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Similarities between Slavic languages and Indo-Aryan languages.

I've noticed similarities between Russian and Urdu (my mother tongue). Some of the parallels are striking, and others are less convincing:

FIRE: ого́нь (aagon) - آگ (aag)

RUN: бе́гать (begat) - بھاگنا (baagna)

LIVE: жить (jeet) - جینا (jeena)

DRINK: пить (peet) - پینا (peena)

DRY: сухо́й (sukhoi) - سوکھا‏‎ (sukha)

LIFE: жизнь (jizn) - زندگی (zindagi) or جیون (jivan)

DEATH: смерть (smert) - موت (maut)

DIE: умере́ть (umeret) - مرنا‏‎ (marna)

HUNDRED: сто (sto) - سو (sau)

FOUR: четыре (chetirye) - چار‏‎ (chaar)

TEN: де́сять (desyat) - دس (das)

HONEY: мед (myod) - مدھو (madhu) (this is a less often used word for honey, I think it is more common in Hindi)

LOW: ни́зкий (nizkiy) - نیچا (nicha)

ANIMAL: животное (jivotnoe) - جانور (jaanver)

WIFE: жена́ (zhena) - zan (rare Persian-origin word)

THE SUFFIX -'LESS' as in 'helpless' exists in Russian as the prefix 'bez' and in Urdu/Hindi as the prefix 'be.' E.g. In Russian, 'lifeless' is bezjisneni' and in Urdu it is 'bejaan'

(There are definitely plenty of examples I'm forgetting here!)

The similarities between Russian and other Indo-Aryan tongues seem even more extensive. The Sanskrit word यभति (yebhati) means 'to copulate' and the Russian vulgar verb еба́ть (yebat) means more or less the same thing.

And think of the Sanskrit word 'Himalaya.' 'Hima' - Zima (winter in many Slavic languages) and 'laya' - lezhat (lay or lie). The Himalayas are the place where winter lies...

Urdu is like Hindi, but with much of the Sanskrit vocabulary exchanged for Persian or Arabic words, so I guess Hindi would have more similarities with the Slavic languages?

There seem to be a few similarities between Indo-Aryan and Germanic languages, e.g.

Leiche (leishe) in German means corpse, and the Urdu word for corpse is 'laash.'

Decken in German means to cover, and the Urdu word to cover is 'dakna.'

Better in English means better (of course haha), and the Urdu word for better is 'beter.'

To tie in German is 'binden' and in Urdu it is 'baandna' - we also have the English words 'bind/bond/band.'

But Slavic languages have much more in common with Hindi/Urdu/etc.

I know they're all meant to be from Proto Indo European, but it's hard to believe until you see little connections and parallels like that.

Hope someone found this cool, haha. I kind of do.

July 16, 2017


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I'm not a linguist, but I've read that it is important to compare not the words as they appear today, but to follow their history.

Among the similarities that "seem" to appear today, there may be many false friends.

So you really have to find out what the words were several centuries ago, the shifts in pronunciation and meaning they took over time, and only if they are similar then, too, then they really belong together.

July 16, 2017


Haha nor am I! These are just casual observations which have caught my attention. But when parallels crop up repeatedly where both the sounds and the general meanings of the words match, I don't know whether to dismiss them all as accidental cognates anymore.

July 16, 2017


That's really interesting, thanks for sharing. Etymology is a truly fascinating study.

July 16, 2017


Ah that's what I like to hear!

July 16, 2017


this is interesting! i have nothing to add to this but thanks for sharing it!

July 16, 2017


wish I had more to add to it too - I know I'm missing something...

July 16, 2017


It is true that Hindi has more similarities with Slavic languages than Urdu because Urdu has many words from Arabic, which is not an Indo+European language. However Persian is also an Indieuropesan language.

July 17, 2017


I overlooked that. That makes sense - 'zan' being a Persian word, after all.

July 18, 2017
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