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Old 11-17-2004, 04:11 PM   #1
Sharon
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Pronouncing asanas

I want to learn how to pronounce the asanas correctly for my own benefit as a student. I am sorry to say that I don't think I have the time to learn the sanskrit language; but I do want to correctly pronounce the asanas. Does anyone have any suggestions for a CD or other type of audio that simply names the asanas? Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:21 AM   #2
Tsaklis
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I don't know if this will help much, but Sanskrit is so closely related to German that it is widely accepted that a person who speaks one can figure out the other with little or no assistance. A true mystery how the two languages evolved so closely on different continents with no verifiable contact.

On a more helpful note, yogajournal.com has a list of asanas that you can click for photos, instructions, et. Each listing also includes the phonetic pronounciation as well as the root words. For example:


Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is a deep backbend that puffs the chest, making a yogi resemble a pigeon.
The full pose, which is suitable for intermediate students, will be described in the Full Pose section below. First we'll practice the leg position only, which should be accessible to most experienced beginners.

(aa-KAH pah-DAH rah-JAH-cop-poh-TAHS-anna)
eka = one
pada = foot or leg
raja = king
kapota = pigeon or dove


Or, if you are just starting out:

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)

One of the most widely recognized yoga poses, Downward-Facing Dog is an all-over, rejuvenating stretch.

(AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)
adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog


They certainly don't list every asana, but once you get a feel for the language you should be fine. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-25-2004, 06:47 AM   #3
Arjuna
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Evolution of languages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsaklis
Sanskrit is so closely related to German that it is widely accepted that a person who speaks one can figure out the other with little or no assistance. A true mystery how the two languages evolved so closely on different continents with no verifiable contact.
Well, actually things are quite different. All indo-european languages, including english relate back to proto-indo-european, that is the mother tongue of most of modern languages. Also sanskrit (together with latin, greek has evolved from this very ancient language, but belongs to different branch of evolution.

English as well as German are both modern languages that belong to family of Germanic languages. Both are West-Germanic languages. English belong to Island-German branch, where as german and dutch belong to High-German branch. Other languages in this family include swedish, norvegian, danish, that belong to North-German branch.

English is as closely related to sanskrit as german. Only thing is that german language has wider sound inventory, including a lot of consonants that are pronounced in same way as those excisting in sanskrit. Sound inventory of german language is wider than that of english and german spelling is nearly phonetic, where as english spelling is far from logical.

It is true that german speaking person can pronounce sanskrit words with less effort than a person with english background. But it does not mean they would understand the language. It only means that some of the sounds and phonem combinations existing in german languages are similar to sanskrit.

Among indo-european languages the Baltic and Slavic branches are perhaps most closely related to sanskrit. Such languages as Lithuanian, Lettish and Russian. Czech & Polish have quite a lot of words that relate back to sanskrit. Modern hindi, bengali, punjabi and other indic languages relate directly to sanskrit. Persian languages, including Iranian and Kurdish belong to same Indo-Iranian main branch as Sanskrit and modern Indic languages.

See Wikipedia about germanic , Indo-European, Sanskrit

Here is one presentation of indo-european languages:
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Old 11-25-2004, 12:24 PM   #4
Mahalingam
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So what is the oldest language known to have existed, so far?

I wonder if there's a universal language...
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Old 11-26-2004, 01:07 AM   #5
Arjuna
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Question about oldest known language is very difficut. Perhaps oldest known language is proto-indo-european, that is language that was re-constructed by linguists and was thought to be the mother tongue for all indo-european languages including germanic (anglo-saxon) languages, latin languages, greek, indo-iranian languages and many others. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_language

But there are many other languages that are not related or whose relation to indo-european languages has not been proofed. These include south-indian (dravidian) languages like tamil and telugu, finno-ugric languages like finnish and hungarian, and dozens of others. See this page for different language families: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Language_families

Research scholars differ here in their opinions. There are theories of one common mother tongue for all and there are theories of different languages emerging in different areas almost simultaneously.

Very interesting information regarding this subject was given by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. You can see his discourses on the topic here http://www.anandaseva.org/Language/index.htm
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Old 11-28-2004, 10:35 PM   #6
Mahalingam
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Very cool, thanks.

As for that last link though, I don't know about Anandamurtii. Though I am an initiated Margi, I don't find his teachings to be the end-all-be-all of human wisdom on the planet earth. Nobody deserves to be deified unless they demonstrate deific qualities, and I cannot believe unless I see.

Extraterrestrials? I don't think so.
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Old 04-25-2005, 03:27 AM   #7
blackpanther
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arjuna, in the classification of languages, i see dravidian language as a seperate family. all Indian languages have originated from Sanskrit including telugu and kannada. it is said that sage Agastya brought tamil from himalayas beyond the vindhyas. so tamil might have a different origin from sanskrit. malayalam seems to have a strong influence of tamil and to certain extent sanskrit. dravidian languages were created into a seperate family to support the myth of aryan invasion theory. they have also been linked to native african languages to serve certain political and missionary interests. lot of theories have also been promoted to support the euro-centric view of history. but the theory that people have moved out of India into other parts of the world sounds most logical.
i request you to go through www.voi.org. here are a few links on the site which talk about linguistic argument. http://www.voi.org/books/rig/ch8.htm
http://www.voi.org/books/ait/ch54.htm
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