Historical: Sanskrit is the classical language of India, now only spoken by a few upperclasses. It belongs to the family of the Indo-European languages, where it is one of the oldest members. It must be remembered that Sanskrit is an ancient language, that for the past 3000 or more years it has been a vehicle of expression of Indian civilization and culture. As a spoken language, to be sure, it was in the course of time superseded by its many derivative speeches. As a literary language, however, Sanskrit never died out, but surprisingly is even nowadays written by a small number of cultivated Hindus, and books and articles are published in it. During its long history thousands of works were decomposed in Sanskrit, in the earliest times transmitted orally, but later committed to writing on birsch-bark or palm-leaves, eventually on paper after 1000 A.D.
The oldest literature that has come down to us in Sanskrit is known by the generic name 'Veda". Among the many famous works, there is the Bhagavad-Gita, which has become virtually the bible of modern Hinduism. [after: W.H. Maurer: The Sanskrit language, Curzon Press 1995]
The Font: The lowercase letters create the
ordinary consonant (with the "a"), the uppercase letter create the same
consonant, but aspirated (e.g. "k" creates the sign for "ka", whereas
"K" creates the sign for "kha"). The vowels are (apart from the short
i) entered after the consonant and are displayed above of below the previous consonant.
(The keys for the vowels create the sign for the vowel after a consonant. If the vowel is
the first letter in the word, the vowel has to be written with the Gravis ´ - e.g. ó for
an o at the beginning of the word.)
The Files: sa_tab.doc contains a list of all the signs together with their ANSI-Code, sa_lay.doc contains the keyboard-layout (can not be complete for most of the clusters are to reach by a combination of keys such as accented vowels). sa_signs.doc contains a table with all the signs and their assigned keys, sa_samp.wri is a text piece from the Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 2, and sanskrit.ttf contains the font.
Table of Signs:
The first syllable in each field is the transcript of the sign, which is on second position. Afterwards comes the key, with which you can type the letter, and at the end there is the ANSII-Code for the sign (You can also enter the sign by pressing down the ALT-key and typing in the 4-number ANSII-code with the number block at the right of your keyboard and then releasing the ALT-key):