This course will introduce you to some of India’s greatest cultural traditions by looking at various important languages and the literature written in them including Sanskrit and Hindi. Sanskrit is the ancient, classical language of India, and the direct ancestor of many modern Indian languages, such as Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Marathi. Sanskrit was in continuous use from about 1200 BC until modern times. Hindi is one of the most widely spoken languages of the world that gives access to the richness of modern India beyond its anglicized layers.
In this course you will have a brief introduction to the Sanskrit language. You will see how it works, and how it is similar and different from other languages. You will also learn about the distinctive features of Sanskrit literature and the Indian historical background where this literature was produced. In addition to attending lectures on these subjects, you will read translations of some famous and beautiful works in Sanskrit.
The course will also give you a glimpse of the linguistic and literary treasures of modern India with a primary focus on Hindi and its sister-language, Urdu. Among other things, you will have a glimpse into how a multilingual society was at work for several centuries and how much interaction has been going on between English and Hindi.