World / Light

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by francisgranada, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. francisgranada Senior Member

    Hello World!

    Is there any similarity or etymolological affinity in your language between the words meaning "world" and "light/brightness/clear...", like in the following examples?

    Hungarian: világ
    Czech: svět
    Romanian: lume

    Light, brightness ...
    Hungarian: világosság
    Czech: světlo
    Romanian: lumină
  2. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Yes for Russian.
    Moreover, it is actually the same word свет /svet/ - light and world.
  3. francisgranada Senior Member

    Yes, also in Hungarian világ (world) can be used in some cases in the sense of light (without the formant -osság).
  4. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    World is mundo and light is luz in Portuguese, but we have dar à luz (lit. to give to the light), which actually means to give birth or to give rise.
  5. francisgranada Senior Member

    There is a similar expression in Hungarian: világra hozni (lit. "bring to world", but it can be interpreted also as "bring to light").

    There is something similar, though not the same, in some romance languages, too:

    sp. mundo, it. mondo (latin mundus)- world
    sp. & it. mondo (latin mundus) - clean, limpid, neat ...

    According to the dictionary of the Real Academia Española:
    mondo, da. (Del lat. mundus).
    1. adj. Limpio y libre de cosas superfluas, mezcladas, añadidas o adherentes.

    (I don't know if it is valid also for the Portuguese, Catalan, French ...)
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  6. bibax Senior Member

    I know nothing about Old Indian but I have found that loka (world) is somehow related to roka (light).
  7. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL, Sp-En mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    Just the same in French:
    world: le monde
    light: la lumière
    come to light: venir au monde
    (come to the world) / voir le jour (see the light)


    We don't have "monde" as an adjective but we have "immonde": filthy, revolting
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  8. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    The same in Portuguese, but the adjective mundo is not in current use, I am afraid. Its opposite, imundo, is a common word, though.
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Het licht zien vs. wereld in Dutch, but I do not think they refer to the same thing. We generally say: het levenslicht, the light of life.

    Mundus and English mundane: plain, common, but a link with the world or light? Don't think so.

    It is quite intriguing though. I wonder if anyone can find a trace in Germanic languages.
  10. bibax Senior Member

    In Latin mundus means:

    1. adj. clean, limpid, neat, elegant, ...;

    2. noun - primary meaning: outward, garb, habiliments, ... (e.g. mundus mulieris = ladies garb);
    - secondary meaning: world, universe, mankind;

    So mundus is not related to lux (lumen) and leoht (both from PIE root *lewk-).
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  11. Orlin Banned

    In Bulgarian they're related: свят = world and светлина = light.
  12. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:
    World: «Κόσμος» ('kozmos, masculine noun); Classical «κόσμος» ('kŏsmŏs, masculine noun)-->Adornment, adorning, ornament, order, good order, with obscure etymology (there are a few etymological suggestions for it: *ken-, fresh, new, young; *ghodh- (*ghedh-), to clinch, hold together, unite)
    Light: «Φως» (fos, neuter noun); Classical «φάος/φῶς» ('pʰāŏs [uncontracted]/pʰōs [contracted]); PIE base *bʰā-, light, lightning.
    So, the two are unrelated.
    We say «φέρνω στον κόσμο» ('ferno ston 'kozmo)-->to bring to the world with the meaning of giving birth. When someone says «φέρνω στο φως» ('ferno sto fos)-->to bring to the light he/she means to discover, make a new finding or bring out an information/truth hidden for a long time.
  13. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    (Not 'eis', Apmoy? That was the word I learnt in classical Latin.)

    I really wonder if anyone could find the etymology of the Slavic words. It is quite intriguing!
  14. bibax Senior Member

    The Protoslavic noun svět (= light) is from the PIE root *kweit- = white, to shine. Thus it is related to English white, Old English hwit. Note the s- vs. h- (satem/Slavic vs. kentum/Germanic languages).

    It seems that also Latin mundus and Greek kosmos meant originally something else than "world".
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks for the information. It seems quite strange though that the same word can then come to refer to the world, if we start from the basic meaning 'white' (or light).

    Kosmos: doesn't it refer to the fact that the Greek considered it decorated, perfectly ordered (think of cosmetics)? (Confirmed by
    Mundus refers to clean, elegant, I now learn at the same source, and as such kind-of calque of the Greek.

    But maybe, starting from that: could the white refer to the (perception of) perfection of the world ?
  16. francisgranada Senior Member

    That's also the intuition of mine. The answer is maybe somewhere in the book of Genesis ...
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Aha, a religious source... Not improbable. Have Slavic languages also been strongly influenced by religion? The 16th-century Bible translation - and the strong influence of the church in Western Europe - did influence Dutch (e.g., uniformity/ standardisation, lots of phrases, etc.).
  18. francisgranada Senior Member

    Yes, starting with the Old Church Slavonic, that was strongly influenced especially by the greek.
  19. francisgranada Senior Member

    Another curiosity:
    Slavic: svět (world), květ (flower), cvět (russian: colour)
    Hungarian: világ (world), virág (flower)

    I'm not sure now, but as far as I remember the world květ is related to svět, too (through "light", not as "world"). However, the word květ is rather "kentum" than "satem"... (of course, not all the *k changed to *s, but it's interesting.)

    The Hungarian világ (light > world) and virág (flower) are related to each other as they come from the same root.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  20. Selyd Senior Member

    In Ukrainian they're related: світ = world and світло = light.
  21. ancalimon Senior Member

    In old Turkic, it's superficially related. "OR" means highest, bright "YER YÜZÜ" means "face of earth, ground" (Yer: ground, earth Yüz: face) Also we have KOR (heart of fire, eternal fire) which was used to define the Sun as "Kor Göz" "the everlasting fire eye (ordered by Tengri)". Moon was the "Kör Göz" "the blind eye (ordered by Tengri)"
  22. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I thought it would be interesting to hear more about that from the EHL-foreros; so I copied Francis's message there. I now wonder whether anyone can detect any mistakes, or explain certain developments, etc.
  23. vianie Senior Member

    There's also a connection with the unmentioned word "saint", at least in Slavic languages: Czech - svatý, Slovak - svätý, Polish - święty, Ukrainian - святий, Russian and Belarusian - святой, Croatian - svet, Serbian - свети etc.
  24. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That refers to religious language then. So the basis of the word for 'world' could be religious, I guess...
  25. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    TAGALOG: World= Daigdig Light= Ilaw, Tanglaw,Liwanag,Sinag,(lesser degree) Sometimes "World" is translated in Tagalog as "Buhay" or life(in English).
  26. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So no resemblance at all...
  27. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    It is not necessary to change világ to világosság. First because the primary meaning of that word was "light", even the famous Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary of 1862 gives that meaning to the first place. Now I can remember only two examples of that meaning: szeme világa and the children song: Virágéknál ég a világ, sütik már a rántott békát... :D
  28. francisgranada Senior Member

    Of course. Also világtalan (blind, literally lightless).
  29. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I just wonder: is this word for 'world' also used when translating 'travel around the world'? If I understood well, it is mainly used in connection with bring to light (// bring to the world) in Rumanian. Of is it more general?
  30. francisgranada Senior Member

    In Hungarian yes. "Normally" világ is used in the sense of world, and light (as opposite to darkness) is "világosság". But the word világ still maintains the (original) meaning, i.e. light. There is also an other world for light in Hungarian: fény.
  31. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    But no other word for 'world', I guess then? What is the meaning of the [suffix ?] -ossag?
  32. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    No word for World. világ (light, world) > világ-os [noun>adjective, i.e.: bright, light] > világos-ság [adjective>noun, the German -keit, Dutch -heid] it's the same
  33. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Macedonian can be added...or maybe Japanese :confused:
  34. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Japanese doesn't fit that in.
    Unluckily, there is no relation between them...

    World:世界[sekai, lit. region of the world], 世の中[yo no naka, lit. inside the world, also used as noun, as in 世知辛い世の中じゃsechigarai yo no naka zya, what a troublesome world]
    Light, brightness:光[hikari, lit.shining; v. 光るhikaru to shine], 明るさ[akarusa, brightness, from adjective 明るいakarui bright, splendid]
  35. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Can we now really say that one word in some languages means both 'light' and 'the world'? I keep wondering whether one is not like a metaphorical meaning of the other (just wondering).main issue is: does the meaning depend on the context or not? if the world meaning only turns up in certain expressions, then I'd call the hypothesis of the double meaning in doubt...

Share This Page