Refuting the myth – Is learning Sanskrit really difficult
Many people may be under the impression that learning Sanskrit is very difficult. This is mainly due to the fact that it has not been taught properly and that has something to do with the wrong notion that it is not a spoken language.
In our opinion and experience learning Sanskrit does not have to be difficult,on the contrary – it can be easy and fun. Of course some people may find it difficult to learn any other language other than their mother tongue. It all depends on various factors like individual learning ability, age etc.
If we put individual learning capacity aside, can say for sure that anyone who can learn any other language can learn Sanskrit, and that learning Sanskrit does not have to be more difficult than learning any other language – provided that we learn Sanskrit in a natural way that allows us to assimilate the live flow of the language.
Sanskrit is a very ancient language, but it is not dead. It is very much up to date and alive. Sanskrit can be spoken and used in daily life and it can be learned in a lively and enjoyable way.
The study of Sanskrit may become difficult if the learning process is based only on understanding and remembering dry grammar rules and their application in translation exercises – what we can call "grammar-translation-method". This kind of method maked it difficult to learn any language, and it is becoming less and less popular all over the world.
If, on the other hand, the learning process is built on exposure to the live flow of the language, and if the assimilated language becomes the basis and the criteria for learning the relevant aspects of grammar – then learning Sanskrit can become easy and fun.
There should not be any misunderstanding – We do not mean to say that learning grammar is not important. On the contrary, grammar is very important, but it should be given in correct doses at the right time and in proper manner.
The most important point is that the growing ability to handle the live flow of language should be the basis of learning grammar and not the other way around.
As we already mentioned this is not only true with regard to Sanskrit, it is true for every language. The most successful systems of learning languages in the world today are based on such ideas because experience showed that language should be learned in a natural way – by repeated exposure to the live flow of the language in all possible ways: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
If we stop to think about it – how did we learn our mother tongue? Did we start by understanding and memorizing grammar rules? Were we given long lists of vocabularies to memorize? Did anyone ever explain us the concept of verbal roots and the process of words derivations?
Obviously not, We simply heard the language and then we tried to speak. We listened and we repeated. Sometimes we were corrected but many times we corrected ourselves, and when did we begin to study grammar? When we already mastered the language to quite a high degree.
So all we have to do in order to make Sanskrit learning easy and fun is to adjust our approach by paying attention to the natural way our mind learns new things. Various aspects of learning should be emphasized and given priority in the proper time and correct manner