Lithuanian Galbũt and Arabic Galiba

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Roel~, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Roel~ Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    I think that this is just a coincidence, because it's very unlikely that these words are related, but the coincidence is remarkable so I wanted to ask it anyway.

    Lithuanian is Indo-European and belongs to the Baltic languages and Arabic is Afro-Semitic and is not related to Indo-European languages, although this is true you have the words 'Galbut' in Lithuanian and 'Galiba' in Arabic. Galbut means: 'he can', if I am right (correct me if I am wrong because I am not completely sure) and Galiba means 'maybe'. The word 'maybe' also means 'can be' sometimes, in French for instance, maybe means 'peut-être' (literally: can be). I thought that it's remarkable how the first 4 letters are very similar: galb.. and I wondered if they are in some way related, if this is maybe a borrowing from one to the other or is this just a remarkable coincidence between these languages?
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I am not an expert on Lithuanian, but my understanding is that galbūt is a shortening for gali būti “it may be”.

    Arabic γāliban غالبا means “mainly, mostly, most probably”. It is the accusative of γālib “dominant”.

    Not much in common, is there?
  3. neonrider Member

    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    "Ashara" (a tear) or "Tikra" (real) in Lithuanian sounds quite Arabic as well. Same as "mushi" (a bug, a fly) in Japanese and "muse" (a fly) in Lithuanian or "mukha" (a fly) in Russian. Not much in common. Or the 3 sounds "JA, JU, JO" in Russian also are available in Japanese. Coincidence.

    I found one interesting one, but it is between two IE languages:

    Aug-ment (Eng. increase)
    Aug-int (Lit. to grow, to raise, to increase)

    Gerkle (Lit. throat) vs. gorge (Fr. throat)

    I still believe that Baltic languages are both Centum and Satem languages, thus intermediate or pan-european.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013

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