Persian: Welsh is closer to Persian than it is to English

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by seitt, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    How can I express this idea, please?
    “Welsh is closer to Persian than it is to English.”

    This is because both Welsh and Persian are Eastern Indo-European languages, while English is Western Indo-European.

    Best wishes, and many thanks,

  2. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I can't help you with the translation but the statement is not true. Celtic (eg. Welsh) and Germanic (eg. English) languages belong to the centum branch of Indo-European, which, for the most part, is western Indo-European; Persian belongs to the satem branch, which, generally speaking, is eastern Indo-European.
  3. seitt Senior Member

    Wolverine9, you and I are using two different methods of categorization which are not in contradiction with one another.

    Anyway, we can argue about this till the cows come home - I'd still like to know the Persian for “Welsh is closer to Persian than it is to English.”
  4. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    ا﴿زبان﴾ ولزي بيشتر فارسي است تا انگليسي
    ا﴿زبانولزي به فارسي نزديك‌تر است تا انگليسي
    Also take a look here, please.
  5. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks, truly excellent.

    Re ا﴿زبانولزي به فارسي نزديك‌تر است تا انگليسي, does the meaning change if we say ا﴿زبانولزي به فارسي نزديك‌تر است از انگليسي?
  6. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    As far as I know, it would be grammatically incorrect that way.

    I am curious about what method of linguistic categorization you are using that places Welsh in an eastern group closer to Persian than to English. The Celtic languages are much closer to the Germanic languages than the Indo-Iranian languages in all the ways I'm aware of.
  7. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    I'm agree with eskandar. I have not heard so even in colloquial too.
  8. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks to all.
    This is simply not true – such myths are spread by those who are intent on denying the uniqueness of the Celts because they would like to see the Celts disappear from the world - certainly, enough attempts have been made at this over the last five hundred years.

    Goebbels may not have said it, but he put into practice the dictum, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Sadly, we Celts have suffered greatly from this. Don't misunderstand me: I'm not blaming anyone who has contributed to this thread - most people who say these things are perfectly innocent, it's the source that is the problem.

    If you apply Grimm's Law to Welsh and the Celtic languages, it becomes crystal clear that they belong to the eastern branch of the Indo-European family.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  9. darush Senior Member

    ولزي به فارسي نزديك‌تر است از انگليسي

    به نظر من از لحاظ دستوری غلط نیست، فقط به شیوه ی فارسیِ قدیم است والبته معنیِ آن هم ممکن است فرق داشته باشد. شکل امروزیِ آن اینست
    1.ولزي از انگليسي به فارسي نزديك‌تر است
    2.ولزي به فارسي نزديك‌تر است تا انگليسي

    2. English ________Welsh___Farsi



    and maybe

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  10. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    There's no need to make comparisons to the Nazis and invoke Godwin's Law here. I hardly think something universally accepted by linguistics can be called a "myth," and it is precisely with the use of Grimm's Law that the Celtic family has been classified as a Centum, Western Indo-European language. Furthermore, the idea that all serious linguists the world over, including those of Celtic backgrounds themselves and those who celebrate the uniqueness of the Celts and the Celtic languages, are all embroiled in a global conspiracy to wipe Celtic peoples off the face of the earth, simply because they acknowledge that the Celtic languages are more closely related to the Germanic languages than to eastern Indo-European languages, is inane. Now, it is true that Celtic languages share many features with eastern I-E languages that they do not share with western ones, and some scholars have proposed early historical contact between Celtic languages and eastern I-E languages as a possible explanation. (There are also many features shared between Celtic languages and Italic languages, leading some to propose an Italo-Celtic group). However, the far more important point here is that stating that the Celtic family is closely related to the Germanic family does not deny the uniqueness of the Celtic languages any more than stating that Armenian may be closely related to the Indo-Iranian languages denies the uniqueness of Armenian, say, or Persian. It is with this issue that I take most umbrage, because it is frankly unscientific to think of things that way, and linguistics is a science. It's a bit like saying that zebras can't be classified in the Equus genus along with horses and donkeys because that would deny the uniqueness of zebras. The Indo-European classification scheme is a way to understand the historical relationships between languages; it is not a value judgment, nor does it reflect on culture.
  11. seitt Senior Member

    1. You invoke the Centum classification, but that is hotly disputed by many linguists - it is most certainly not universally accepted amongst them.
    2. It is precisely Grimm's law which shows up the difference between the Celtic languages and the Germanic languages. E.g. 'derakht' (Persian) and 'derwen' (Welsh) versus 'tree' (English) and so on. And what about Persian khwāhar and Welsh chwaer? I should mention that Welsh ch = Persian خ
    3. There is every reason to believe that Celtic languages originate from the east - Galatia, with its chief city in Ankara, was home to speakers of a Celtic language, Galatian. All attempts to trace back the Celtic languages end up in the east, whether in Galatia or further to the north in the area around the Ukraine.
    4. Given the number of massacres Welsh, Scottish, Irish and other Celtic peoples have been subject to (very similar to the sufferings of the Native Americans and countless other victims of imperialism around the world), comparisons with the Nazis are highly relevant. And I didn't invoke Godwin's law - you did.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  12. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    I'm a Celt, and I don't know whether we're unique or not (I should doubt it); I do know however that inserting (ethnic) politics into linguistics is never a good idea.
    Irish is much closer to languages like English, Latin and other Western European tongues than it is to Persian; that is beyond scientific dispute.
  13. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    The general consensus among scholars is that Celtic languages are more similar to other western IE languages, such as Latin or English, than they are to eastern ones like Persian, regardless of whether the centum/satem classification system is used or not; however, it appears that after the breakup of proto-IE, the Celtic people may have remained in contact with the eastern IE speakers more so than other western IE language speakers did, which would explain why some similarities are found between Celtic and eastern tongues. So Welsh may be closer to Persian than English is, but it's still closer to English than it is to Persian.

    Galatia was founded by the Gauls, a Celtic people, in the 3rd century BC. They expanded from central Europe to eastern Europe and the Balkans, thereafter settling in Anatolia. Other IE peoples, such as Hittites and Greeks, were already inhabiting Anatolia prior to this time. The Celtic presence in these eastern areas is much later than the breakup of proto-IE c.3000 BC. Thus, it doesn't support the claim that Celtic tongues are eastern IE.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  14. Martin78 Member

    It is of course a linguistic fact that Celtic languages are closer to both Romance and Germanic languages than either is to Indo-Iranian languages. Being fluent in two Celtic languages and having studied both Celtic philology and general philology, I can say that there are about as many linguists agreeing with seitt as there are scientists who would agree that the earth is flat. It's a quite simply a non-issue. What is more, I have never heard anyone who actually is Celtic suggest that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012

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