Along with Pali, Khmer language has a lot to do with Sanskrit which is another language that I never took time to look into.
Same deal as Pali, as a Khmer literate, I know I have dealt with Sanskrit!!
Sanskrit is the classical language of Indian and the liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
It is also one of the 22 official languages of India.
The name Sanskrit means “refined”, “consecrated” and “sanctified”. It has always been regarded as the ‘high’ language and used mainly for religious and scientific discourse.
Vedic Sanskrit, the pre-Classical form of the language and the liturgical language of the Vedic religion, is one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family. The oldest known text in Sanskrit, the Rigveda, a collection of over a thousand Hindu hymns, composed during the 2nd millenium BC.
Today Sanskrit is used mainly in Hindu religious rituals as a ceremonial language for hymns and mantras. Efforts are also being made to revive Sanskrit as an everyday spoken language in the village of Mattur near Shimoga in Karnataka. A modern form of Sanskrit is one of the 17 official home languages in India.
Since the late 19th century, Sanskrit has been written mostly with the Devanāgarī/ Hindi alphabet. However it has also been written with all the other alphabets of India, except Gurmukhi and Tamil, and with other alphabets such as Thai and Tibetan. The Grantha, Sharda and Siddham alphabets are used only for Sanskrit.
Since the late 18th century, Sanskrit has also been written with the Latin alphabet. The most commonly used system is the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST), which was been the standard for academic work since 1912.
Sanskrit is one of the world’s most ancient languages and is derived from the same proto mother language as Latin and Greek.
So many of the words are common to Latin, Greek and Latin.
This gentleman explains what Sanskrit is (while he tries to sell his teaching of the language).
The letters of Sanskrit
Sanskrit comprises fifty one letters or aksharas. In other languages, we refer to the letters of the alphabet of the language. We know that the word “alphabet” is derived from the names of the first two letters of Greek. The term alphabet has no other meaning except to denote the set of letters in the language.
In contrast, the word “akshara” in Sanskrit denotes something fundamental and significant. One of the direct meanings of the word is that it denotes the set of letters of Sanskrit from the first to the last. The word also means that the sound of the letter does not ever get destroyed and thus signifies the eternal quality of the sound of the letters. The consequence of this meaning is that the sound of a word is essentially the sounds of the aksharas in the word, a concept which will help simplify text to speech applications with computers.
There are two aspects of non destruction in the above explanation. The first one refers to the phonetic characteristics of the language, i.e., in any word, the aksharas retain their sound. The second aspect of non destruction, amazingly, is that the aksharas retain their individual meanings as well! To give an example, the word “guru” consisting of the aksharas “gu” and “ru” stands for a teacher- one who dispels darkness (ignorance) of the the mind (person). “gu” means darkness and “ru” means the act of removal.
Now, aren’t we beginning to see something very interesting?
The popular Sanskrit language is based on root syllables and words. Unlike the other languages of the world, every word in Sanskrit is derived from a root. It is a well accepted fact that all Indo-European languages have a common origin.
On the basis of the above mentioned fact that all the words of Sanskrit are traceable to specific roots, a feature not seen in other languages, one can presume that Sanskrit is most certainly the origin.
Sanskrit is a Scientist’s paradise:
Sanskrit, the vocabulary of which is derived from root syllables, is ideal for coining new scientific and technological terms. The need to borrow words or special scientific terms does not arise.
From the very beginning, scientific principles have been hidden in the verses found in the Vedas, Upanishads and the great epics of India. Concepts and principles seen in present day mathematics and astronomy, are all hidden in the compositions and treatises of many early scholars.
The precise and extremely well defined structure of Sanskrit, coupled with its antiquity offers a number of areas in linguistics research including Computational Linguistics.
Also, Sanskrit distinguishes itself in that it is the only known language which has a built-in scheme for pronunciation, word formation and grammar.
Sanskrit, a language for Humanity:
Sanskrit is a language for humanity and not merely a means for communication within a society. The oldest surviving literature of the world, viz. the Vedas, encompass knowledge in virtually every sphere of human activity. The fact that many profound principles relating to human existence were given expression through Sanskrit, continue to amaze those who study Sanskrit. A Sanskrit Scholar understands the world better than most others.
Sanskrit perfectly depicted (and continues to depict) the social order of the day and offers clues to historical developments within the Society. The language has been used effectively to describe the virtuous and the not so virtuous qualities of great men, women, kings and queens, the philosophers and Saints
Philosophy, Theology and Sanskrit:
Sanskrit abounds in Philosophy and Theology related issues. There are so many words one encounters within Sanskrit that convey subtly differing meanings of a concept that admits of only one interpretation when studied with other languages.
The language thus has the ability to offer links between concepts using just the words.
Sanskrit Consonants: Pronunciation and Transliteration
Sanskrit Vowels: Pronunciation and Transliteration