English belongs to the Indo-European language family, of which Sanskrit is the oldest existing language. Here we will take a look at some English words and prefixes that are very similar to Sanskrit.
|karsharpan / karsha (coin)||cash|
|mukh (face)||Mouth (old english muth)|
|kapal (head)||as in per “capita”, captain, capital|
|akshi (eye)||occipital, occular|
|nasika||nose, nostril, nasal|
|danta (tooth)||dental, denture|
|janu||knee (french genou)|
|pad (feet)||pedicure, pedestrian, centipede|
|kon (angle)||octa-gon, penta-gon (8 angled, 5 angled etc.)|
|miti (measure)||metric, meter, measure (latin metiri)|
|gouh (earth)||geometry, geography (greek geos)|
|lok (place)||location, locus, locale|
|ek (one or same)||equal|
|dvi (two)||duet, dual, double, duo|
|tri (three)||three, triple|
|chatur (four)||quarter, quarternary, quadrate|
|sapta (seven)||septulets, septagon|
|ashta (eight)||eight, octagon|
|dasha (ten)||decagon, decade|
|shatam (hundred)||century, centipede (latin centum)|
|asti||ist, is (greek esti)|
|bandha (bind)||bind, bandage|
|iccha, isha (to wish)||wish|
|jan (produce offspring, born)||generate, genocide|
|kath (say, talk)||quote|
|madhya||middle, mediocre, moderate|
|dama (home)||domicile, domestic|
|kaal (time)||calendar (latin kalendae)|
|mruta (death)||mortal, murder, mortuary (latin mortalis)|
|raaj (king, rule)||rich, regal, regulate|
|sharkara||saccharin, sucrose, sugar|
|vak, vaacha||voice, vocal|
|veda, vidya (from vid) (knowledge)||wit, wise (from vid)|
The postfix ‘er’ in words indicates the occupation / action of a person or a thing. Same postfix is seen in English: teacher, farmer, worker, computer, looker, reader, cooker etc. indicate the occupation / action of the person or the thing.
Prefixes similar to Sanskrit are seen in English too. Example in Sanskrit, the prefix ‘a’ creates antonym as in mruta-amruta, karma-akarma, swacha-aswacha. In English too such prefix is seen as in – political – apolitical, theist – atheist, sexual – asexual etc.
The basic set of consonants common to most Indian languages have been categorized according to the source of those sounds (throat, palate, teeth, lips etc.) The 5 Varga (groups) are: क, ख, ग, घ, (ka, kha ga, gha, gn); च, छ, ज, झ, (ch, cha, ja, jha, yn); ट, ठ, ड, ढ, ण (T, Th, D, Dh, N); त, ठ, द, ध, न (t, th, d, dh, n); and प, फ, ब, भ, म (p, ph, b, bh, m). In each वर्ग (Varga) the last consonant is nasal. When an अनुस्वार (Anuswar) precedes a consonant, it represents the nasal sound of its Varga.
Thus the words: अंग (anga), संचित (sunchit), संथ (santha), अंड (aNDa), अंबा (amba).
Similar pronunciation is seen in English: anguish, puncture, anthropology, aND, ambiguity.
Nasal sound before hard D, T is pronounced as hard N: as in aNDrew, saiNT, saND, waND.
Nasal sound before soft d, t is pronounced as soft n: as in synthesis.
Nasal sound before before g is pronounced as: song, single, swing, anger.
Nasal sound before b, p is pronounced as m: as in amplify, symbiosys, simple.
Does English have its Roots in Sanskrit?
It has been hypothesized that the language of the ancestors of Indo-Europeans was a language older than Sanskrit; and it was the mother of all the Indian and European languages. This language was called Proto-Indo-European or PIE for short. This language was constructed based on the now existing languages. Thus the words in the Indian and the European languages have a root word in PIE. Sanskrit is an ancient Indo-European language and it is also nearest to PIE, thus we see the similarities between English and Sanskrit.
So what is PIE? Who spoke PIE? What literature was created in PIE? What oral traditions from PIE exist today? What songs from PIE are known? What inscription of PIE has been found? More on this in a later blog.