Sanskrit facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam
The word Sanskrit (संस्कृतम्) written in Sanskrit. Displayed in the Sarai font for Devanagari.
The word Sanskrit (संस्कृतम्) written in Devanagari.
Region Greater India
Native speakers 14,000  (2001)
Language family
Writing system No native script.
Written in Devanagari, various Brāhmī-based alphabets, Thai in vocabularies, and Latin script
Official status
Official language in  India, Uttarakhand
one of the 22 scheduled languages of India
Devimahatmya Sanskrit MS Nepal 11c
A Sanskrit script

Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language. It is a sacred language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, as well as the origin of most of the Indian languages, in Indo Aryan as well as Malayalam. Today, about 14,000 people in India use it as their daily language. It is one of the 22 official languages of India, and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand.

Sanskrit is a standardized dialect of Old Indo-Aryan. Its linguistic ancestry can be traced back to Proto-Indo-European. The Indo-Aryan migration theory proposes that the Indo-Aryans migrated from the Central Asian steppes into South Asia during the early part of the 2nd millennium BC, bringing with them the Indo-Aryan languages. The main script used to write Sanskrit is Devanāgarī, though it can be written in various scripts of Indian languages.

William Jones, who was working as a judge in India at the time, was studying Sanskrit when he realized how similar Sanskrit was to Latin and Greek. It was then when he would discover the relationship among the Indo-European languages.

Sanskrit literature includes poetry and drama. There is also scientific, technical, philosophical and religious texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the form of hymns and chants.

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Sanskrit Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.