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Tag Languages

Indus Languages

Pushkar Sane Wednesday, 29th June, 2011 Tags: , , , , Roots No comments

Recently I came across a very interesting TED presentation by Rajesh Rao on how to decipher the 4000 year old indus script. He presented his point of view at TED 2011 and explained how he is using modern computational techniques to read Indus language. While his presentation was certainly interesting it made certain assumptions that were primarily driven by the history written by the British during rule in India. He made a reference to Indo-European and Dravidian languages in his hypothesis. I don’t how he arrived at a conclusion that the British classification was true 4000 years back. There is no evidence to prove the Aryan theory and in my opinion there was division between so called aryan and dravidian languages. The entire aryan and dravidian theory was created to cause internal rifts in the Indian sub-continent and unfortunately we still suffer from the same division.

While I commend his effort of finding meaning from the stone inscriptions but to me it looks half-baked. Because he neither knows the context nor he has the complete information. So while a computer can form patterns based on the information available we don’t know how much of information is missing. Additionally the only available source of context are ancient Indian scriptures which are ignored while studying archeology.

Here is the TED video:
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Losing Languages

Pushkar Sane Saturday, 13th September, 2008 Tags: , , , , , , , Life, Observations, Roots No comments

Today we had an interesting discussion around speaking, reading, writing Indian languages. I realized that many people in my generation do not really know how to read & write Indian languages including Hindi. Also their spoken languages are flooded with English words. It kind of made me sad because Indian languages do have very rich literature & sweetness of their own. It surprised me because I do know how to read/write/speak Hindi, Marathi & Gujarati. I can read & write Sanskrit but can’t really speak because of lack of practice.

The most educated people of Indian society are shying away from using our local languages and switching their interactions to English. That’s sad because the educated ones are supposed to nurture languages & knowledge. If we lose the ability to read, write & eventually even speak them purely then we would be doing the biggest dis-service to future generations. We are currently depriving ourselves of knowledge & literature documented in these languages. And chances are – at a later date – some foreigners will come – learn these languages and RE-SELL our own heritage to us – exactly the way its happening in case of Yoga.

I have decided – I’m going to try & speak Sanskrit – it will require some practice. Also I’m going to learn one more Indian Language – Bengali. And also teach Marathi to my wife.