An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Languages and Culture

There are very few blogs across the world, where you see people writing something “original” – something that THEY have researched and come up with. Here is a blogger – Blokesablogin (Meenakshi?) – who discusses the relationship between the languages and culture/civilization. She goes on to look at how Sankrit is different in its structure from English and how it paves way for the world view that people have? A must read!

In Samskritam, the Prathama Purusha (or primary person) is actually what we call the Third Person in English. The Madhyama Purusha (or middle person) is the Second Person and Uttama Purusha (Elevated person) is the First Person in English. I remember my Samskritam teacher telling us why this order was thus: She said that when we first observe the world, we see “The Other” first and ourselves last. It takes much courage to see ourselves and therefore needs maturity. Hence Uttama for the English’s First Person. Therein lies one of the clues towards what happened with 200 plus years of English language learning in India.

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