New Books Network

Why would anyone want to study Sanskrit, an ancient complex tongue? What’s the best way to go about doing so?  Sanskrit is the highly sophisticated...

Why would anyone want to study Sanskrit, an ancient complex tongue? What’s the best way to go about doing so?  Sanskrit is the highly sophisticated language of ancient India which remained in vogue for Millennia as a medium of philosophy, ritual, poetry – indeed every facet of Indian culture. Above and beyond Indian culture, it affords deep insight into the grammatical structures of language. Join us as we talk to Antonia Ruppel (Oxford University) about her Sanskrit textbook, The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (Cambridge University Press, 2017), a much-needed accessible, comprehensive tool for learning this ancient tongue, complete with online handouts, flash cards, and videos. We delve into the unique attributes of the Sanskrit language – for example, 3 numbers, 3 genders, special case endings, sophisticated rules for combinations of sounds (elision) – and the extent to which knowledge of the Hindu ‘language of the gods’ grants us access to millennia of human enterprise that is simultaneously foreign and familiar to our own.


For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.