Oldest Language

Did you know that Sanskrit is the world’s oldest systematic language?

The word sanskrita, meaning "refined" or "purified," is the antonym of prakrita, meaning "natural," or "vulgar." It is made up of the primordial sounds, and is developed systematically to include the natural progressions of sounds as created in the human mouth.

Sanskrit was considered as "Dev Bhasha", "Devavani" or the language of the Gods by ancient Indians.

There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

Mother of all Higher Languages

The Sanskrit language has helped shape many European languages including French, German, Russian, and English. It shows many ancient forms of words such as father, through, shampoo, trigonometry, and mouse, while guru, pundit, dharma, bandh, and yoga are among hundreds of Sanskrit words that can now be found in the Oxford dictionary.

Earliest and only known Modern Language

Panini (c 400BC), in his Astadhyayi, gave formal production rules and definitions to describe Sanskrit grammar. Starting with about 1700 fundamental elements, like nouns, verbs, vowels and consonents, he put them into classes. The construction of sentences, compound nouns etc. was explained as ordered rules operating on underlying fundamental structures. This is exactly in congruence with the fundamental notion of using terminals, non-terminals and production rules of moderm day Computer Science. On the basis of just under 4,000 sutras (rules expressed as aphorisms), he built virtually the whole structure of the Sanskrit language. He used a notation precisely as powerful as the Backus normal form, an algabraic notation used in Computer Science to represent numerical and other patterns by letters.

It is my contention that because of the scientific nature of the method of pronunciation of the vowels and consonants in the Indian languages (specially those coming directly from Pali, Prakit and Sanskrit), every part of the mouth is exercised during speaking. This results into speakers of Indian languages being able to pronounce words from any language. This is unlike the case with say native English speakers, as their tongue becomes unused to being able to touch certain portions of the mouth during pronunciation, thus giving the speakers a hard time to speak certain words from a language not sharing a common ancestry with English. I am not aware of any theory in these lines, but I would like to know if there is one.

A Complete Grammar and Limitation of Language

The Ashtadhyayi is a grammar of the Sanskrit language by Dakshiputra Panini that describes the entire language in 4,000 algebraic rules. The structure of this grammar contains a meta-language, meta-rules, and other technical devices that make this system effectively equivalent to the most powerful computing machine. No grammar of similar power has yet been constructed for any other language since. The famous American scholar Leonard Bloomfield called Panini's achievement as "one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence."

The other side to the discovery of this grammar is the idea that language (as a formal system) cannot describe reality completely. This limitation of language, the rishi tell us, is why the Truth can only be experienced and never described fully!

Most convenient language for Software Programming

Being the oldest living languages, Sanskrit is the most scientific and unambiguous, according to a study by a NASA scientist Rick Briggs in 1985. Researchers at NASA have been looking at Sanskrit as a possible computer language because of its perfect morphology that leaves very little room for error.

According to Forbes Magazine (1987),

"Sanskrit is the most convenient language for computer software programming."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License