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Dravidians who complain about Sanskrit as Indo-European language

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Post by Seva Lamberdar Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:24 pm

Calling Sanskrit an Indo-European language is mostly a coincidence.

When European scholars arrived in India first a few centuries ago, as a matter of habit (like they had done before whenever they went to any new country, Egypt or Persia etc.) they looked for the most important / basic literature in India.

Since the majority of population in India were Hindu whose scriptural books (especially the Vedas) were in Sanskrit, the European scholars took to learning Sanskrit and translating the Vedas into their own languages, as they had done before with Egyptian and Zoroastrian ancient texts and languages.

While learning the Sanskrit language and translating the Vedas, the Europeans found that there were some similarities between Sanskrit words and European words etc., which led them to conclude that India's Sanskrit and Europe's languages had some kind of similarity or relationship. This also made them call Sanskrit the Indo-European language, an expression used to indicate some type of similarity with the European languages while being the Indian language.

Needless to say, if Europeans had learned Tamil or Telugu first (instead of Sanskrit first) they probably would have called Tamil (or Telugu) as the Indo-European language because of some similarities between Tamil (or Telugu) and the European languages. Considering Tamil and Telugu have closer relationship with Sanskrit (more than Sanskrit has with the European languages) and Tamil and Telugu are even known to have roots in Sanskrit, there naturally would be some kind of similarity (based on Sanskrit’s relationship with Tamil or Telugu) between Tamil (or Telugu) and the European languages (as there is similarity between Sanskrit and European languages).

Anyway, you can blame the Europeans for not learning Tamil first when they arrived in India a few centuries ago and thus missing the opportunity to call Tamil as the Indo-European language.
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Post by Kayalvizhi Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:12 pm

>> Anyway, you can blame the Europeans for not learning Tamil first

Do you have evidence they learnt Sanskrit first? First book printed in a South asian language is Tamil.

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Post by Idéfix Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:15 pm

Kayalvizhi wrote:>> Anyway, you can blame the Europeans for not learning Tamil first

Do you have evidence they learnt Sanskrit first? First book printed in a South asian language is Tamil.
It is not possible that they learned Sanskrit first. The Europeans first landed in Kerala. Their first Indian language would have been Malayalam. Europeans likely learned languages around the coast, from Gujarati to Tamil to Telugu and Bengali before they picked up any Sanskrit.
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:48 pm

Kayalvizhi wrote:>> Anyway, you can blame the Europeans for not learning Tamil first

Do you have evidence they learnt Sanskrit first? First book printed in a South asian language is Tamil.

It seems the "first book printed in Tamil" (according to you) didn't land in their hands before they had already got hold of the Vedas in Sanskrit for Euro-translation and granted the Indo-European tag to Sanskrit.
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:01 pm

Idéfix wrote:
Kayalvizhi wrote:>> Anyway, you can blame the Europeans for not learning Tamil first

Do you have evidence they learnt Sanskrit first? First book printed in a South asian language is Tamil.
It is not possible that they learned Sanskrit first. The Europeans first landed in Kerala. Their first Indian language would have been Malayalam. Europeans likely learned languages around the coast, from Gujarati to Tamil to Telugu and Bengali before they picked up any Sanskrit.

 The discussion was about the European scholars who took to translating the Vedas after learning Sanskrit and then used the "Indo-European" tag for Sanskrit, and not about ordinary Europeans who ended up in the beginning in Kerala and Gujarat etc. and had to learn to speak Malayalam and Gujarati etc. to carry on their day-to-day activities in those places.
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Post by Idéfix Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:23 pm

Seva Lamberdar wrote:
Idéfix wrote:
Kayalvizhi wrote:>> Anyway, you can blame the Europeans for not learning Tamil first

Do you have evidence they learnt Sanskrit first? First book printed in a South asian language is Tamil.
It is not possible that they learned Sanskrit first. The Europeans first landed in Kerala. Their first Indian language would have been Malayalam. Europeans likely learned languages around the coast, from Gujarati to Tamil to Telugu and Bengali before they picked up any Sanskrit.

 The discussion was about the European scholars who took to translating the Vedas after learning Sanskrit and then used the "Indo-European" tag for Sanskrit, and not about ordinary Europeans who ended up in the beginning in Kerala and Gujarat etc. and had to learn to speak Malayalam and Gujarati etc. to carry on their day-to-day activities in those places.
Sevaji, the Europeans didn't send a separate boat full of PhD students and post-docs to conduct "research" into vedas. Most of the guys who learned Sanskrit were there on the business of the East India Company, and learned Sanskrit on the side as a hobby, just like the guys who learned Telugu and Tamil. In fact, Europeans knew Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and Farsi for a long time before any European scholar managed to learn Sanskrit. Portuguese people in Krishnadevaraya's court knew Telugu well more than two hundred years before William Jones came up with the notion of Indo-European languages.
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:49 am

Do you think Telugu could have qualified for the tag as Indo-European language?
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Post by Idéfix Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:13 am

Seva Lamberdar wrote:Do you think Telugu could have qualified for the tag as Indo-European language?
No.
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:50 pm

Idéfix wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:Do you think Telugu could have qualified for the tag as Indo-European language?
No.
Is there no similarity between Telugu and Sanskrit?
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:27 am

Seva Lamberdar wrote:
Idéfix wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:Do you think Telugu could have qualified for the tag as Indo-European language?
No.
Is there no similarity between Telugu and Sanskrit?
 I was once looking into the vocabulary in a foreign language, which supposedly had given many words to the NI languages (especially Hindi), to my surprise I found out quite a few words in that foreign language similar to in Sanskrit.
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