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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sanskrit Language

William Jones was a brilliant linguist. He was the son of a professor of mathematics, and on top of everything else, an accomplished poet. He published poems in Greek at the age of fifteen, while at sixteen he learned Persian from ' a Syrian living in London'. He later said that he had studied twenty-eight languages and had a thorough knowledge of thirteen.

He delivered a speech "On the Hindus" on 2 Feb 1786. He said: "The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of the verbs and in the forms of the grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists."

The above quoted from Peter Watson.