Persian and European Languages: Indo-European Roots

Swettenham

Senior Member
U.S.
I think there was a problem with my previous post. I would like to know if anyone could help me compile a list of words that demonstrates strong links between English, Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and Farsi.

I've started it a bit myself:

Daughter: Dokhtar
Father: Pedar
New: Now
Six: Shish
Seven: Haft
star: Sitareh
Tooth: Dandoon
Two: Do
You: To
 
  • Swettenham

    Senior Member
    U.S.
    Hi, thanks for your input, but I searched the internet and didn't find what I'm looking for, including the side you suggested, Outsider (though it did include the cognate for "month"). I am looking not for an explanation of the Indo-European family, but a simple list of comparative vocabulary. Almost all the Farsi-English dictionaries I have found list Farsi entries in Arabic script, and the only one that lists them in the Latin alphabet has only a small number of entries. In any case, I don't want to go guessing my way through a dictionary. I'd rather someone knowledgeable either contribute more words to this list or tell me of a site that has just such a list!

    Thanks.
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    Here is more:
    Wind (Fre:vend): Baad
    Who (Fre:qui): Ki
    Month: Maah
    Moon: Maah
    Name: Naam
    Is (Fre:est): Ast
    Nine (Fre:neuf): Noh
    Foot (Fre: pie): Paa
    Kiss (Ita:bacio): Busse(h)
    Dead (Fre:mort): Morde(h)
    Ten (Fre:dix): Da(h)
    Key (Fre:cle'): Klid
    Bad: Bad
    Lip: Lab
    Chin: Chane(h)
    What (Ita:che): Che
    That (Fre:que): Ke
    Door: Dar
    Mother: Maadar
    There are more. Especially in Kurdish language I see a lot of similarities.

    Regards
    Tisia
     

    Lugubert

    Senior Member
    It would be easier for us to pick good examples if you told us the purpose of your question. If it is an important part of a large assignment, you should take a week and learn the alphabet.

    In the process, be aware of loans (like afsar for officer) and false friends (Eng = P bad is just a coincidence).

    Anyway, how about

    Horse P asb Latin equus (Sanskrit ashva)
    Band P band Ger Band Fre bande Swe band etc etc
    Fairy P pari Swe fe
    Five P panj Welsh pump Lat quinque Gre penta
    Piss (n.) P peshab (ab=water) Swe piss

    And this is just from a very casual look at the first three letters of a beginner's Persian wordlist.
     

    DrLindenbrock

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Yoke = Yugh (Fr. Joug, It. Giogo) (this is marvelous, if it is truly a cognate and not a coincidence...)

    French Cent, Latin Centus vs. Persian Sad (probably an N before the final dental consonant disappeared sometime)

    Also, Khodâ = God is similar to Germanic languages (God (eng.), Gott (German) (/g/ and /x/ sounds are often seen to be related etymologically)

    Cow = Gâw
    Warm = Garm
    Mouse = Mush

    Ps just a little correction, that I allow myself to do because we are in a languages forum so we must seek perfection....in French wind = vent.....a T and not a D....in any case, it is silent....

    :)
     

    mansio

    Senior Member
    France/Alsace
    In vent the "t" is silent but it comes from Latin ventus where it is not silent at all.
     

    Swettenham

    Senior Member
    U.S.
    It would be easier for us to pick good examples if you told us the purpose of your question. If it is an important part of a large assignment, you should take a week and learn the alphabet.

    In the process, be aware of loans (like afsar for officer) and false friends (Eng = P bad is just a coincidence).
    Hi Lugubert. THis is purely for personal interest, because I'm fascinated both by Indo-European roots and Persian history. And you're right about false cognates and loan words. I hope that no one will post suggestions unless they have evidence that the word actually came from the same Indo-European origin (check a dictionary or other source on etymology).

    Dr Lindenbrock, "yoke" is not a coincidence :) THe Hindi word is "yoga," which you may recognize.

    Does anyone know a cognate for "right" or "regal?" In Hindi "king" is something like "raja," so I think it may be similar in Farsi. Also, the Zoroastrian priestly caste were called the Magi, which is related to English "might" and Latin "magnus." Has a form of this root survived into modern Farsi? What is the word for "mother?"
     

    konungursvia

    Banned
    Canada (English)
    I agree that the number five is key in such comparisons. Even Polish has something sounding like "peench", similar to Greek pent and Hindi panch.
     

    Lugubert

    Senior Member
    Swettenham said:
    Does anyone know a cognate for "right" or "regal?" In Hindi "king" is something like "raja," so I think it may be similar in Farsi. Also, the Zoroastrian priestly caste were called the Magi, which is related to English "might" and Latin "magnus." Has a form of this root survived into modern Farsi? What is the word for "mother?" [...] Is "Khod/God" not a coincidence? I have heard that "Good" is "Khoob." Is there a relation there?
    'God' xudaa is compared to Sanskrit words beginning with swa-, so a link to God/Gott/God/gud... seems to be less probable. 'Good' xuub in Persian and Urdu come from Zend hvaapaao, and can be compared to Sanskrit su-apas, while for 'good' a PIE ghedh- is proposed: the x from a prefix, the g- belongs to the root. Thus probably no connection.

    (I prefer 'x' for the scraping, because Hindi/Urdu has a kh, and it's boring to invoke the underlining kh for contrast.)

    Tisia already brought you mother: maadar.

    I suppose you are not a chess fan. (Swedish: schack.) The normal Persian king is the shah, which goes back a very long time (to at least ca. 500 BCE). In a dictionary you'll find the loan raaja, and I think it is possible that riiha 'king, prince, emperor' is inherited. The r- king seems to be absent from Slavic and Germanic languages, if you exclude loans.

    I find nothing in modern Persian looking like it had developed from the Old Persian magush 'member of a priestly caste', but then again I don't know how ancient -g- or -sh- are supposed to behave.
     
    I think there was a problem with my previous post. I would like to know if anyone could help me compile a list of words that demonstrates strong links between English, Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and Farsi.

    I've started it a bit myself:

    Daughter: Dokhtar
    Father: Pedar
    New: Now
    Six: Shish
    Seven: Haft
    star: Sitareh
    Tooth: Dandoon
    Two: Do
    You: To
    In Spanish:
    Daughter: Dokhtar = Hija
    Father: Pedar = Padre
    New: Now = Nuevo
    Six: Shish = Seis
    Seven: Haft = Siete
    star: Sitareh = Estrella
    Tooth: Dandoon = Diente
    Two: Do = Dos
    You: To = Tu
     

    Swettenham

    Senior Member
    U.S.
    'God' xudaa is compared to Sanskrit words beginning with swa-, so a link to God/Gott/God/gud... seems to be less probable. 'Good' xuub in Persian and Urdu come from Zend hvaapaao, and can be compared to Sanskrit su-apas, while for 'good' a PIE ghedh- is proposed: the x from a prefix, the g- belongs to the root. Thus probably no connection.
    That's what I thought. My dictionary tells me that Germanic "Good" is actually related to "gather" and "together," from the root "ghedh--to unite, join, fit." "God" is related to "giddy," from the root "gheu--to call, invoke."

    lugubert said:
    I suppose you are not a chess fan.
    THat's right. "Checkmate" means "the king is dead." So, half of it is from an Indo-European root. ;)

    Anyway, as to "right" and "regal," the "r- king" form actually did survive in Proto-Germanic (German: "reich"; Old English: "rice--realm"). But the basic meaning of the root "reg" related to "right" more than to "king." Does the Farsi word for "right" also not carry this root?

    lugubert said:
    I find nothing in modern Persian looking like it had developed from the Old Persian magush 'member of a priestly caste', but then again I don't know how ancient -g- or -sh- are supposed to behave.
    It's a shame, considering the illustrious history of "Magi." It's the root of our word "magic." But actually, I have to correct my previous statement: "Magush" is related to "might," "may," "machine," and "main," but not to "magnus."
     

    Lugubert

    Senior Member
    THat's right. "Checkmate" means "the king is dead." So, half of it is from an Indo-European root. ;)
    "Mate" is also from an IE root. With a negation in front, a-mrt, we get immortal etc. Persian marg, North Kurdish (Kurmanci) mirin 'death' are perhaps also from *mrt-. K(urmanci) Ma/pa/bro/sis aren't very transparent, but mak/bav/bira/xwîşk don't seem to be terribly far away from most other IE kinship terms.

    From Tisia's list, adding Swedish and Kurmanci (some K. words may be alternatives to more commonly used borrowings etc.):

    Wind (Fre:vent): Baad Swe vind K ba
    Who (Fre:qui): Ki Swe vem K kî, all of them I think from PIE *kwo-
    Month: Maah Swe månad K meh
    Moon: Maah Swe måne K mang
    Name: Naam Swe namn K nav
    Is (Fre:est): Ast K e
    Nine (Fre:neuf): Noh Swe nio K neh
    Foot (Fre: pie): Paa Swe fot K pê
    Kiss (Ita:bacio): Busse(h) Swe kyss, puss K paç
    Dead (Fre:mort): Morde(h) Swe död K miri
    Ten (Fre:dix): Da(h) Swe tio K deh
    Key (Fre:cle'): Klid (Swe nyckel, but the musical clef = klav) K kilid
    Bad: Bad : no connection
    Lip: Lab Swe läpp K lêv
    Chin: Chane(h) (*genu- gives Swe kind 'cheek') K çene
    What (Ita:che): Che Swe vad K çi
    That (Fre:que): Ke (Swe vad; cf. Lat like quod, quis...) K ku
    Door: Dar Swe dörr K derî
    Mother: Maadar Swe moder (formal), mor (oldish/dialectal), mamma


    As a final (from me) remark, comparing randomly picked words won't always tell the true story of language relationships. A system of corresponding sounds will be more reliable for establishing true links, like if the pattern (for '10') Romance lgg. 'd', Germanic 't', German 'z' can be applied to other PIE (Proto-Indo-European) roots. It can. The pattern also works for for example PIE *dent- 'tooth': Fr dent, Swe tand, Ger Zahn, Pers dandān, K didan.

    If, additionally, grammars show similar features, we may conclude a "genetic" relationship. This is a very difficult field, though. Just think of how many noun genders there are in today's IE languages:

    Persian, English zero (or is that = 1?), Hindi, French, Swedish 2, German, Russian 3. (But Swedish has 4 different 3rd person personal singular pronouns, and there are some dialects where you still find 3 genders.)
     

    Swettenham

    Senior Member
    U.S.
    As a final (from me) remark, comparing randomly picked words won't always tell the true story of language relationships. A system of corresponding sounds will be more reliable for establishing true links, like if the pattern (for '10') Romance lgg. 'd', Germanic 't', German 'z' can be applied to other PIE (Proto-Indo-European) roots. It can. The pattern also works for for example PIE *dent- 'tooth': Fr dent, Swe tand, Ger Zahn, Pers dand?n, K didan.
    I guess this explains some things that confuse me. For example, according to my dictionary, Latin loqui, "to speak," comes from PIE tolkw-, "to speak," but English talk, despite being practically identical in form and meaning to the aforementioned root, is actually said to derive from PIE del-, "to recount, count." In other words, the experts must have decided that, tempting as it is to say that talk comes from tolkw, it wouldn't fit in with the consistency of changes. PIE "d" to English "t," on the other hand, follows the established pattern. But of course, couldn't there be exceptions to the rule?

    Also, as you say, "comparing randomly picked words" won't reveal much, which is why I didn't want to go guessing my way through a Farsi-English dictionary. I was counting on the fact that someone here would know a thing or two about this stuff!

    Well, I was hoping for a much longer list, but this one is fascinating as it is. Thanks for your help everyone!
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    Hi
    There are the words Kia (King, protector), Kian (kings) and Kiana (king but for female name). According to some "Kiana" stands for the four elements of life "Water, air, earth and fire".

    Regards
    Tisia


    Hi Lugubert.......... In Hindi "king" is something like "raja," so I think it may be similar in Farsi.........
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    As to Kurdish, I remember quite some words similar to Russian ones, while looking through a dictionary. Slavic languages are supposed to be closer to Iranian and Arian ones being from the Satem branch.
    Thanks, Tisia :) Are there even more similarities in Kurdish? Maybe I should start another thread!
    Those words I mentioned for the Persian similarities, their pronunciation in Kurdish is even closer to the other IE languages.
    Yes, as übermönch said, there are also similar words in Slavic and Kurdish languages. I am not sure but I think the reason goes back to before history when people escaped from Kurdish areas to Slavic-speaking areas due to attacks.

    Regards
    Tisia
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    (Kurmanci) ............
    I just want to mention that Kermanji is a bit different from the Kurdish languages spoken in Iran. Some times I even find it hard to understand someone speaking Kermanji.

    My mom is from Kermanshah (a province in W.Iran) and kermanshehi is very close to Persian. Once in Finland she had needed an interpreter. Many people don't know the difference between Kermanshahi and Kermanji. So from the translators' center, they had found her one who spoke Kermanji not Kermanshahi. When they had started speaking, my mom hadn't been able to understand any thing:)

    Tisia:)
     

    Swettenham

    Senior Member
    U.S.
    I found a useful Wikipedia page. The list there has several new Persian words-- could someone translate these words?

    PIE: *taron- "thunder" ENG: thunder; PER: tundar
    PIE: *men- "mind" ENG: mind; PER: mainy?hay
    PIE: *deru- "tree" ENG: tree; PER: deraxt
    PIE: *h3reg- "ruler" ENG: right, PER: rahst

    Here's a cumulative list so far with Latin, Greek and Sanskrit cognates where possible (could anyone fill in the ones I don't have?):

    Band: band (Ger: Band, Fre: bande, Swe: band)
    Brother: Baradar (Latin: frater, Sanskrit: Bhratr)
    Chin: Chane(h)
    Daughter: Dokhtar (Greek: thugater, Sanskrit: duhitr)
    Dead: Morde(h) (Sanskrit: mrta, Latin: mors, mort-).
    Door: Dar (Greek: thura, Sanskrit: Dvar)
    Eight: Hasht (Latin: octo, Skt: asta)
    Fairy: Pari (Swe: fe)
    Father: Pedar (Latin: pater, Sanskrit: Pitr)
    Foot: Paa (Sanskrit: pada, Greek: podi)
    Five: Panj (Grk: penta, Skt: pancan)
    Cow: Gâw
    Horse: Asb (Latin: equus, Sanskrit ashva)
    Is: Ast (Latin: est, Sanskrit asti)
    Key: Klid (Latin: clavis)
    Kiss: Busse(h) (Latin: basium)
    Lip: Lab (Latin: labium)
    Mother: Maadar (Sanskrit: matr, Latin: mater)
    Month: Maah (Latin: mensis, Sanskrit: masa)
    Mouse: Mush (Latin: mus, Sanskrit: mus)
    Name: Naam (Latin: nomen, Sanskrit: naman)
    Nine: Noh (Latin: novem, Skt: navan)
    New: Now (Latin: novus, Skt: nava)
    Piss: Peshab (ab=water) (Swe: piss)
    Six: Shish (Latin: sex, Skt: sas)
    Seven: Haft (Greek: hepta, Skt: saptan)
    star: Sitareh (Greek: aster, Skt: strbhis)
    Ten: Da(h) (Grk: deka, Skt: dashan)
    That: Ke (Lat: quid)
    Tooth: Dandan (Latin: dentis, Skt: dantam)
    Two: Do (Latin: duo, Skt: dvi)
    Warm: Garm
    What: Che (Latin: quid, Skt: kim)
    Who: Ki (Latin: qui, Skt: kah)
    Wind: Baad (Skt: vaataH, Latin: ventus)
    Yoke: Yugh (Latin iugum, Skt: yuj)
    You: To (Latin: tu, Skt: tvam)
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    Can you write down here those you don't know so that can translate them for you. I couldn't guess which ones yuo don't know:)

    Regards
    Tisia
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    Hi Swettenham
    rahst or raast means 'right', 'straight'. It is more used for the second one.
    tundar is the same as 'thunder' in English. Derakht or deraxt is equivalent to english 'tree'. But the mainyāhay which is translated as 'mind' is new to me as well. The common word for 'mind' is zehn or nazar. I haven't heard that word before.
    If this is not what you want, please tell me.

    Regards
    Tisia
     

    Swettenham

    Senior Member
    U.S.
    Hi Swettenham
    rahst or raast means 'right', 'straight'. It is more used for the second one.
    tundar is the same as 'thunder' in English. Derakht or deraxt is equivalent to english 'tree'. But the mainy?hay which is translated as 'mind' is new to me as well. The common word for 'mind' is zehn or nazar. I haven't heard that word before.
    If this is not what you want, please tell me.

    Regards
    Tisia
    Thanks a lot, Tisia. Sorry if I wasn't clear before; the reason why I asked for translation is because the definition given is the meaning of the PIE root, not necessarily the derivatives. Hence, the root "hreg- ruler" became "right" in English, which has little to do with "ruler." If I didn't know English, I might assume that "right" means "ruler." So I didn't want to jump to conclusions and assume that the Persian words meant the same as the English ones!

    Thanks to your help and others', this is a fascinating list we've compiled!
     

    Bienvenidos

    Senior Member
    USA
    Afghanistan/USA
    Hi everyone :)

    I haven't been able to log on lately: sorry. I agree with all of Tisia's comments (as far as the word for "mind", it's usually nezar, as in nezarit, which translates as your opinion, in your view, etc.). Let me know if you need any more help.

    Bienvenidos
     

    Alijsh

    Senior Member
    Persian - Iran
    Hi everybody,

    Do you have any list from verbs? I remember these for now:

    mordan (Afghans: murdan) - French: mourir
    dan - Fr: donner
    gereftan (Afghans: giriftan) - En: to grab (it has giraptan in middle Persian)
    budan - En: to be

    (Persian infinitives end in either dan or tan)

    ***
    I add:

    sotun - stone (It means pillar, column in Persian)
    aknun - German: nun (it has been also nun in Middle Persian)
    zânu - French: genou
    târik - dark
     

    roh3x2n

    Senior Member
    Fars
    Hi everybody,


    (Persian infinitives end in either dan or tan)

    ***
    I add:

    sotun - stone (It means pillar, column in Persian)
    aknun - German: nun (it has been also nun in Middle Persian)
    zânu - French: genou
    târik - dark
    Well, in German almost all verbs have the ending en and persian has something like ean or taan as you said.
     
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