Books for Learning Sanskrit
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Sanskrit is a highly-inflected language like Greek, Latin and other ancient languages. Practically speaking, what this means for the beginning student is that the grammar can be somewhat daunting in the early stages. In addition, it uses the Devanagari alphabet. Prof. Thomas Egenes has written an excellent series of books to make learning easier for those who haven’t had experience with other ancient languages. The first book is a workbook for learning the alphabet. The next two books provide an more gradual introduction to Sanskrit which will make using the other Introductory books much easier.
a highly regarded introductory textbook written for at the
This is a useful book but many readers complain that it uses too much grammatical and linguistic terminology. Also, it does not use the Devanagari alphabet which limits its use in later reading the traditional texts. It has answers to the exercises.
This course forms "a well-integrated whole of grammar, vocabulary and reading that takes the students to a stage where he/she can begin to read on his/her own the Sanskrit of texts like the Mahå-bhårata." It comprises multiple volumes plus it has the valuable and somewhat unique inclusion of audio cassettes or CDs so that the student can learn the sounds of Sanskrit as well.
Books We Haven’t Read
This is a highly regarded textbook that begins by teaching the necessary grammatical terms for understanding Sanskrit. It is unfortunately very expensive ($150-170).
Sanskrit Books with a Spiritual Angle
Intermediate Books on Sanskrit
The following books on some of the most important classical Sanskrit texts assume the reader already knows Sanskrit grammar.
This book provides a comprehensive resource for the intermediate Sanskrit student and because it provides definitions of all the words and explanations of the grammar, it is excellent for independent study.
This popular book provides translations and grammatical analysis of all the words.
This is a classic, although somewhat dated, Sanskrit reader. It is still a widely-used and valuable reference.
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