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The Students's English - Sanskrit Dictionary

The Students's English -  Sanskrit Dictionary
Item Code: NAT488
Author: Vaman Shivram Apte
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788120803008
Pages: 502
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.64 kg
About the Book

The present Dictionary is designed to meet the long-felt need of the English-knowing reader who is interested in the study of classical as well as modern Sanskrit. It covers a very large field-Epics such as the Rai' nayana and Mahabharata, Puranas and Upapuranas, Smrti and Niti literature, Darianas or Systems of Philosophy, such as Nyaya, Vedanta, Mimanisa, Saiikhya and Yoga, Grammar, Rhetoric, Poetry in all its branches, Dramatic and Narrative literature, Mathematics, Medicine, Botany, Astronomy, Music and other technical or scientific branches of learning. Thus, it embraces all words occurring in the general post-Vedic literature. It includes most of the important terms in Grammar. It gives quotations and references to the peculiar and remarkable meanings of words, especially such as occur in books prescribed for study in the Indian and foreign universities. It also renders explanation of important technical terms occurring in different branches of Sanskrit learning. To add to its usefulness the work includes three appendices.


When I prepared "The Student's Hand-Book of Progressive Exercises, " Part II., I thought of adding to it a glossary of difficult words and expressions in the Exercises. When this was done, an idea occurred that the Glossary should be made to include all words of ordinary occurrence, such as are given in small School-Dictionaries. When the revision of the sheets thus written out commenced, and when they were put to a practical test, it was found that several words and expressions had still been left out. I, then, resolved to prepare an English-Sanskrit Dictionary as complete as possible, and the following pages are the result. The Dictionary has thus passed through different stages, and has assumed this form, far exceeding the limits which I had first assigned to it.

Much need not, I think, be said with regard to the necessity of a work like this. In these days of literary activity, when the attention of students is drawn more and more to the study of Sanskrit, it is necessary that all appliances should be ready before them to facilitate this study. There are one or two small Sanskrit-English Dictionaries, though not quite adequate to meet the wants of advanced students of Sanskrit, but there is no English-Sanskrit Dictionary such as will be within their easy reach. The Dictionaries of this description that I know of, are two in number:-one by Professor Monier Williams, and another by Mr. Anundoram Borooah of Calcutta. Both these Dictionaries, though valuable in themselves, are not accessible to the student, the prices being prohibitively high. But there are other considerations which make these works not quite adapted to his wants. Professor Monier Williams' Dictionary, having been compiled nearly 35 years ago, chiefly by inverting the then existing Sanskrit-English Dictionaries, is naturally open to the fault of being often not practical. As he says in tne Preface to his Dictionary, he proceeded to translate Webster's Dictionary systematically into Saysk,it, omitting words, phrases Ste. of which no classical equivalent could be found or suggested. The result has been that many of his synonyms appear more as coined words than classical expressions used by standard Sanskrit authors. With laggard to words collected in Lexicons, such as Amarakosha, Medini, Sabdakal-padruma, there is no difficulty; but in the case of those words and expressions which can only be suggested by a careful study of the usage of the best authors, the work, in my humble opinion, falls short of one's expectations. Mr. Anundoram Borooah's work is eminently practical : it abounds with quotations from several standard authors ; the renderings are generally happy, and the work has, at least, a classical appearance. The fondness for giving quotations has induced the writer to give several quotations for illustrating such words as TIR, of the meanings of which there is no doubt nor is any confirmation needed. But one great defect of his otherwise very useful work is that it gives too few equivalents. He has pursued the, course of referring one word to another, but this is, in some cases, carried to such an extent, that when a word, as directed, is referred to another, that again is referred to some other word of a synonymous nature, which in its turn is referred to another till the reader returns to the original word, apparently without having his labours rewarded. A study of Mr. Borooah's work is a good treat for an advanced Sanskrit scholar, but will not, I believe, satisfy the student. From considerations like these I thought I should be doing some service to the Sanskrit reading public, if I compiled an English-Sanskrit Dictionary adapted to the wants of the student. The foregoing remarks are made not with the view of detracting from the high and acknowledged meriis of the two works but solely to indicate the line I have followed, and the object I have had in compiling , bis work.

Some words are now neosesary as to the plan and scope of the Dictionary. When I resolved to make this Dictionary as complete as possible, coroistently with its aim of being useful for the student, I took the latest edition of Webster's Complete Dictionary, and taking that as my basis, proceeded with though work of compilation. As I advanced, I found that several words, phrases and expressions and several senses of single words, could not be adeqately represented in Sanskrit so as to appear like Sanskrit, either because the words Sec. were purely technical and referred to specific ideas in subjects, such as Chemistry, Botany, Medicine, Psychology, Law, Engineering etc., or were such as had no corresponding ideas in Sanskrit and were peculiar to the English language. Words of this nature are numerous in Webster's Dictionary, and I have omitted them, including also obsolete and rare words or senses of words. Several words of obvious signification, such as those formed by the prefixes, in, mis," pre ' ten, ' are also omitted, as they may be easily formed from their second member. But the general terms of all sciences have been included, and of technical terms such as could be duly represented by Sanskrit equivalents actually existing in the language or by short, wieldy new combinations of words have been inserted. Of this description are words like Telegram, Democrat, Society, Literature, Address ( of a letter ) and several other words which have a peculiar sense in English and have to be translated by inventing equivalents. 2nglish, like many other languages, has so many expressions and idioms peculiar to itself, so many shades and nice distinctions of meaning, and so many new formations of words, progressing with the progress of the language, that it would be impossible to embrace them all in an English-Sanskrit Dictionary, even if it were the most comprehensive work. much more so, in a work designed principally for students. Take the words Line, Pass, Strong. Webster gives senses under Line, under Pass ( v. a. )' 20 under Strong. ' Some of these are technical, and some are not different senses as such, but shades of meaning or particularities of use; most of which may be translated by the words given for the general sense, ( see the words ). I have not thought it desirable, like Professor Monier Williams to insert words the English explanation of which has to be systematically translated, in order to give some idea of their meaning.

The most striking feature of the arrangement is that a word in its different parts of speech, compound words derived from it, derivatives formed from it either regularly, by means of or irregularly, have been given together, the derivatives being arranged in order under the root or primitive word, by means of small black dashes. The dashes are intended to at once• strike the eye and to direct it to the word after it ; and when the directions to the student •' are remembered, there, will, I believe, be no difficulty in referring words to the Dictionary. The principle of the arrangement is to give words according to the root-system ; words regularly derived will, of course, be referred in their proper place,: ; but words formed from the radical irregularly should also be refer-red under that radical. 'Abstemious.' should be referred under • Abstain,' Perception ' under, Perceive, Death, '' Dead, ' under ' Die, ' Strength ' &c., under Strong, ' Would. ' under • Will, and so on ; where it is not likely for the student to know where such words are given, reference is made to those places ; e. g. see Material, Sight. One of the greatest advantages of the system has been practically ( whatever it may be theoretically ) to effect a very large saving of space. To give the reader an idea of the vast saving effected by this system, it may be stated that, if the words in their different parts of speech and their compounds and derivatives were separately given, as in Monier Williams ' Dictionary, they would cover nearly 800 pages of this size, or 1, 000 of the size, Style of printing, &c. of Monier Williams' Dictionary. Besidee, by giving the words Dead ' Death ' under ' Die, ' a considerable repetition of words is avoided. About 20 equivalents are given for Die, ' and only a few are given for Dead ; the rest can be formed in the same way from the roots immediately above ; if it were given in its usual place, all words would have to be given or a reference made to Die. ' My chief aim has been to give a good deal of matter in a small space, and this object is, I believe, considerably secured, as shown by the figures given above ; and I have thus been enabled to give this book to the public at a cheap price.

The next point to be noticed is the number of equivalents that are given for a word. I believe that in an English-Sanskrit Dictionary, it is sufficient to give such words only as are of very frequent occurrence in Sanskrit authors. It cannot include all words in the language, and even if it could. it would be of no great use, since many of the words would be found to be very rarely used. The word Gold ' has over 50 synonyms given for it in the different lexicons Sun ' has nearly a hundred.

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