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Sanskrit
संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam
The word Sanskrit (संस्कृतम्) written in Sanskrit. Displayed in the Sarai font for Devanagari.
The word Sanskrit (संस्कृतम्) written in Devanagari.
Region South Asia
Native speakers 14,000  (2001)
Language family
Indo Aryan
Writing system No native script.
Written in Devanagari, various Brāhmī-based.
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 and the origin of most Indian languages. Today, about 14,000 people in India use it as their daily language. It is one of the 22 official languages of India and 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, but it can be written in the scripts of various Indian languages and is sometimes written by the Latin alphabet.

[1]William Jones, working as a judge in India in the 18th century, studied Sanskrit and recognized similarities of Sanskrit with Latin and Greek.

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.

The language has a very complex grammar, with eight grammatical cases, the grammatical genders, and three grammatical numbers.

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