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leibnizpascal t1_iv6p4z3 wrote

Ohh I see, but being a native Hindi(said to be indo Europe) speaker I am pretty sure i won't understand even a word from german(Was making my way through learning Russian but hardly found any word that was close to its Hindi counterparts).

Whereas if i listen to kannada, which is a South Indian language (which is shown as Dravidian language)....i can pick words here and there.


artaig t1_iv7jwwc wrote

Yes you will, if you are trained. The idea of grouping languages came exactly because of English and Germans encountering Sanskrit and Hindi and figuring out they were related. Name-Naam, Mutter-Maata, Vater-Pita,...

Even Western Classical languages:

Maharani = mega regina


ferrel_hadley t1_iv6qg8o wrote

People often do not understand other dialects of their own language.

In terms of individual words, languages will often take loan words from other languages, so for example Turkish has a lot of Persian words as the ruling class used to speak Persian. Or English is something like 1/3 loan words from French due to the ruling class speaking it. But if you go to pre Norman English (Anglo Saxon) it is much closer to early forms of Dutch (Friesian).

This is why when you have ancient forms of languages you can see more clearly the connections.

Also with Indo European the languages likely started to split about 6000 years ago when the various people migrated east towards India and Iran and west into Europe. So there is a huge amount of time for the languages to diverge. The similarities are in the shortest and oldest words, words for things like father, mother that kind of thing.


thermidorthelobster t1_iv9j4go wrote

That makes sense. My native language is English and I speak a bit of German, but I can understand written modern Dutch a lot better than Medieval English.


DurgaThangai69 t1_iv93a3i wrote

That's mostly because kannnada has taken loaned some words from Hindi


vacri t1_iv9j68w wrote

Check out this infographic for a more visceral sense of the family. The word for 'two' is similar across most of the indo-european family. Obviously not all words are like this, but it's an interesting graphic.

Another example of how a family is related but not mutually intelligible is that the English "black" and the French "blanc" ('white') come from the same origin - an older word referring to stuff left over after a fire. The English branch took this to mean charcoal, and the French branch took this to mean ash.


ofufnfighskfj t1_ivd4tz0 wrote

Doesn’t it make more sense that French “blanc” is related to English “blank” not “black”


vacri t1_ivdxvit wrote

Blank is a later 'forking' of the word, coming to English via French.


azaghal1988 t1_iv9dv1x wrote

It's similarities in very "basic" words for something as far removed as Hindi and German.

Things like family relations are often only a few sound-changes removed P<>V (sound like F) i <> a

Vater (Father) vs. Pita

even with only the change of i<>a you're very close to the latin "pater".


There are other things, like the indian word "Raj" being very similar to it's latin translation "Rex".


polite-pagan t1_iv9fzvm wrote

If you are really a native Hindi speaker, then the words you might understand in Kannada are all Sanskrit loanwords in Kannada.


leibnizpascal t1_ivawom5 wrote

Yeah while most are there are words which are like extensions or short form of certain Hindi or north Indian language words.


geaddaddy t1_ivau609 wrote

Here is an example. I think that there is a dance called the saptapadi, is that right? Done at marriages, and meaning seven steps.

In Latin the root septa means seven and pedes literally means feet but the root is used in lots of words to refer to walking or stepping.


leibnizpascal t1_ivawgcx wrote

Yeah while that's true, the Malayalam(which is yet another Dravidian language) for steps is "padikal"(which also seems to come from the same word padi).

Honestly I am still not convinced with this whole language grouping. Maybe i have to read into the links that people in other comments have shared.


Nafetz1600 t1_iv6v30s wrote

Correct me if I'm wrong: The Sounds that the languages use should be similar so you can write a the sound of a german word in Hindi.