What? Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?


SurferJase t1_j0sus4k wrote

I do bite my thumb, sir.


MasterDooman t1_j0th47e wrote

Try reading it with a Scottish accent. It becomes remarkably easy to understand then.

If you're reading it with a North American accent, that's where it's difficult.

Was a trick I learned in university when dealing with Canterbury tales/beowulf/ other Middle English texts.


doyouevensunbro t1_j0ti258 wrote

Like anyone could decipher the modern Scottish accent


curtyshoo t1_j0tppjo wrote

The first time I traveled to Europe I found myself sitting in a moving train with two Scots.

I couldn't understand a word they said.


temalyen t1_j0vsdal wrote

Now I want to hear Groundskeeper Willie read it.


kindred_asura t1_j0tqkmo wrote

Can you work backwards in works like go from Milton and Shakespeare (modern english let's say) to Chaucer (middle english) to Beowulf (old english) and learn the language like that?

I read Paradise Lost and even that was hard for me since English is my 2nd language.


Adlach t1_j0ujus5 wrote

I think a determined reader could get as far as Middle English with that approach but Beowulf, being in Old English, is probably unreadable without academic study of the language. Let me quote the first few sentences to you:

> Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum,

> þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,

> hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

> Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,

> monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,

> egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð

> feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad,

> weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah,

> oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra

> ofer hronrade hyran scolde,

> gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning.

I did my undergrad in linguistics and personally the only sentence I can read is the last one, which literally translates to "That was [a] good king."


Volgin t1_j0vj670 wrote

Are there other texts that are contemporary to Beowulf but easier to read? I tried something similar in french a few months back and could easily read early 13th century letters and such but if the text was lyrical or some sort of poetry it was often way harder to read since it was written in an classical/older style that borrowed heavily from Latin.


Adlach t1_j0vr7ar wrote

Not to my knowledge. English went through some huge shifts in pronunciation and orthography since the Old English period. I actually feel that using English as context for this article is misleading because of that—most other languages haven't undergone such dramatic transformations.


temalyen t1_j0wf4ii wrote

I had an English teacher in High School who, when we were reading Canterbury Tales, would basically call us lazy if we said we couldn't understand what the heck it was saying. She said a bunch of times, "This isn't any harder than anything else written in english, you're just being lazy. If you actually concentrated, you'd have no problems at all reading it."

It always pissed me off because that is obviously not true, but she'd shut down any sort of dissent and insist we're making up a problem that doesn't exist. Annoying. To this day, I still don't understand why she'd take an attitude like that when it's very obviously wrong.


jimthesquirrelking t1_j0s46sq wrote

Modern and old English are far apart enough to be quite difficult to translate fully, I imagine a language with deeper roots even more so


ragnarok62 t1_j0s5m4s wrote

The article should have made this more clear. To state that people speak Sanskrit today makes everything else odd.


Tony2Punch t1_j0sgovt wrote

There are people that speak the Vedic Sanskrit, it is extremely useful in figuring out the Proto-Indo-European Language. That is the old Sanskrit.

Fun fact, a Sanskrit Scholar would have been able to talk to a Lithuanian peasant back in ye olde’ time because their languages were similar enough.


_rgk t1_j0snxzd wrote



mylittlekarmamonster t1_j0srq8p wrote

> I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here are two sentences, one in sanskrit, one in lithuanian: Sanskrit: Kas tvam asi? Asmi svapnas tava tamase nakte. Agniṃ dadau te śradi tada viśpatir devas tvam asi. Lithuanian: Kas tu esi? Esmi sapnas tavo tamsioje naktyje. Ugnį daviau tau širdy, tada viešpatis dievas tu esi. English: Who are you? A dream in your dark night. I gave you the fire in your heart, so you are god our lord. Sanskrit: Kas tava sūnus? Lithuanian: Kas tavo sūnus? English: Who is your son?

Just some words. Lithuanian on the left, Sanskrit center, English on the right: DIEVAS-DEVAS-GOD; BŪTIS-BHUTIS-EXISTENCE; VIEŠPATS-VISPATI-Another expression for God (more or less equivalent to the christian expression: “our lord”); RASA-RASA-DEW; MEDUS-MADHUS-HONEY; JAVAS-YAVAS-CEREAL; UGNIS - AGNIS-FIRE; VĖJAS-VAJUS-WIND; AKMUO-AKMAN-STONE/ROCK; BANGA- BHANGA-WAVE; VYRAS-VIRAS-MAN; SŪNUS-SUNUS-SON; SENAS-SANAS-OLD; ESU-ASMI-I’M... Of course, they are still different languages, but it’s no wonder many scholars that want to study Sanskrit do study Lithuanian first.


notmyrealnameatleast t1_j0sv6gf wrote

Wow that's so interesting, I had no idea they were so similar and yet so far apart geographically.


Russki_Wumao t1_j0tvyze wrote

I speak Latvian and I understood all but three words you listed. This is neat as fuck. The Sanskrit sentence reads more like Latgalian dialect. Probably because the region borders with Lithuania.


dilsiam t1_j0u0f8a wrote

This is beautiful and very interesting, thank you for sharing


Modern_rocko t1_j0sri2q wrote

Ye Olde’ Time, he just said


MarsRocks97 t1_j0t5mzi wrote

On a tangent, but I read somewhere that “Ye” is not pronounced like in yet or yeet. The archaic letter Y was just commonly used to denote a “th” sound.


nolo_me t1_j0t7t3r wrote

The letter þ was called "thorn", it fell out of use with the rise of the printing press. In blackletter type "Y" was often substituted.


cdncbn t1_j0thxzd wrote

Even more tangential, but I do enjoy saying 'th' to myself whenever I see Ye in the news.


GoAheadMakeMySplay t1_j0t7vlg wrote

Yeah, right here. As a native anglophone, I struggled with Middle English (Chaucer, Canterbury Tales) and Old English was undecipherable (Beowulf) to me


________________0 t1_j0tasga wrote

And Chaucer is late middle-English which is much easier to understand than even just early middle-English. I can read Chaucer pretty reliably now but fuck if I can read Layamon's Brut yet.


GoAheadMakeMySplay t1_j0tdmhn wrote

*Whan that Aprile, with his showeres soote, and the raines hath perced to the roote... ________________0 hath this thy comme, in pilrammage for soote"

(yes, I'm drunk right now, so please accept this as an approximation)


sycamotree t1_j0tw149 wrote

Is "soote" soot? Otherwise it didn't seem that tough. But I also obviously could just be wrong in understanding so there's that lol.

Granted I also don't understand what soot would even mean in this context unless it's a poem about volcanoes or something lol

Edit: I looked it up.. it means sweet? Guess I had no idea what I was talking about anyway


Drachefly t1_j0unp12 wrote


> Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
> The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,

Means, "when the (sweet) rain of April has thoroughly wetted the ground after the drought of March…"


sycamotree t1_j0x1nvp wrote

I read this as, "When April with its showers sweet, the drought of March has pierced to the roots."


Drachefly t1_j0x8tlz wrote

I rearranged to make the grammar clearer. Like, what's doing the piercing in that sentence? It's April, not the drought of March.


sycamotree t1_j0x8ywu wrote

Man I thought it was a poem I didn't think about it making sense lol I'm just saying how I read it in a literal sense. I didn't interpret it as "first, then"


doegred t1_j0u1w0u wrote

TBF Beowulf is probably not the best example since it's poetry. Old English is still obviously its own language but if you've got a few basic notions of phonology and/or some knowledge of another Germanic language you'll probably be able to decipher a bit of OE prose. Poetry on the other hand will still be hard as fuck.


ateSomeBo t1_j0tcbjr wrote

Because, they are mostly modern day priests and their families living in India, who learned them as religious scripts passed on through generations. Lot of intricacies are lost through this method, but it's the only way the language has survived as a spoken language. Almost none of those 25000 speakers really speak or use sanskit for their day to day activity, rather they use it as a secondary language mainly to perform religious rituals and prayers.


ragnarok62 t1_j0u55mx wrote

That’s good to know. Thank you for doing the work the article author should have done.


DeTrotseTuinkabouter t1_j0ufx43 wrote

To add to what others have said: it gets crazy. What is commonly taught as the oldest Dutch sentence (it isn't) is from c. 1100. One theory though is that it is perhaps a certain west Flemmish dialect of English.

Can't tell you the specifics but basically it gets fucky wucky that far back.


TurkeyDinner547 t1_j0r8th4 wrote

Cool article, but too bad it doesn't go into more detail about this "rule" and how it works exactly. And what is this thing we're talking about? A stone, codex, machine, or abstract ideas? If it generated so many errors and was inaccurate, then why was it previously "considered to be one of the great intellectual achievements in history" if this student had to figure it all out in 2022? The article leaves me with more questions than answers, unfortunately.


PfizerGuyzer t1_j0rbs00 wrote

I read the article and felt it answered all of these questions adequately. Panini was not a contemporary scholar, he was describing Sanskrit centuries ago. We knew that his machine worked, but could not follow his instructions now. (That's what the 'machine' was, a set of grammer instructions that produced perfectly correct Sanskrit words. It was a conceptual machine.)

Rishi cracked what Panini meant in his instructions, and now we have a way to construct close to perfect Sanskrit.


BurntRussianBBQ t1_j0sbc17 wrote

I am I correct in my understanding it was as simple as, when there is a choice between the right and left side of a word, always choose or "modify" right?

This seems incredibly simple. Why did not one run across this before?


sadness_elemental t1_j0sfbri wrote

They assumed it meant earlier rules had precedence over later rules, it's simple once you realise but they probably didn't even realise they were applying the rule wrong


masklinn t1_j0trht5 wrote

> They assumed it meant earlier rules had precedence over later rules

Other way around, within a priority level the later rule overrides the earlier (is the historical interpretation).


ColgateSensifoam t1_j0u5ihg wrote

For clarity, it was interpreted as the rule that occurs later in the rulebook applies, rather than the rule that occurs later in the word, as is actually the case


PfizerGuyzer t1_j0scmnr wrote

The last hundred years in particular has been spent assuming much more complicated solutions and delving into them..


Staerebu t1_j0t4aku wrote

A hundred years ago an academic realised Panini's approach would quickly put them out a job and promptly set about creating innumerable rules to keep themselves employed


laujac t1_j0u88bu wrote

Now this is a conspiracy I can get behind.


PfizerGuyzer t1_j0u18uu wrote

This is the kind of conspiracy the fits right at home with flat earth.


Buntschatten t1_j0s4bbf wrote

But what defines what is perfect Sanskrit?


BarAgent t1_j0s4pxx wrote

Sanskrit speakers. It’s a dead language, but there are plenty of people who know it. And there are plenty of texts. There’s enough for a person to validate whether the rules work.


43703 t1_j0spj4b wrote

It ain’t dead. It is compulsory upto 8th standard in Indian school curriculum. Its upto the students after that if they want to pursue it further.


zorokash t1_j0s86ma wrote

.... I dont see the point of calling a language dead but also saying there are several speakers of that language. That's like opposite of dead. Sorry, but studying languages that are actually dying due to nobody speaking them any more, your description somehow doesn't fit right.


Shibbledibbler t1_j0s8ojn wrote

'Dead' is a legitimate categorical term, not a subjective judgement by BarAgent.


zorokash t1_j0sdvrl wrote

There are a few everyday speakers of Sanskrit, who use it sort of a vernacular in public speaking.


FoolishConsistency17 t1_j0sas0k wrote

Linguists call a language dead when there are no native speakers. People may speak it, but they learn it as a second language, often from texts, or from people who learned from texts. It ceases to change or adapt as a living language does.


zorokash t1_j0sff4k wrote

Languages change due to act of speaking. Not related to it being native to anywhere or not.

English is not native to 99% of Indian population and some approx 20% can speak it. But if you removed those 20% and isolated them from other english speakers, the English they speak will still continue to change and adapt for newer needs and trends in language and pop culture.

This logic of a language is frozen if spoken only by second language speakers is entirely flawed. I know 6 languages, but if my 6th language got new trends among similar 6th language speakers of same language, I will still register that and it may or may not propagate back to 1st speakers of that language depending on how popular it gets.


LangyMD t1_j0sli5o wrote

"No native speakers" effectively means "nobody's primary language". Nobody is learning that language and using it in their day-to-day life as their primary mode of communication.

"No native speakers" is a rough approximation of that, but still pretty much accurate - someone's primary day-to-day language would be what their kids learn.

That said, if there were a group who didn't have kids but primarily used a language they learned as a second language (think priests who primarily use Latin to talk to one another but aren't allowed to have kids), that language could be "dead" by the technical definition of "no native speakers" but still able to change and adapt like a living language. An "undead" language, if you will.


zorokash t1_j0spg6c wrote

>Nobody is learning that language and using it in their day-to-day life as their primary mode of communication.

What difference does it make if the communication is the primary mode or secondary mode. What kind of arbitrary rule is this that there should be people who call it mother tongue for them to be considered a speaker of that language?

>"No native speakers" is a rough approximation of that, but still pretty much accurate - someone's primary day-to-day language would be what their kids learn.

That is irrelevant for it to be a qualifier for life of the language. A language spoken by 1st language speakers or 2nd language speakers is still the same language and usage. If do not use english for anything except in professional life should I not be considered part of the speaking population keeping it alive? Literally by speaking it, I am keeping the language tendencies accents inflection popcuktural references phrases and idioms, all relevant and recognizable. How is that not adding to keeping the language alive and well?

> An "undead" language, if you will.

So a Zombie language? Dude , the definition of living person vs a zombie is a human imagination. Just say its Alive without using complex "undead" status.

Besides, Latin is not used as extensively outside of religious services as Sanskrit is used.


LangyMD t1_j0ssghb wrote

If you really want to argue about this, you can take it up with the linguistics:

An extinct language is one that has no speakers, either native or second. A dead language is one that has no native speakers. These are terms that are widely used in the linguistics world and are well-defined, and mean different things.


LightIsWater t1_j0stb44 wrote

One measuring stick I can think of is that the “primary” (spoken every day by everyday folks) mode of communication can generate slang, while a language like Latin does not have those organic conditions in which to evolve at the typical rate of language change, which is how I’ll try to distinguish between Latin and English: one still has way more potential for change unless people suddenly start speaking Latin in stadiums and clubs. As for Sanskrit, I don’t know if I can determine its potential for change — sounds like there are people who still use it as their primary mode.


zorokash t1_j0svlq0 wrote

You are missing one big difference.. Latin today is used solely for two purposes, as a liturgical language on religion, and scholarly study of the language.

Sanskrit has more than just those. There is literature like prose poetry and plays written, recited and enacted for crowds. There are philosophical discussions happening. There was recently a south Indian commercial movie released , made entirely in Sanskrit, for general public to watch and enjoy.

For these reasons. Sanskrit is not in same boat as Latin. People keep trying to push it in that, but it isn't.

Also, how a language changes along with time is entirely dependent on culture and the specific language construction itself.

Sanskrit was largely focused on oral traditions and was extensively worked out to prevent changes in language sounds. Paninis works shows how those time lasting standards and mechanisms were made and enacted. Due to its peculiar circumstances, it should not be judged on same standard as other language with little to no sound standards like in latin or Hebrew etc.


AliMcGraw t1_j0sxbfl wrote

You are incorrect. People are still writing literature in Latin, updating the language with modern terms, producing newspapers and newscasts in Latin, and so on.

It's still a dead language, but it's in wide and lively use, and well outside the walls of the Vatican.


youdubdub t1_j0s9lj2 wrote

Knowing and speaking are two very different things.


PfizerGuyzer t1_j0scjhl wrote

Not relevant in this case. Dead means no native speakers.


youdubdub t1_j0scmnx wrote

That was my point. Thanks for the downvote, but we happen to be vigorously agreeing, lol.


zorokash t1_j0se5fm wrote

People are having conversations in it, writing literature, has a news telecast in Sanskrit, there are drama and theatre , .... what else needs to happen for it to be considered "speaking" it?


youdubdub t1_j0sj6fj wrote

It should be distinguished from the former language. There is no way the new speakers can discern prior inflection, verbal varieties, etc.

The old version of the language in dead in spite of an attempted revival.


zorokash t1_j0snvmy wrote

You are literally forgetting how Sanskrit works. There has always been an unbroken line of scholars who have learned the language and have a vast understanding of the inflection and verbal varieties.

There is plenty supporting evidence of how vedas being recited in vedic schools with aid of oral traditions, are reciting in the exact inflection and speech variation as the ancient times. The oral traditions have literally constructed mechanisms to ensure this as a system that is widely studied as well. Sanskrit is not some language that people stopped using it for hundreds of years. Never the case. Infact the last Sanskrit scholar who wrote extensively in the language was no more than a 150 years ago.

There have been several Sanskrit schools of learning before and after that person. You are in denial of how the language actually functions and exists and studied continually. And all of these do cause language variations and trends just as much as any other language, or maybe fewer, but not zero.


AliMcGraw t1_j0sxf8a wrote

So what you're saying is it's basically exactly the same as Latin and Hebrew?


[deleted] t1_j0sdb3x wrote

How are they dying if noone speaks them?


zorokash t1_j0sfjok wrote

They are dying BECAUSE noone is speaking them... going extinct if it makes more sense to you?


[deleted] t1_j0si2aj wrote

If no one is speaking them, they're dead, not dying.


zorokash t1_j0smzeh wrote

I literally explained how people are speaking it as a secondary language for various functions such as speech, poetry, prose, and theatre. People are speaking and writing it. There are schools teaching it in the hundreds. You are using the word "speaking" but not giving a satisfactory definition of it.


[deleted] t1_j0sperd wrote

So not no one?


zorokash t1_j0sq3g3 wrote

Yes, not Noone. There are speakers who speak it regularly, in the several thousands. Just not as mother tongue.


[deleted] t1_j0t9l1e wrote

Okay. You kept on saying no one speaks the dying languages. So you can see that language isn't exactly precise and even though you think the definition of dead language isn't obvious, that doesn't mean it's wrong.


JamesTheJerk t1_j0t9wln wrote

Sure however the article is vague. If someone reading it sees the word 'machine', what conclusion is most easily drawn? And the entire article is written like that. It's deliberately metaphorical and this naturally confuses unexpecting readers.


PfizerGuyzer t1_j0u3opq wrote

"Pāṇini’s system—4,000 rules detailed in his greatest work, the Aṣṭādhyāyī which is thought to have been written around 500 BC—is meant to work like a machine. Feed in the base and suffix of a word and it should turn them into grammatically correct words and sentences through a step-by-step process."

I don't know. If you guys are having this reaction to the article, then it must in some sense be confusing, but if I were the author I would find this criticism borderline offensive.


JamesTheJerk t1_j0wujgo wrote

Criticism is natural in every aspect of life and if the author is offended, so be it. I don't care and neither should they due to me being a lowly redditor and not a peer to the writer on the subject.

This is my opinion on the article and that's how I feel.


PfizerGuyzer t1_j0wv33p wrote

Your feelings seem motivated by a desire to put others down so you can feel big in comparison.


JamesTheJerk t1_j0wvy7j wrote

Which 'feelings' have I portrayed again? Please disregard my alias as I am not in fact a 'jerk'.


Alimbiquated t1_j0ru2hc wrote

Paanini created a list of 3950 rules, each of which is a sutra, nonsense phrase to be memorized.

Consider the word glass. We create the plural by adding an s, but the rule is that we insert an e before the s. For the word cat, we don't insert an e, the s is simply added to the word. For the word dog, we add an s but pronounce it like a z. That is the kind of thing the rules deal with.

Here are the rules:

The rules use lists of sounds. Instead of listing letters in some traditional random ways, like the alphabet, he grouped similar sounds and gave each group a name. He call this table the Shiva sutras, shown here:

The name comes at the end of the list, so the semivowels l and r are referred to as k.

Here's some idea of how the rules work:

He groups these lists sometimes by naming the first letter of the first list and the name of the last list, so aten means a, i, u, l, r, e and o. (at mean short a).

On of the rules is at-eṅ guṇaḥ which defines the word guṇaḥ as a, i, u, l, r, e and o, the short vowels. (l and r are sometimes vowels in Sankrit) If you search the word guṇaḥ, it's used 10 times. As far as I know it's a nonsense word he invented for his rulebook.


Son_of_Kong t1_j0s63xc wrote

Basically, the student figured out that scholars have been misinterpreting one of the rules, leading to incorrect results. The students new interpretation produces correct ones.


Virtual__Vagabond t1_j0rb4hh wrote

I think it was implying that at the time, it was one of the great intellectual achievements as it was well known how to use it. After finding the machine over 2000 years later, the process had been lost.


Donna_Freaking_Noble t1_j0sxskh wrote

I think you'd have to know a lot more about Sanskrit to be able to understand more detail about the rules. I have a linguistics background and I can only kind of conceptually grasp what's going on with the rules after reading about it here and in other news sources. They're reporting on it as well as they can for non-expert, non-Indic language speakers.


TurkeyDinner547 t1_j0t012s wrote

Glad to hear from someone in the field that doesn't insult my reading comprehension. Thanks!


zorokash t1_j0sdbc1 wrote

Dude, the article clearly says this is about language and grammar. Why would you think about stones and machines? This is pseudo algorithm techniques.

It didn't make too many errors, the rule book was never correctly applied, and hence no accurate and conclusive results. That's the argument made here. And once the correct application is deciphered the errors are reduced to nearly zero. And thata why it is an achievement.

How bad are you at reading comprehension?


TurkeyDinner547 t1_j0shfph wrote

Where are these rules written or contained exactly? And why is it being called a machine?


>Why would you think about stones and machines?

Because the Rosetta Stone was also used as a linguistic tool, and the article literally uses the word "machine".

>How bad are you at reading comprehension?

Pretty bad when the author doesn't articulate exactly what they're talking about. Pretty good when the details are explained, and considering that I graduated college with a BSIT and a minor in history, but thanks for asking.


zorokash t1_j0smk06 wrote

The entire work of Panini : Astadhyayi is the set of rules being discussed here. The rules are approx 4000, which have a system of construction of words and sentences. The debate of solving the system is to use it to get the resulting sentences which always differed from reality of actual Sanskrit language.

The student/scholar recently found the right interpretation of the rules, which is what the achievement is. Now the rules and algorithm produce results as prescribed by Panini in his ancient work. It is called a machine cos the rules act as a mechanism acting on a sound based input and producing a meaningful words and sentences as outputs. Hence a machine.


pittyh t1_j0t4fpt wrote

I google Paanini Machine, it comes back with a sandwich maker...


breakerbrkr t1_j0t5w6q wrote

Give this man the Voynich Manuscript.. time to crack that sucker.


Cheeseburgerbanter t1_j0tsrkn wrote

Sounds like Panini was bread for success, sandwiched between other great works, still managed to spread amazing teachings, filling gaps in our knowledge, risen to great things....


Robofro t1_j0u94pa wrote

It’s just crazy to me that the father of liguistics also invented the thing we press sandwiches with


ThatGIRLkimT t1_j0tfhi5 wrote

Interesting. This post caught my attention.


hungry4danish t1_j0uesaq wrote

Just because it is 2500 years old doesn't mean it was being studied for that long. It's more likely that it spent 2450 years not really cared about and only recently did scientists care to study it to try and figure it out.


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