Sanskrit (; Sanskrit: ' (:səmskr̩t̪əm) or ', originally ', "refined speech") is the primary sacred language of Hinduism, a philosophical language in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, and a literary language that was in use as a ''lingua franca'' in Greater India. It is a standardised dialect of Old Indo-Aryan, originating as Vedic Sanskrit and tracing its linguistic ancestry back to Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-European.〔Burrow, T. (2001). The Sanskrit Language. Faber: Chicago p. v & ch. 1〕 Today it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand. Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.
The body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, technical, philosophical and religious texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the form of hymns and chants. Spoken Sanskrit has been revived in some villages with traditional institutions, and there are attempts to enhance its popularisation.
== Name ==
The Sanskrit verbal adjective ' may be translated as "put together, constructed, well or completely formed; refined, adorned, highly elaborated". It is derived from the root word ' "to put together, compose, arrange, prepare" (cf. (ノルウェー語:sammen skjær), (アフリカーンス語:saamskaar), (ヒンディー語:saṃskār)).
As a term for "refined or elaborated speech" the adjective appears only in Epic and Classical Sanskrit in the ''Manusmṛti'' and the ''Mahabharata''. The language referred to as ' "the cultured language" has by definition always been a "sacred" and "sophisticated" language, used for religious and learned discourse in ancient India, in contrast to the language spoken by the people, ' "natural, artless, normal, ordinary".
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