Flaws in Sanskrit

Sanskrit was yet being consolidated in India when the mighty sword of Islam overwhelmed that process which has caused it to bear scars visible today as inaccuracies in spelling and pronunciation.

It is spelled by Western students as Sanskrit which is only partially true. In Northern India, it is pronounced as Sangskrit while the Western Indians pronounce it as Sanskrut. The South Indians pronounce it as Sumskrit or Sumskritam and none has been able to resolve this flaw.

Most notable difference in pronunciation is about the name of Hindu god Krishna. Again, the Western Indians pronounce it as Krusna while the rest of the Indians pronounce it as Krishna. Considering it involves the very name of a Hindu god, they have agreed to spell it as Krsn and give it an aura of sacred spelling.

There is a vowel which the Western Indian pronounce as “ru” while the rest of the Indians pronounce it as “ri”, for example, Krusna in the West and Krishna in the rest of the country. Or, Amrut, Rushi, Krupa in the West and Amrit, Rishi, Kripa in the rest of the country, and so on.

All Sanskrit consonants end with a vowel sound of “aw” in North India while in peninsular India they end with “u”. Hence the word Ram becomes Rama in the North and Ramu in the South. For this very reason speakers from the Western World err and pronounce Rama, Ramayana, Mahabharata ending with unnecessary “aw”.

There are far too numerous examples to mention here of unresolved pronunciations in Sanskit such as Biman or Vimana, Bikram or Vikram or Wickrama, Debi or Devi or Dewi, Jog or Yog and Yoga and so on. Unfortunately, Sanskrit is destined to live with these flaws.

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