Common words of Indo-European languages

General Reference Section

Compiled by Jayaram V

The Indo European Languages  numbering about 439, are a family of related languages. Of them 221 languages belong to the Indo-Aryan sub branch. It is believed that they were derived from a  common source or they shared a common history at some point in human history. These languages spoken in mostly Europe, Middle East, including the ancient Anatolia, and the Indian subcontinent, accounting for nearly 40% of the world population, or three billion people. Of the twenty largest languages spoken in the world, 12 belong to this group, namely, Spanish, English, Hindi, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, German, Marathi, French, Italian, Punjabi, and Urdu. These twelve languages alone account for nearly 2 billion speakers. There is a lot of speculation regarding how these languages came into existence and how they were diversified. The consensus opinion is that they might have been derived from a Proto Indo European language (PIE), which is not extinct. Historically, to understand the origin and diversification of these languages, the following are considered important: Vedic Sanskrit Mycenaean Greek Hittite Latin Ancient Gothic languages Ancient Avestan Ancient Lithuanian Ancient Slavonic Ancient Anatolian.

The following tables presents a comparative analysis of common words from various Indo European languages that suggest to their relationship and their possible common origin. The difference in the spelling is mainly do to the differences in the manner in which they are pronounced in each language. As the languages diversified and evolved, their sound systems also evolved and diversified, resulting in different speech sounds and ways of pronunciation.

Words of Common Origin from the Indo European Languages

Sanskrit Hittite Greek Latin English Armenian Tocharian Old Irish Lithuanian Albanian
mam ammuk eme memeis --manemua
tuvam - su tu thou du twe tu tu ti
tvamtuk se te thee k'ez ci -ttavety
kaskuis tis quis who?ov kuse cia kas kush
tat- to -that da te -tai-
pitar- pater pater father hayr pacer athair - -
matar- mater mater mother mayr macer mathair motina -
bhratar--frater brother elbayr procer brathair brolis -
svasar--soror sisterk'oyr ser siurseser-
duhitar-thugater--daughterdustrtkacer-dukter-
sunus-huios-son-soy-sunus-
gav--bousboscowkovkeuboguovs(Latv)-
asvas(Hier.Luw) asuwahipposequuseoh (OE )-yakweechasva, mare-
svan(Hier.Luw) suwana-kuoncanishoundsunkwenconsun-
hridkart-kardiacordheartsirt-cridesirdis-
janukenu

gonu

genu knee cunr keni glun - gju
darutarudoru-tree--daur (oak)drevo (OCS)dru
padpat(a)pod-ped-foototnpaiyye---
navasnewasne(w)osnovusnewnornuwenuenaujas-
na--nenot--nine-
astiestsiestiestisesteisestieshte
bharati- pherei fert bears bere paran berid - brings (BIE)
veda- (w)oide -wot gite -ro-fitir vestu (OCS) -
ekas-oi(w)os, 'alone'unusone--oinvienasnje
duvatwiduoduotwoerkuwidodudy
trayastri-treistresthreeerektreytritrystri
catarvas-tettaresquattuorfourc'orkstwercethairkesturikater
panca-pentequinquefivehingpiscoicpenkipese
sat-hexsexsixvec'skassesensigjasthe
sapta-heptaseptemsevenewt'nsuktsechtseptynishtate
asta-oktooctoeightut'oktochtastuonitete
nava- enne(w)a novem nine inn nunouidevyninede
dasa-dekadecemtentasnsakdeichdesimitdhjete
satam-hekatoncentumhundred-kantecetsimtas-
Abbreviation used for the closely related languages having the corresponding words: Luw= Luwian, Hier.Luw= Hieroglyphic Luwian, OE=Old English, Latv=Latvian, OCS= Old Church Slavonic

Some examples of shared Indo-Iranian words:

SanskritIranianMeaning
YajnaYasnaA sacrificial ceremony
hotarzaotrPriest
MitraMithraA divinity
AryaAirya (Ave.), Ariya (OP)A Nobleman
duhitrdugdarDaughter

Words of Sanskrit and English Languages That Sound Similar

SanskritEnglish
Matarmother
PitarFather
bhratarBrother
svasarSister
DuhitarDaughter
Nav (boat)Navy
Samasame
SiriCereal
ManuManu
Deva (daiva)Divine
GauCow
AsvahHorse
ThriThree
DantaDental
Palapolity
VasHouse
RtamRhythm
SantSaint
MatarMatter
ManahMind
NaNo
SarpaSerpent
Nava (boat)Navy
YogaYolk
GauCow
SantSaint
VidVideo

Words of Sanskrit and Ancient Egyptian Languages

SanskrtiEgyptian
SarpahAsar-Hapi (From the Greek Seraph)

Abbreviation used

OP= Old Persian
Ave=Avestan

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