Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

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Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby MingShuo » Sun 31 May 2009 1:07 pm

Hey guys! I found this thing interesting.
I study Ancient Greek at school and I know a bit of Lithuanian/Latvian, because I learnt them on my own on-line.
I foudn two very interesting things:
in Latvian: "we eat" = mes edam.
well, in Ancient Greek the verb "I eat" is εσθίω, which is a verb with more than one root.
The root for the simple future tense is "ed-" (έδομαι = I'll eat) which is the same in the present in Latvian and in the ancient Latin verb "edo"! :D :D
and in the sentence: Aš noriu eiti į namo (in Lithuanian) we can see another similarity.
It means: "I want to go home", and the verb "to go" is translated with "eiti".
well, in Ancient Greek one of the translation of "I go", along with έρχομαι, is εἶμι, so we found again the root "ei-" :D
do you know anything else? I found it very very interesting! :D
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby Delodephius » Sun 31 May 2009 1:58 pm

Both being IE languages no wonder they are similar. What you wrote in Latvian I had no problem understanding being a native Slavic speaker. Compare Latvian mes edam with Old Slavonic my ædemǔ. Or Greek εσθίω in Old Slavonic esti. Lithuanian eiti in OS is iti. I'm currently studying Attic Greek myself and there are many similarities with my native language and other Slavic languages. I saw many similarities when I was going through Sanskrit and Gothic too.
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby MingShuo » Sun 31 May 2009 2:02 pm

OK, yes, I knwo they're both Indo-European...but I was astonished anyway :D.
I think it's really fantastic that two modern languages have conserved such characteristics with a very ancient language like Greek or, in your case, Old Slavonic. :D

When I found them I felt like a little child who discovers something...:D that's the effect that studying languages and doing such comparings make on me.
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby Delodephius » Sun 31 May 2009 2:47 pm

Yeah, I know that feeling. I remember when I first opened up the Sanskrit grammar and found that in Sanskrit honey is called madhu, which was very similar to my native Slovak word med. Or even Buddha to our verb buditi which means 'to awake'.
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby MingShuo » Sun 31 May 2009 8:35 pm

Yes, it's really great! :D
and what did you find of such things inGothic?
Unofortunately I don't know much...well, I'm more "expert" about greek and latin, because I just know some basics of some slavic languages. Of course I know Italian, which is my mothertongue and I have studied German...
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby Delodephius » Mon 01 Jun 2009 12:38 am

In Gothic the 'doctor' is called lekeis, in most Slavic languages it is lekar derived from lek which means 'cure'. Or 'debt' is in Gothic dulg while in Old Slavonic it was dlǔgǔ which is derived from a same adjective which means 'long'. I don't remember much now, it was some time ago. But in my opinion comparison of vocabulary does not always mean that two or more languages are related, rather the whole of vocabulary and grammar.
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby dtp883 » Mon 01 Jun 2009 3:26 am

One similarity I think is strange is between Spanish and Hebrew.

Como in Spanish has a meaning of comparing as in the English like. While in Hebrew Kmo is used the same way.

Es hermoso como tú. ['komo]
Ata yafeh kmo otcha. [kmo]
He is handsome like you.
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby MingShuo » Mon 01 Jun 2009 8:29 am

Delodephius wrote:In Gothic the 'doctor' is called lekeis, in most Slavic languages it is lekar derived from lek which means 'cure'. Or 'debt' is in Gothic dulg while in Old Slavonic it was dlǔgǔ which is derived from a same adjective which means 'long'. I don't remember much now, it was some time ago. But in my opinion comparison of vocabulary does not always mean that two or more languages are related, rather the whole of vocabulary and grammar.


Yes, ok, the languages could not be related, but couldn't these similarities test a slight influence or a contact between two people?
About the Ancient Greek I have a different opinion, then.
Because Lithuanian, especially, but also Latvian in a way, is the oldest language of the Indo-European family, in fact linguists use it to find some old characters of the so called "Indo-European" language. So, being both ancient, I think they're related some way, just not a simple influence.
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby Delodephius » Mon 01 Jun 2009 2:30 pm

Baltic languages are no more ancient than any other IE languages, or any language for that matter. Baltic languages preserved some features that were lost in other IE languages, but that does not make them "ancient". Many Slavists also claim a similar thing about Slavic languages. I claimed it too, until I realized it is absurd.

Here is a good blog about language evolution I think you should check out:
http://languagecontinuity.blogspot.com/
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Re: Similarities between Ancient Greek and Lithuanian/Latvian

Postby goofy » Thu 04 Jun 2009 1:10 pm

http://languagecontinuity.blogspot.com/


caveat lector... this site focuses on the paleolithic continuity theory, which states that at the end of the last ice age (13 thousand years ago) the Indo-European languages were already divided into the groups that exist today. It's very controversial.
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