27 May 2012

Why Indo-Iranian languages are similar to Romance languages

This week, I decided to learn to count to ten in another language. So, I decided with Farsi (aka Persian) because I can already can count in Turkish which is similar to Arabic which is similar to Farsi. The strange thing is that when I started learning it, it reminded of Hindi instead of Turkish. Not surprisingly, they are both Indo-Iranian languages, along with Urdu. 

Hindi Writing In Front 
Of Cave Temple
Photo by Indi Samarajiva
One to ten in Farsi, Hindi and Urdu:

F - Farsi
H - Hindi
U - Urdu

Yek F / Ek H / Ayk U
Do F / Do H / Deo U
Se F / Tin H / Teyn U
Char F / Char H / Char U
Panj F / Panch H / Panech U
Shish F / Che H / Cheh U
Haft F / Sat H / Sat U
Hasht F / At H / Ateh U
No F / No H / Neo U
Da F / Das H / Des U

As you can see they're very similar. I think it's because most of those numbers originated from Sanskrit. I have also noticed that the French numbers (and other Romance languages) sound similar to Hindi as well.  

One to ten in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese:

F - French
S - Spanish
I - Italian
P - Portuguese

Un F / Uno S / Uno I / Um P
Deux F / Dos S / Due I / Dois P
Trois F / Tres S / Tre I / Três P
Quatre F / Cuatro S / Quattro I / Quatro P
Cinq F / Cinco S / Cinque I / Cinco P
Six F / Seis S / Sei I / Seis P
Sept F / Siete S / Sette I / Sete P
Huit F / Ocho S / Otto I / Oito P
Neuf F / Nueve S / Nove I / Nove P
Dix F / Diez S / Dieci I / Dez P
Urdu poem by 
Mir Gul Khan Nasir 
Photo by Zoraak Zagr 

I have also noticed that the word for 'you' in European languages sound similar to Hindi (and other Indo-Iranian languages). 


Tvam - One of the words for 'you' in Sanskrit
Tum - Informal 'you' in Hindi
Teo - 'You' in Urdu
Teme - 'You' in Urdu
To - 'You' in Farsi
Tu - Informal 'you' in Latin, French, Romanian and Portuguese
Ti - Informal 'you' in Italian
Tú - Informal 'you' in Spanish
Du - Singular 'you' in German
Thou - Archaic 'you' in English
ты (ty) - One of the words for 'you' in Russian

If Romance languages originate from Latin but are similar to Sanskrit that means Latin must have a Sanskrit origin. Latin is based on Greek and Ancient Greece (at one stage) conquered India. Also, the Silk Route brought Indian traders to Europe. That means there is a high chance of Romance languages having some Sanskrit origin. 

What do you think? Do Romance languages have an Indian origin? 

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