Topic: Words that are similar in natlangs

it is well known that there are several words in the different dialects that are very similar to the same words in natural languages. The word generator just gave me this example:

galin  adj
crazy; mad

This is very similar to Scandinavian. Swedish _galen_ "crazy; mad". I know that I have seen other such as _jug_ (yug) identical to slavic (russian and serbocratian at least) "south" as in "Yugoslavia". Another example is _hundur_ similar to Sw "hund" and I think identical to icelandic.

I wonder if there is some kind of list of these kinds of words? It would be interesting to try to list them if one wants to avoid them.

2 (edited by Un4givenOrc 2020-08-28 17:00:03)

Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

It's hard to say where is real borrowing and where is occasional coincidence. And we are short of specialists in Asian languages, from which some words could be borrowed too

aent SV tree < ent?
agon, auga SV eye < from germanic "auge"
dal, dâl (HORN, LOS) field, plain < from Germanic group (Tal, dal, dale)? Meaning is not the same, but related
dar- (SV, MERP) give < from Slavic "dar" (gift, present), "dariti" (make gift, donate)
darûk (LOS, SV) fool, darûkûrz "silly" < from Slavic "durak", "duren"?
dru (MERP, LOS) wood, tree < could be from both Scandinavian ("tre", "tree") and Slavic ("drevo", "drvo", "derevo")
dva (SV) two < already similar to its translation, this word is common for almost every Indo-European language, but Slavic is exactly "dva"
eitur (MERP) poison < 100% Icelandic
esh, esht (SV) be, exist < from Latin "est", Germanic "ist", Slavic "est' "?
fahr (SV) four < no comments
fanar (SV, MERP, HORN) lamp, lantern < Turkish "fener", Slavic "fenjer", "fonar' " - all from greek "phanos", "phanari"
fauldush (LOS, MERP, HORN) ivory < from Turkish "fildişi"?

to be continued...

alimant (SV) element < no comments
baum (SV, MERP) plant, herb; (HORN) seedling < German "baum" (tree)
furtun (LOS, SV, MERP, HORN) storm < Turkish "fırtına"

bak (SV) back, rear, behind < no comments

ghûlb (HORN, LOS) help < English

3 (edited by Un4givenOrc 2017-08-25 00:36:40)

Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

hambar (SV, MERP, HORN) store, stock, storehouse, to store < from Turkish "ambar" (also in Russian)
hnifur (SV, MERP) knife < already similar to translation, but literally from Icelandic (hníf, hnífur)
hundur (SV, MERP) dog < from Germanic "Hund" (compare with English "hound") - already mentioned
iz (SV) from < lit. from Slavic languages
jatagan (SV, MERP) sabre, scimitar < from Turkish "yatağan"
jug (SV, MERP) South < from Slavic languages - already mentioned
kafak (SV, MERP, HORN) skull < probably from Turkish "kafa" (head)
kafâz (all dialects) cage < probably from Turkish "kafes"
kala (LOS, SV, MERP) castle < Turkish "kale"
katran (SV, MERP) tar < Turkish
Kazan (SV, MERP) kettle, cauldron < from Turkish (also some Slavic languages)
kjaftur (SV, MERP) shout, scream < probably from Icelandic word meaning "jaws", "mouth"
kordh (SV, MERP) two-handed sword < probably from Tajik "kord" (knife)
krov (SV) blood < Slavic
kumash (SV, MERP) milk < from kumis (koumiss, kımız, qımız etc.) - Turkiс word for soured/fermented horse (mare) milk
kûmûr (SV, MERP) coal < Turkish "kömür"
kurf, kurv (LOS, SV) prostitute < from Slavic (specially Polish) "kurwa"

to be continued...

hîs (LOS) fast, quick < Turkish "hızlı" (probably accidental similarity)
kazorm (SV< MERP) barracks < Slavic "kazarma", German "Kaserne" < Italian "casa d'arme" (arm-house) or Spanish "caserne" (big house)

korb (MERP) raven < Latin "corvus"

4 (edited by Un4givenOrc 2018-02-28 00:24:53)

Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

lang-maush (SV, MERP) meat soup, broth < questionable resemblance to "Lamian" (Chinese simpl. 拉面, trad.: 拉麵; Kazakh "lagman") - meat soup made of very long noodle. But literal translation from Black Speech is "ill meat"

lopat (MERP) shovel < from Slavic "lopata"
madargon (SV, MERP) belladonna (plant) < obviously from "Mandragora" which is also from Nightshade family
mâl (LOS) yellow < actually from Quenya "malina", which is taken from Welsh. Should we count such borrowings too?
mamuz (SV, MERP) spur < Turkish "mahmur"
mon (SV) moon < no comments
mûk (SV) mold < from Greek "μούχλα" (translit.: mouhla"); maybe also from "μύκης" (translit: mykis, mykes) meaning "fungi", "mushroom"
nat (MERP) night < obviously from Germanic languages (the closest is "Natt" in Swedish and Norwegian)
noz (SV) knife < from Slavic "nož"
og (SV, HORN) eye < from Swedish "öga"
ognir (MERP) terror, horror < from Icelandic "ógn" (threat, horror)
ol (HORN) ale, beer < similar to English "ale", but closer to "øl" (Norwegian, Danish), Swedish "öl"
onrein (MERP) dirty < from Icelandic "óhreinn"
pam (SV, MERP, HORN) fruit < probably from Romance languages "pomo", "pomme" meaning "apple"
par (SV, MERP) money, (HORN) coin, also many derivatives < Turkish "para" with same meanings
paraun(d) (SV, MERP) parent < looks like it's translation perverted
rethr- (HORN) retreat < the same as above, "rejthar" (SV, MERP) is more perverted version I believe

to be continued...

pal (MERP, HORN), pall (SV) scimitar, hooked sabre < from Turkish "pala" (sword, scimitar)

purtok (SV, MERP, HORN) stick, staff, rod < Slavic "prut"?


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

sahat (SV, MERP, HORN) hour < Turkish "saat"
shagît (SV, HORN) arrow, also shaugit (MERP) < Latin "sagitta"
shakh (LOS, HORN) lord; (SV) master, leader, Sir < Persian "شاه" [šâh] (Shah, king)
shakh (HORN) champion, hero < same as above + Sanskrit "kshatra" (warrior)
shakîrr- (SV, MERP) to cut up, rip, unpick <  proto-Indo-European "sek-" (cut). Compare with Latin "seco", Slavic "sěč" (battle, to cut), "sekira" (axe)
shatul (LOS, SV, MERP, HORN) column, pillar, post, pole, peg < probably from Turkish "sütun"?
shaug-batar (SV) arrow rain < Latin "sagitta" (see "shagît" above)
shol (SV) Sun < Latin "Sol"
sjuk (MERP) sick < literally from Swedish

skût (LOS, SV, MERP, HORN) shield, buckler (HORN),
skût (LOS, SV, MERP, HORN) defense,
skûtg- (HORN) parry, fend off,
skûtog- (LOS, SV) parry, defend,
skûtûrz (LOS, SV, HORN) defensive < all from Proto-Indo-European "skeit" (shield, cover). Compare with Latin "scutum", Slavic "ščit", Irish "sciath" etc.

strizg (MERP, HORN) war < probably from Icelandic "stríð"
su (MERP) eye < maybe from Irish "súl"

to be continued...

6 (edited by Un4givenOrc 2018-01-08 22:14:32)

Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

tath (SV) tooth < common word for Indo-European languages (specially Old English "tōþ", Frisian "toth", Sanskrit दत् [dát])
tol (MERP) wire < probably from Turkish "tel" (wire, string, thread)
torb (MERP) peat < compare with Russian & Polish "torf", Turkish "turba"
trupp (SV, MERP) body of person < Slavic "trup" body (usually about dead)

vaj (MERP) oil, voj (SV, MERP) oil, grease < Hungarian "vaj" (butter) and other Finno-Ugric languages (Finnish "voi", Estonian "või", etc.)
val (MERP) wave < Slavic "val", "volna", "fala" - (sea) hush, water wave, roller

zakriv- (SV) to close < Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian) "zakrivati"
zigan (SV < ZF) gypsy < Slavic "cigan" < Greek "τσίγγανος" [tsigganos]
zund(um) (HORN) sand < already similar, compare with Dutch "zand"

znak (LOS) letter
znakat (LOS) to write
znakal (LOS) writer, scribe
znaku (LOS) alphabet
- all from Slavic word "znak" (sign)

zalbur (HORN) silver < German "silber" and Dutch "zilver"

trog (LOS, SV, MERP, HORN) market < Slavic "torg" (trade) ?


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

I found a pair of word that are similar. gul (MERP) "yellow" identical to Swedish for "yellow". fugul (HORN) "bird" quite similar to german "vogel" (v=f) and Swedish "fågel" (å=o).


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

Therefore "gul" will be also conneted to German "gelb" and much less obvious to English "yellow". I think this word appeared in dictionaries by mistake during translations and rewritings.
As for "fugul", it's actually written as "fulug", so I haven't noticed a similarity. Compare also with Quenya's "filik", so I will not mark it as "deprecated" word yet.

9 (edited by Un4givenOrc 2017-07-16 22:57:42)

Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

-lob (LOS) female-, she- < taken from Shelob as female suffix, but "Shelob" is just "she-web" in Old English. So, meaning is not the same, but it makes this borrowing from real language more stupid

hag, haglob (LOS) unpleasant man, woman  < from English "hag" (witch, old woman)
tere (SV) earth, ground, soil < Latin "terra"


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

How could I forgot this?

doraz (LOS, SV, MERP) gates < obviously from English "doors"


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

skessa (all) ugly woman, female troll < Icelandic "ogress"


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

jarn (n) MERP "iron", Swedish 'järn' (iron)


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

jabatâr (n) SV "talker", "snitch" < this one is interesting, while it is formed from Svartiska "jab-" (to speak) this derivative resembles Russian "yabeda" with exact meaning "snitch". However Russian word is also borrowed from Icelandic "embaetti" or German "Amt" with approximate meanings "post" (not mail), "office", "appointment", "official person", "officer" etc.
So "jabatar" could not be considered a borrowed word but opens interesting etymology.


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

That's interesting but I think it's just a coincident.

15 (edited by bjornaxen 2019-04-18 10:07:28)

Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

I just saw that LoS has the word 'traf' for meeting which similar to swedish "träff" of the same meaning. But 'träff' can also mean "to hit a mark". The primary meaning of the Svartiska word 'hogg-' means "to hit a mark" rather than "meeting". The standard Swedish word for 'meeting' is "möte" (with the verb "att möta").

16 (edited by Un4givenOrc 2019-04-17 22:13:08)

Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

Is the word hoit for "hunt" made from pro archery company name (Hoyt)?

rhetorical question


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

Svartiska 'bak' (behind) must be a mistranslation because it is the Swedish word for "behind"


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

tim-, timer, tîmor, etc. (all dialects) are from Latin "timor" (fear)


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

sadáuk (all) attack, assault < sardaukars from Frank Herbert's "Dune"?


Re: Words that are similar in natlangs

It turns out that about 50% of Svartiska and MERP words are just Albanian with little adaptation: https://www.reddit.com/r/tolkienfans/co … y_archaic/