Sanskrit can cope with new vocabulary in very skillful and clever ways. It used old words in new ways. Vidyut means lightening, but it also does for electricity and electronics. Patram means leaf, but also means letter. Vidyut patram, electric letter, is also email. Spam is ‘undesired electric letters’. A Spam filter is ‘sieve for undesired electric letters’. When you say that in Sanskrit it still sounds like beautiful poetry. The language has been very good at adapting to modern usage as well.
It’s a highly inflected language. Every noun has to take a particular ending, which would show if there is one object, two objects, or more than two objects. It can also tell you the role of that word in the sentence: if it’s the subject, it takes a particular ending. If it’s the object, it takes another. If you want to say ‘with that thing’, ‘for that thing’, ‘from that thing’, ‘on that thing’, ‘of that thing’, it takes other endings. As endings can be singular, dual or plural, there are actually 24 different versions. Any noun can take 24 endings. And there are 28 different patterns that you need to be more or less on top of. So it’s 28 times 24 different ways of expressing a noun. Then there are hundreds of possible verb endings. It’s complicated. Panini reduced Sanskrit grammar to 4,000 handy rules. All you have to do is memorise these 4,000 handy rules and you’ve got it down pat.
Sanskrit has an alphabet. So after a little bit of hard work you can master it. It’s written in a beautiful script called Devanāgarī, which means ‘of the city of the gods’. If the gods ever had to write anything down, I’d be pretty sure they’d be writing it in Sanskrit, and that they’d be writing it in Devanāgarī.
‘My name is’ is a very nice example for newcomers to Sanskrit, because it’s very Indo-European. ‘My’ is mama, and ‘name’ is nama, and then you add your name to it. It’s easy, but there is a whole lot happening under the surface. Mama is first person singular genitive, one of the 24 ways of saying ‘I/we’. Nama is neuter nominative singular. That short ‘a’ ending is one of the 24 ways of saying name.