pronunciation of Sanskrit

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at
Tue Apr 8 10:55:42 UTC 1997

This was a message I had previously sent, but since it did not come back
to me from Indology, I am not sure it was posted to the list:

The whole discussion on the utility of the proper pronunciation of
Sanskrit reminds me of a note I received from one of my terrified students
a few years ago.  This student wrote:  "Professor Deshpande, you are the
worst tormentor I have ever met.  I don't understand why you insist on
students reading this dead language aloud in class and why translate from
English into Sanskrit.  This language is dead, isn't it?  Because of the
fear that you will ask me to read something aloud in class and to
translate something into Sanskrit, I lose my sleep the night before and
the night after."  Fortunately for her (and for me), the woman found some
other class to switch to which she hoped would be less tormenting.  I have
not heard from her again.  On the other hand, occasionally I get some
enthusiastic first year students who want to learn nothing more than the
holy chanting of OM.  They are willing to sit on the floor and do this
mystical chanting.  As soon as they realize that Sanskrit is a language,
and that it has a grammar which needs to be studied, they do not return to
the class.                                                                
		Madhav Deshpande

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list