Hindi is gaining popularity among Germans over the once popular Sanskrit, with more and more of them preferring India's national language as the best medium of communication with a large section of the Asian community.

“Hindi and Sanskrit are being taught in several cities of Germany, including universities in Heidelberg, Leipzig, Humboldt and Bonn, for a few decades now. But off late, there has been a reduction in the number of those wanting to study Sanskrit,” Ashutosh Agarwal, First Secretary of Indian Embassy, told PTI-Bhasha here.

The number of students in the Sanskrit section of the Department of Asian Language Studies in these universities used to be over 100 in one session, but has reduced to a maximum of 40 students since the last two sessions, Mr. Agarwal said.

“However, it must be kept in mind that the minuscule number of Sanskrit students still holds significance because of the low population of the country and also because all the students are generally Germans.”

Sanskrit gained popularity ever since English philologist William Jones translated Kalidas' Abhijnanasakuntalam in 1789, Werner Wessler, Professor of Hindi at the University of Bonn, said.