Scalar Motion

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Words that sound similar in different languages

Posted by ScalarMotion on August 23, 2008

I have always liked how some words, which when translated to an apparently totally different language, still sound or look similar. Take a look at some of these:

  • Name = ‘Naam’ in sanskrit/hindi/urdu
  • Path = ‘Path’: sanskrit, pronounced pəth
  • Mother = ‘Mata’: sanskrit, pronounced mätä
  • Serpent = ‘Sarp’: sanskrit
  • Man = ‘Manuj’: sanskrit
  • Saint = ‘Sant’: sanskrit
  • Bad = ‘bad’: urdu but it sounds slightly different and is used as a prefix
  • Star = ‘tara’ in hindi
  • Nose = ‘nasika’
  • Mouth = ‘mukh’
  • -ped- (suffix/prefix meaning foot, like in centipede, pedal) = ‘padh’: sanskrit
  • Divine = ‘divya’
  • Cruel = ‘krura’
  • Agnostic = Nastik (Nastik actually means athiest, but I’ll count it)
  • Saturday = ‘Shanivaar’ in Sanskrit. And ‘Shani’ means Saturn. ‘vaar’ is apparently ‘day’. Similarly, Sunday = ‘Ravivaar’ and ‘Ravi’ mean sun. Monday = ‘Somvaar’ and ‘Som’ means moon.
  • Cent (hundred) = ‘Shat’: pronounced shət with a soft ‘t’ at the end.
  • The counting number are also interesting. Though individually they do not sound very similar, but on the whole the similarities add up and become apparent. So, here is how one counts from 1 to 9 in sanskrit: (some of these gotten from this sanskrit website): Éka (one), Dvi (two), Trí (three), Catúr (four), pañcan (five), sás (six), saptán (seven), astan (eight), Návan (nine).

Cool, right?

Do you have some examples which beat these? Do mention them in the comments.

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Posted in Languages | Tagged: , , | 19 Comments »