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Tips for learning a new alphabet

18 May

I am learning Japanese and Sanskrit, both involve learning new alphabets. Here are some suggestions from Time Magazine.

I found the Dr. Moku app very helpful for learning Hiragana and Katakana.

Memorization of the Vedas

13 Nov

The Vedas are the ancient sacred texts of Hinduism. The texts were passed down orally long before they were committed to paper. Over the years, I have come across claims that the Vedas were preserved through memory with exceptional fidelity, but I was unable to find any evidence for this claim.

Last Sunday, I was in Raven’s Bookstore in Harvard Square and I found a copy of A. L. Basham‘s book The Origin and Development of Classical Hinduism.  On the plane back to Cleveland, I read this:

“When Europeans first began to take an interest in the religion of India, some of them were told of very ancient texts called Vedas which were rarely if ever written but were handed down orally from one generation of brahmans to another. It was only with great difficulty that a few brahmans in Calcutta were persuaded in the 1780s to divulge the oldest of these texts, the Rg-veda, but once the text was made public other brahmans from other parts of India followed them. When versions had been collected from all over the land it was found, to great surprise of Western scholars, that the texts as transmitted in Kashmir were scarcely different from that transmitted in Tamil Nadu. The Rg-Veda had been passed on orally for nearly three thousand years with hardly an error.”

Now, I would like to learn more about the techniques used to accomplish this impressive feat of memorization.

desc_head_vedas

Using songs in language learning

5 Oct

A nice post from Aiyshah about using songs to enhance language learning.

Here are songs in my three target languages:

Japanese:

 

Esperanto:

 

Here are the lyrics:
Tiel La Mondo Iras

Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mond’.

Lundo, merkredo, sabato, mardo, ĵaŭdo kaj dimanĉo
jen milito, jen la paco, jen infano kun malsato.
La misiloj preskaŭ falas, la kolomboj malkonsentas,
estas tiel, estas tiel.

Jen virino kiu ne sidas, ĉar laboro ĉiam estas,
kaj la patro kiu ne alvenas, ĉar la poŝo estas malplena.
Tiom da manoj kiuj konstruas, kaj la aliaj kiuj detruas,
estas tiel, estas tiel.

Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mond’.

Dekses horoj kiuj sonoras kaj ok horoj kiuj silentas
Multaj homoj kiuj rapidas, jam la alia tago venas.
Ni profitu la momenton, ĉar la vivo ne atendas,
estas tiel, estas tiel

Lundo, merkredo, sabato, mardo, jaŭdo kaj dimanĉo
jen milito, jen la paco, jen infano kun malsato.
La misiloj preskaŭ falas, la kolomboj malkonsentas,
estas tiel, estas tiel.

Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mond’.

Iras por mi, iras por vi,
iras por ŝi, iras por li, tiel la mondo
Iras por mi, iras por vi,
iras por ŝi, iras por li, tiel la mondo

Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mondo iras.
Tiel la mondo iras, tiel la mond-ooo iiirrrr-aaass

And the English translation per Google translate:

Thus the World Goes

So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world.
So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world ‘ .

Monday, Wednesday , Thursday , Friday , Saturday and Sunday
behold, a war , this is the peace , this is a child with hunger.
The missiles almost falls, the pigeons disagree,
so, is so .

Here is a woman who does not sit , because work is always ,
and the father who does not arrive, because the pocket is empty.
So many hands that build , and the others who destroys ,
so, is so .

So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world.
So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world ‘ .

Sixteen hours that rings and eight hours shut
Many people who are swift , and the other day comes .
We take advantage of the moment , because life is not expected ,
so, it is so

Monday, Wednesday , Saturday , Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
behold, a war , this is the peace , this is a child with hunger.
The missiles almost falls, the pigeons disagree,
so, is so .

So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world.
So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world ‘ .

Goes for me, is for you,
go for it, go for it, so the world
Goes for me, is for you,
go for it, go for it, so the world

So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world.
So the world is going , so the world goes .
So the world is going , so the world OOO iiirrrr – aaass

Finally, Sanskrit:

 

 

Sanskrit taught in British schools

21 Mar

An interesting video from a few years ago about a program to teach Sanskrit in British schools:

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