Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

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Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby taghiyea@gmail.com » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:03 pm

Hi,

I am looking to get a tattoo in Sanskrit that means "cherish the day" / "seize the day" or a similar phrase that is used in a local language. I found the translation below online, but looks like despite being accurate, it doesn't make sense from a native speaker's perspective:
दिनं गृहाण

To sum up, I'm trying to find a translation that would carry the same message as the Latin "Carpe Diem". Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby Saim » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:47 pm

taghiyea@gmail.com wrote:or a similar phrase that is used in a local language


Local to what? Āryāvarta in the 2nd century BC?

Sanskrit also doesn't have a native script, which I think is important to consider. It was first attested in Brahmi, and nowadays it's written in all sorts of different Indian scripts (descended from Brahmi) depending on the region.

"cherish the day" / "seize the day" or a similar phrase


I'd say that if you must get a tattoo in a language you don't understand, surely it makes more sense to try to find a phrase that already exists in the language rather than trying to translate an English idiom?

despite being accurate, it doesn't make sense from a native speaker's perspective


There are no native speakers of Sanskrit. It is a liturgical and classical language.
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby verdastelo » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:45 am

taghiyea@gmail.com wrote:To sum up, I'm trying to find a translation that would carry the same message as the Latin "Carpe Diem". Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I wish I could help but I cannot even get my declensions right. To make matters worse, I don't think I understand "Carpe Diem". Saim's suggestion makes sense. Unless you really want it, it's better to find an established phrase in Sanskrit.

Image

Saim wrote:Sanskrit also doesn't have a native script, which I think is important to consider. It was first attested in Brahmi, and nowadays it's written in all sorts of different Indian scripts (descended from Brahmi) depending on the region.


While you are correct about Sanskrit not having a native script, I believe the use of Devanagari has been underestimated. In India (mostly like also in Nepal), most Sanskrit books are published in Devanagari, and that has been the standard practice for at least two hundred years. The modern editions published in {{INDIAN CITY NAME}} Sanskrit Series in the 19th century are all in Devanagari. You will not find any exception on this Sanskrit Bookstore. Devanagari reigns. Having said that, my favorite script for Sanskrit is Hangul! 옴마니반메훔.

Saim wrote:There are no native speakers of Sanskrit.


I would just add "almost". In the 2011 census, 26,821 people (page 15) claimed to be native speakers of Sanskrit. ;)

Saim wrote:It is a liturgical and classical language.


Not just that! I get a newspaper in Sanskrit from more than 2,600 km away! And the newspaper claims to have more than 100,000 subscribers. That's not bad for a liturgical language, which is dead in some sense. Here is an issue of 10th April, 2021.

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Sanskrit died a long time ago. Many say that it was dead when Panini wrote his famous grammar. Nonetheless, Sanskrit seems to be less dead than Latin, Ancient Greek, and Classical Chinese. It has a small presence (probably comparable to Esperanto or Yiddish), but it's still alive. If you write in Sanskrit, you can win one of India's most prestigious literary awards in India. I often wonder when I watch शुद्धिकौमुदीकक्ष्या - १. An old guy reads a lecture in Sanskrit for 40 minutes and more than 12000 people come to watch and listen to him.

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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby taghiyea@gmail.com » Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:40 pm

Saim wrote:I'd say that if you must get a tattoo in a language you don't understand, surely it makes more sense to try to find a phrase that already exists in the language rather than trying to translate an English idiom?


Thanks for your reply. That was exactly my purpose in asking this question - identifying what is a phrase in sanskit that gives the same or similar meaning that makes sense, rather than translating it word by word from English. I appreciate this is a forum for people with in-depth knowledge on the subject matter or those who want to gain it so I'm sure this question can create many additional points, some of which you have brought up and I appreciate that. But all I'm trying to do here is identify a phrase that would make sense in sanskit, rather than going into a lot of semantics :)
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby taghiyea@gmail.com » Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:45 pm

verdastelo wrote:
taghiyea@gmail.com wrote:To sum up, I'm trying to find a translation that would carry the same message as the Latin "Carpe Diem". Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I wish I could help but I cannot even get my declensions right. To make matters worse, I don't think I understand "Carpe Diem". Saim's suggestion makes sense. Unless you really want it, it's better to find an established phrase in Sanskrit.

Image

Thanks for your reply! Indeed, I've been looking for an established phrase in Sanskrit - sorry if it wasn't clear from my message. I wonder if there is any phrase that carries that meaning? Thanks.
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby Saim » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:11 pm

verdastelo wrote:I would just add "almost". In the 2011 census, 26,821 people (page 15) claimed to be native speakers of Sanskrit. ;)


Sure, perhaps there's a handful of people who grew up using it at home. I don't think they'll have any sense of grammaticality in Sanskrit, though. I don't think the people who claimed to be native speakers of Sanskrit are using the same definition of the term as I am.

In any case, going on Census data alone we would conclude that Kiev is a primarily Ukrainian-speaking city and there are hardly any Urdu speakers in Lahore, which we know isn't the case.
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby dampingwire » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:30 pm

taghiyea@gmail.com wrote:I am looking to get a tattoo in [insert language I don't know]

I've never, ever heard of anyone ever getting a tattoo done in a language they don't understand only to later have a native speaker explain to them why it doesn't mean what they think it means.

taghiyea@gmail.com wrote:To sum up, I'm trying to find a translation that would carry the same message as the Latin "Carpe Diem". Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I have no immediate suggestions other than "don't go for a literal translation" and "don't trust anything you find on the internet". Whatever you do settle on, I'd suggest running it by someone versed in Sanskrit (or whatever) and asking them "I'm thinking of using दिनं गृहाण as a tattoo, can you tell me what it means." Don't give them any clues, just get them to tell you what it really means and any cultural context behind it. 

Perhaps a henna tattoo might be safer?
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby verdastelo » Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:50 am

Saim wrote:In any case, going on Census data alone we would conclude that Kiev is a primarily Ukrainian-speaking city and there are hardly any Urdu speakers in Lahore, which we know isn't the case.


That could be because both the Ukrainian and Pakistani census officials don't collect data on second and third languages. So at first glance, the data does seem counterintuitive. Kiev without Russian and Lahore without Urdu.

A quick look at the 2001 Ukrainian Census does tell you that "Украинский язык считали родным 92,3% населения области" (Ukrainian is the mother tongue of 92.3% of the population in the region). The region in question in Kiev. But there is no data on bilingualism. Also, while the census data (when?) from Pakistan shows that 75.23 percent of people in Punjab speak Punjabi as their mother tongue, it's silent on how many of those Punjabis are bilingual (Punjabi and Urdu).

The Indian census, however, paints a more detailed picture. On perusal of the first file in C-17 POPULATION BY BILINGUALISM AND TRILINGUALISM (row 8665), you learn that out of 24821 native Sanskrit speakers, 900 speak Bengali as a second language. Other popular second languages include: Hindi (12221), Marathi (1934), and English (1347).

Saim wrote: I don't think they'll have any sense of grammaticality in Sanskrit, though.


Absolutely agree. Other than a handful of exceptions, that must be the case for the majority of our Sanskrit speakers. Vedic Sanskrit had died when the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were being composed. And recently I read that Panini considered Vedic and Epic Sanskrit to be two separate languages. The Sanskrit that I see around me is highly simplified, probably akin to Latin after the Renaissance. There are almost no complex constructions and a lot of words are borrowed from Indian languages and English.
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby vonPeterhof » Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:45 am

verdastelo wrote:A quick look at the 2001 Ukrainian Census does tell you that "Украинский язык считали родным 92,3% населения области" (Ukrainian is the mother tongue of 92.3% of the population in the region). The region in question in Kiev.

A nitpick, but the Kiev region specifically excludes the city of Kiev, which is a separate administrative unit.
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Re: Translate "Cherish the Day" to Sanskrit

Postby verdastelo » Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:03 am

vonPeterhof wrote:
verdastelo wrote:A quick look at the 2001 Ukrainian Census does tell you that "Украинский язык считали родным 92,3% населения области" (Ukrainian is the mother tongue of 92.3% of the population in the region). The region in question in Kiev.

A nitpick, but the Kiev region specifically excludes the city of Kiev, which is a separate administrative unit.


Thank you! I tripped over the name. My bad!
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