Introductory Sanskrit Text

Duane Wenzel dwenzel at bishop.bishop.Hawaii.Org
Sat Jul 29 00:45:00 UTC 1995

On Thu, 20 Jul 1995, Trevor Baca wrote:

> (1) What is the best introductory text for learning to read Sanskrit? 

As a fourth year Sanskrit student of Dr. Walter Mauer at the University of
Hawaii, I have had an opportunity to use his new text, "The Sanskrit
language: a grammar and reader," in preliminary form.  It is an excellent
text, which draws upon his 33 years of experience in teaching Sanskrit.

The text is actually two volumes.  Volume 1 consists of 32 lessons to be
used over a two (academic) year period.  Volume 2 contains appendices (the
first five cantos of the Nala story, paradigms of declensions and
conjugations, a survey of the principal rules of sandhi, and an essay on
Sanskrit and its relationship to the other Indo-European languages), an
English-Sanskrit glossary, and a Sanskrit-English lexicon.

The beauty of the work is in its clear explanations of grammatical
constructs.  The text assumes the beginning Sanskrit student has a minimal
amount of general grammatical knowledge.  However, the text is loaded with
comparative linguistic jewels, which spring from Dr. Mauer's interest in
that subject.

I highly recommend this text.  By the way, the U.S. distributor is
Hu*m*anities Press, Inc.

Duane Wenzel
Library Chairman
Bishop Museum
Honolulu, Hawaii USA
dwenzel at


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