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Thread: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

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    Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    So I have taught myself Urdu very well and now I'm curious to learn the other end of the Hindustani language, so to speak. My school offers Sanskrit, so for those who know formal Hindi, would taking Sanskrit be helpful in learning formal Hindi vocabulary? Or should I simply start reading Hindi books and articles and learn as I go along?

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    Re: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    Namaste,

    Welcome to the forum. It is customary for new members to the HDF to come in, introduce themselves, settle down, do search on their 'burning issues' and read what is already available before asking questions. But, you are free to do what you please.

    Pranam.

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    Last edited by Believer; 31 July 2015 at 11:27 PM.

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    Re: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    But, you are free to do what you please
    Namaste Believer ji,
    Hope I am not getting too personal or crossing my ethical boundary. The new member hasn't obviously followed rules laid for members, and you are probably moderating the thread. It is an iritating job to remind the basics every time so I understand your reaction at that level. But in my observation found that the discussion on Hindi vs Urdu with a combination of Sanskrit flavor disturbs you. The same comments applies to me as well but I am at the other end of the tunnel.

    PS: This post is not meant grind my axe or to hurt you. Just a sincere suggestion with high respect for your time & wisdom.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    Namaste Anirudh,

    Am not a moderator. I, along with other members greet and try to guide the newcomers in the right direction. Wish people will not sit on the sidelines, and more of us will get involved in welcoming newcomers.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 01 August 2015 at 01:35 PM.

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    Re: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    Wish people will not sit on the sidelines, and more of us will get involved in welcoming newcomers.
    Thanks for the message Believer ji...
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    You probably already have a good handle on Hindi if you know Urdu. I once also took Urdu lessons directly from a private instructor (not a school, an actual Urdu teacher from India, I was taking lessons in Hayward, California) – of course the script itself is not Devanagari, and there are many Persian words in Urdu as well as some Arabic and Khariboli Prakrit. So other than the change from learning Urdu script to Segway into Devanagari, it is more the script that might be of interest to you and as far as spoken Hindi, for you to learn Hindi will be easy for you thanks to Urdu that you already know, unless you want to learn Sanskrit for religious reasons I would think you should directly learn Hindi and it will be fast and easy for you without the need for a college course.

    By the way, my Urdu lessons were a long time ago. I got pretty good at reading the script, but basically I was also learning Hindi-Hindustani when learning spoken Urdu. However, my teacher, who was always a formal Muslim in full attire, while good, would sometimes like to have some tea time and chat and then sometimes he fell asleep during the lessons. Also his friends would show up in the middle of things, these frankly looked like rather suspicious characters from Pakistan. They would look at me as if, “you are Satan” or something. But his wife loved me a lot, and liked to talk about Pakistani vocalists. Least to say, however, I didn’t get “my money’s worth” on the lessons! I can still read it a bit, however.

    So much for stories, I think you should just dive into Hindi if you want to learn Hindi. But learning Sanskrit is wonderful, too.

    So you live in the US? Are you from India originally? I am curious if that is the reason to learn Urdu, since many early Indian Leaders urged others to learn multiple languages of India. But if you are an American, curious also if you could tell us a bit more. As to why I was learning Urdu, I really cannot say, other than I like the sound of it.

  7. #7

    Re: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    Hi ShivaFan, thanks for the response! My family is originally from UP in India but my parents are from Pakistan (we're Muslim), which is why I was interested in learning Urdu a bit more formally. However, I don't see Urdu complete without Hindi (and vice versa). Learning Sanskrit would provide me with the opportunity to be able to understand shudh Hindi and also learn quite a bit about Hinduism (the course in Sanskrit includes readings from the Gita and even Buddhist texts). I started this thread because knowledge of Persian and/or Arabic helps quite a bit with very formal Urdu, so I figured the same could be said for formal Hindi.

    But just as an aside, I believe it's possible you misunderstood your teacher's Pakistani friends They were likely just curious as to your presence. There's this perception unfortunately that Pakistani Muslims strongly despise Hindus, but as a person of Pakistani background I have yet to meet a Pakistani with particular animus towards Hindus. I mean, here I am myself on a Hindu forum to learn more about Sanskrit and Hinduism.

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    Re: Learning Sanskrit to learn formal (shudh) Hindi?

    Namaste,

    Thanks for the mini-intro.

    Since Sanskrit is the mother of all Indic languages and Hindi is the closest to Sanskrit, learning Sanskrit would go a long way towards picking up 'shudh Hindi'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaink View Post
    However, I don't see Urdu complete without Hindi (and vice versa).
    Not to split hair, but if you look at Hindi and Urdu; the grammar, the sentence structure and the words that conjugate the key words in a sentence are identical. What appears to have been done is that with different people appearing on the sub-continent through the North West of the country, key Hindi words in a sentence were replaced with corresponding Arabic/Farsi/Turkish words and Arabic script used to invent a new language out of the existing Hindi language used on the sub-continent. So, Urdu effectively was another facet of the new identity created for the converted people. Hindi also went through a change to accommodate new foreign sounds like Z and KH (khaas). For the street language which encompasses such words, new consonants were added; example, the letter j with a dot underneath is used to denote z. So, 'shudh Hindi' mutated into what we now know as Hindustani - the street language - with additional words from English also incorporated into the shudh Hindi.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 11 August 2015 at 04:47 PM.

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