Rhythm in Japanese Language

Japanese language, on its own terms, isn’t that difficult a language to learn I believe, but it does have some things that are pretty different from English, and require re-learning. One of them, surprisingly, is rhythm and lack of stress accents. I’ve talked about the “flat” sound of Japanese, but I haven’t really talked aboutContinue reading “Rhythm in Japanese Language”

Palatization Nation

One of the challenges of pronouncing Ukrainian language is the pronouncing the “soft-sign” ь. It is not an independent sound, but simply softens the letter before it through a process called palatization. I’ve struggled to understand this concept even after watching some helpful Ukrainian introduction videos.1 However, it turns out that other languages use palatization,Continue reading “Palatization Nation”

Gender in Ukrainian Language

As my studies of Ukrainian continues, one pattern that definitely appears over and over is the clear presence of grammatical gender. I’ve touched on this a bit in a recent post on how it relates to classical languages, but wanted to provide more context here. The concept of grammatical gender is something that’s endemic toContinue reading “Gender in Ukrainian Language”

Ukrainian Language: a Link To The Past

Lately, I started taking up the Ukrainian language, which is something very outside my comfort zone. In my younger years, I’ve studied Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese for 2 years in college, and of course Japanese, so Asian languages tend to be familiar even if I am not fluent. I have also dabbled in Latin, Sanskrit andContinue reading “Ukrainian Language: a Link To The Past”

Introducing the Karoshthi Script, a script of the Silk Road

The Silk Road, especially during the time when Buddhism first propagated out of India into the northwest and then east into China, is a fascinating point in history. Much of this is epitomized in a little-known writing system called Karoshthi. At that time, much of the world from Europe to Asia spoke a language calledContinue reading “Introducing the Karoshthi Script, a script of the Silk Road”

Typing Brahmi Script in HTML

A while back, I wrote a small post on how to express Sanskrit and Pali using diacritics in HTML and the Roman alphabet. This is handy for expressing Buddhist terms accurately, since the standard 26 letters of the English alphabet don’t always tell the whole story. While exploring Sanskrit writing systems recently, I dabbled inContinue reading “Typing Brahmi Script in HTML”

Sanskrit, Prakrits n’ Pali

Recently, I’ve been delving into both the Sanskrit and Pali languages, both used for Buddhist religious scripture, and just when I thought I had things figured out, I realize the situation is even more complicated and fascinating than I thought. Sanskrit is a language that was brought to India by invaders who called themselves theContinue reading “Sanskrit, Prakrits n’ Pali”

The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts

Recently, I made a lengthy rant on Twitter about my frustrations with learning Sanskrit in order to read Buddhist texts. The issue is a surprisingly complicated one, and something I wanted to explore here a bit more. When you look at religions of the world, Buddhism is somewhat unusual in that it isn’t rooted inContinue reading “The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts”

Siddham: The Forgotten Buddhist Script

In the past, I have dabbled in learning Sanskrit, which is an ancient Indian language, and the foundation of many other modern languages. Sanskrit is to South Asia, what Latin is to western Europe. Sanskrit is a tricky language though. Speaking from limited experience, it has many grammatical similarities to Latin and Greek (hence they’reContinue reading “Siddham: The Forgotten Buddhist Script”