[Note: the following are two parts published in June and July, 1886]
Dear Brother: Is there any dictionary or book giving the correct pronunciation of the Oriental words so current in theosophical literature?
In Sanscrit dictionaries the true pronunciation is found. But if our correspondent will, in these words, always read a as ah, e as eh, i as ee, u as oo, and o as oh, she will be right. Arjuna is sounded as Arjoona, Veda as Vaydah, Brahma as Brähmä, Prakriti as Präkreetee, Mulaprakriti as Moolah-pra-kreetee, and so on.
Several letters have been written and inquiries propounded to the Editor regarding Sanscrit, and in one or two instances the assertion has been made that we were incorrect in saying that Sanscrit is not really a dead language. In reply to those asking about the language, we refer them to Perry’s Sanscrit Primer (Ginn & Co., Boston), Lanman’s Sanscrit Reader and Whitney’s Sanscrit Grammar.
To the others, we quote from Perry’s Primer, § 21, p.7: “The Sanscrit is used in India to this day very much as Latin was used in Europe in the previous century; it is a common medium of communication between the learned, be their native tongues what they may, and it is not the vernacular of any district whatever.” And in India, the Editor was told by many Brahmins that it is in constant use in all religious convocations and assemblies convened among people of learning who come from widely separated parts of Hindustan.