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Samskrta-Subodhini: A Sanskrit Primer (Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia) Reprint Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0891480792
ISBN-10: 089148079X
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  • Samskrta-Subodhini: A Sanskrit Primer (Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia)
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia (Book 47)
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: U OF M CENTER FOR SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES; Reprint edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089148079X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891480792
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author states in the introduction that this book is not meant for self-study and that it is expected that a knowledgeable teacher is available to answer any questions -- and, presumably, to check the answers to the exercises. This book is beautifully laid-out, clearly written, and is a joy to study -- right up until you complete an exercise and want to check your answers and find that the only way to do it is just go over and exercise repeatedly until you are sure your answers are correct. There is no other way to know. It is still a useful and productive book for self-study, definitely 5-star material, but I'm knocking off a star because of the lack of an answer key.
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By A Customer on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Given that the book is a part of the "Michigan Papers on South and South-East Asia", I was a bit apprehensive about it being too scholarly and unsuitable for a beginner like me, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it otherwise. The author has the rare combination of an authentic grooming in the traditional Sanskrit learning and a long experience of teaching the language in the West to western students, and this shows in the book to the reader's advantage. Nevertheless, it is a book that demands diligence and effort from the reader. I liked the way the book provides a set of relevant words in every chapter which are used immediately afterwards in the exercises, for this allowed me to quickly refer to them for their meanings. The exercises are also very well thought out, though I wish the author had provided answers to them so that a student could bolster his confidence by verifying his answers immediately, but all in all, the book is well worth the money I spent on it.
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By A Customer on March 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a very well thought-out text. The author states that it is not intended for self-study, but if you have a facility for languages, have studied an inflection-driven language such as Latin and have had a year of a modern language that uses the Devanagri writing system, you should be ok. The format is similar to that of Moreland and Fleischer's Latin text, with brief lessons covering single-serving chunks of morphology, followed by vocabulary and exercises in translation and composition.
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Format: Hardcover
This is definitely a comprehensive book. The author delves directly into the grammar and vocabulary, all without ever using transliterations. I had already learnt basic Hindi before picking this up, so I knew most of the script, but I could see that being a real problem. It's definitely competent. The learning curve is very steep, though, and it seems almost as if it would be better used as accompaniment to classes.
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Format: Hardcover
I admit that I was more than a little apprehensive when I first ordered Deshpande's Samskrtasubodhini, since my first textbook by Lanman dated from the 19th century and featured a microscopic devanagari typeface, the compound letters illegible even with my trusty magnifying glass. Deshpande's elegant and readable devanagari font seems rather like eating a box of chocolates after becoming used to far more spartan fare. Deshpande's extremely competent text makes me suspicious that he is not making his users scrabble hard enough to grip the language, but what the heck. Sanskrit is difficult enough to get hold of, as it is, so a thorough and competent text will probably work out, in the long run. Even with Deshpande's throughness, Panini's grammar is still quite a way off, but Deshpande's graspable and intelligently arranged text--perfect as a preparation for the Whitney grammar--makes the entryway into to this great language less arduous, and probably Panini's Astadhyayi less difficult once one comes to take it up. I just wish that my first text had been Samskrtasubodhini.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a beginning learner of Sanskrit, a student can progress easily by using this book.
- Grammar is explained thoroughly, yet is not tedious nor overly technical.
- Lessons are the right size, which means the learner is not overwhelmed with material.
- Exercises allow the learner to practice the lesson.
- There is no answer key to the exercises, that I have been able to find. Hence the four stars.
- The most helpful of all are the FREE AUDIO FILES at the University of Michigan, Center for South Asian Studies website:
[...].

Other books that will greatly help the beginning learner are:

- "Introduction to Sanskrit", parts I & II by Thomas Egenes
- Part I: ISBN 81-208-1140-2 and part II ISBN 81-208-1693-5
- These books HAVE an ANSWER KEY at the back of each book.

- "Devavanipravesika: An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language" by Robert P. Goldman & Sally J. Sutherland Goldman
-[...].
- ISBN 0-944613-40-3
- There is no answer key, that I have been able to find.
- There is a SOUND RECORDING that can be ordered from the University of California Berkeley Language Laboratory
[...].
- Go to "Language learning Media" heading, then "Search Catalog" and select "Sanskrit" from the list of languages
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Format: Paperback
Sanskrit learners are blessed with several outstanding introductory texts (I also highly recommend Goldman and Maurer). This work certainly belongs in that class. An extensive history of the language comes at the beginning of the book, and its early chapters are probably the simplest grammatical treatment that is available. Other pluses include thoughtfully chosen vocabulary, well and quickly incorporated into the abundant exercises, an elegant and easy-to-read typeface,(there charts of the many conjunct consonants are especially clear) and a very logical overall organization. His treatment of nominal compounding is excellent and easy to follow, which should be heartening to anyone who has find this a discouragingly difficult area in other courses. I do disagree with the author's approach to sandhi- it is a very leisurely introduction that is spread out over several chapters- better to face it head-on and get used to it in the beginning. Also, I agree with the other reviewers who have commented on a lack of an answer key for the exercises. It would have added considerably to the length of the book, but perhaps an answer key could be compiled and sold separately. It is certainly clear that many learners would want it.
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