back to Similarities between natural languages and Tolkien’s Eldarin

List of other matches

Finally, a list of similarities to several languages shall be given. Some are clearly coincidental, such as the short prepositions, in other cases it is difficult to say. They were found in a collective treasure hunt at our German site http://www.sindarin.de, therefore I’d like to thank all those who contributed. The credit for matches with Hungarian goes to Lőrinczi Gábor. Some similarities to Greek can be found in the article Quenya: The influence of the Greek language [7] (Modern Greek). However, it turns out that Greek is better matching with Sindarin at times or with Quenya words not included in the article, so the closest form has been chosen.

N. adan ’man, human being’ (LotR, WJ:387 etc.)
Hebrew adám ’man, human being’, loaned into Arabic ādam; also Turkish adam ’male’

N. aglar ’glory, brilliance’, glaur (glor-) ’golden light’, callon ’hero’ (Etym:A-KAL-AR,G-LAWAR- KAL-)
Q. kalwa ’fair, beautiful’ (QL:44)
Latin gloria — English glory
Ancient Greek ἀγλαός ’1) splendid, shining, bright 2) of men, either beautiful or famous, noble’, καλός < kalwos ’1) beautiful, of outward form 2) good, of fine quality 3) in a moral sense, beautiful, noble, honourable’, OHD helíd ’hero’, German Held from the same root

Q. alma ’riches, good fortune, blessedness, weal, wealth; growth’ (Etym:GALA-, VT45:5), Q. ala- ’to grow’, alda ’tree’ (Etym:GÁLAD-)
Latin almus (fem. alma) ’nourishing, kind’, alō ’nourish, feed’
Gothic alan ’to grow’
Old Swedish alda ’fruit-carrying oak’
all from PIE *al- ’grow, bear’
Ancient Greek ὀλβία ’bliss’

Q. alta probably ’large, great in size’ (Etym:ALAT-)
Latin altus ’high, lofty, tall’ (and other meanings)
Spanish alta (fem.) ’high’

S. amarth ’fate, doom’ (PE17:114, Etym:MBARAT- etc.)
Ancient Greek ἀμαρτία ’failure, fault, sin; guilt, sin’

Q. ambo, ambŏna ’hill, mount’ (PE17:90,157)
Latin Ambo(n) ’pulpit’
Ancient Greek ἀναβαίνω ’go up, mount’

Q. arpo ’seizer, thief’ < arp(h)ō (RAPH-, PE19:89)
Latin rapio ’seize, take away’, rapax ’greedy, rapacious; predator’, Ancient Greek ἅρπαξ ’robbing, rapacious; robber’, ἁρπάζω ’seize, snatch, obtain by robbery’ < PIE *H2rp-
German rauben ’rob’, English reave, rob

Q. aurë ’sunlight, day’, N. aur ’day, sunlight, morning’ (Etym:AR-)
Ancient Greek αὔριον ’tomorrow’
Latin Aurora – goddess of the dawn/morning
Finnish aurinko ’sun’
Lithuanian aušrà ’dawn, daybreak’
Sanskrit usrá ’morning light, daybreak’
Hebrew [or] ’light’
Akkadian urru ’day, light’

Latin avis, Spanish ave ’bird’
Quenya aiwe ’(small) bird’ (Etym:AIWĒ-)

Q. axor ’bones’ (MC:221-223), akas, akse ’bone’ (PE17:92)
W. asgwrn, Breton, Cornish askorn ’bone’ < *ast- ’bone’

N. Balan ’Power, God’ (Etym:BAL-)
Ilk. bel ’strength’, N. beleg ’great’ (Etym:BEL-)
Hebrew [’baʔal], Akkadian bēlu(m) ’lord, master’ (and similar across Semitic); also as the name of a deity (Baal)

N. band ’duress, prison, custody’ (Etym: M-BAD-)
Gothic bandja ’prisoner’
German Band = English bond

N. baran ’brown, swart, dark brown’ (Etym:BARAN-)
Hungarian barna ’brown’

S. brui ’loud, noisy’ (Etym:BUR-; Bruinen)
French bruit [brɥi] ’noise’, bruyant [brɥijɑ̃] ’loud, noisy’

Q. caita- ’to lie’ (LotR) < KAY-
Ancient Greek κεῖμαι ’to lie’, κοῖτος ’resting-place, bed; sleep’ < PIE *ḱei-

N./S. calad ’light’, calan ’day, period of actual daylight’ (Etym:KAL-, LotR)
Nivkh kalγala-, qalɢala- ’be bright’ (reduplicated with mutation k > γ, q > ɢ)

N./S. calen ’green’ (Etym:KAL-, LotR, Silm)
Nivkh qala- ’be unripe, be green’, qaladj ’verdure’

S. car- ’to do’, Q. kar- ’make, do, build, form’ (Etym:KAR-)
Ainu kara ’make, do, act, achieve, accomplish’
Sanskrit kṛ ’to do , make, perform, accomplish, cause, effect, prepare, undertake’, kará ’a doer, maker, causer, doing, making, causing, producing’, kárman ’act, action, performance, business’ (whence the term karma)
Icelandic, Faroese gera, ON gøra, gørva ’to make, construct, build’
Leti kari ’to work’ and other Malayo-Polynesian cognates

Q. cassa ’helmet’ (Etym:KAS-)
French casque, Spanish/Italian casco ’helmet’

Q. Cerveth ’July’ (LotR App.D)
Czech Červenec [’ʧεrvεnεʦ] ’July’

N. dalath ’flat surface, plane, plain’ (DAL-), S. dalath ’low lying / flat ground’ (PE17:150)
Gothic dalaþ adv. ’down, to the bottom’, dalaþa ’below’

N. dîs ’bride’ (Etym:NDIS-)
ON dís ’(1) sister (2) a female guardian angel, goddess (3) maid’

N. dœlio, delio ’to conceal’ (Etym:DUL-)
ON dylja ’to keep (one) in ignorance of a thing, to conceal, deny’
Swedish dölja ’conceal, hide’

N./S. dûr ’dark’ (Etym:DOƷ-/DŌ-, LotR)
Yonaguni duru ’night’ < Proto-Japanese *yoru

PQ ek, ke ’sharp point’ (WJ:365); Q. ehte ’spear’, S. ech ’spine’, S. êg ’thorn’ (Etym: EK-/EKTE-, changed to HEK- in WJ)
OHG ekka, ecka, egga ’corner, edge, point, (especially the sharp edge and point of a weapon)’
German Ecke ’edge, corner’

Q. equë, T. epe ’say/says or said’ (WJ:392,415)
Ancient Greek φημί ’say’, 3rd impf. (irreg.) ἔφη

Q. erumë ’desert’, eressë ’solitude’ (Etym:ERE-)
Ancient Greek ἐρημία ’1) of places, a solitude, desert, wilderness 2) as a state or condition, solitude, loneliness’

Q. faina- ’emit light’ (Etym:PHAY-)
Ancient Greek φαίνω ’shine’

Q. filet, filek- ’cobweb’ (PE21:33)
French filet ’net’

N./S. glam ’barbarous speech, shouting, confused noise; din, uproar, the confused yelling and bellowing of beasts’ (Etym:GLAM-, WJ:390)
Nivkh khalaŋ-khalaŋ: onomatopoeic for the sound of clattering metal

S. gwaen ’I go’, Q. vanya- ’go, depart, disappear’, vanwa ’gone, departed, vanished, lost, past’
G. gwed- ’wind, turn, bend’ (GL:46)
OE wendan, ON venda ’to turn, go’, English wend ’proceed on’, wind < *wend-, *wand- ’turn’

N. gell ’joy, triumph’, gellam ’jubilation’ (Etym:GYEL-)
Ancient Greek γελάω ’laugh, smile’

N. gern (< gyernā) ’worn, old, (of things)’ (Etym:GYER-)
Ancient Greek γέρων, γέροντ- ’old man’, γῆρας ’old age’
Modern Greek γερνα ’he/she/it grows old’ [7]

S. glîn (WJ:337)
English gleam, glint

N. gling- ’hang, dangle’ (Etym:LING-,GLING-)
Hungarian leng ’dangle’

N. grau ’dark, swart’, Graurim *’Dark Elves’ (GRAWA-, VT45:16)
German grau ’grey’

CE *(g)rotā ’excavation, underground dwelling’ > S. *grod in Novrod = Grodnof (WJ:414)
Germanic *grōbō, *graban- etc.: ON grǫf ’pit, ditch, grave’, English grave, Gothic graban ’to dig’
Latin crypta ’vault’, Italian grotta, Fr. grotte ’cavern, grotto’ from Ancient Greek κρυπτός ’concealed, hidden’

Black Speech Gûl ’phantom, shadow of dark magic, necromancer’ (PE17:79)
English ghoul from Arabic ghul — an evil spirit that robs graves and feeds on corpses

S. guldur ’(dark) sorcery’ (LotR, PE17:125)
Icelandic galdur ’witchcraft, sorcery, magic’, ON galdr ’magic song, charm’, pl. galdrar ’witchcraft, sorcery’

N. hâl, Q. hala ’fish’ (VT45:20)
Hungarian hal ’fish’ (F. kala)

N. hamma- ’to clothe’, past tense hamp; hammad ’clothing’, hamp ’garment’ (Etym:KHAP-)
OHD *hamo ’garment’, hemidi ’shirt, garment’, German Hemd ’shirt’

N. heli ’lift’, pa.t. haul *’lifted’, holen *’I lifted’ (VT45:20)
English haul
Middle English haulen ’pull’
Middle Dutch halen ’pull’
German holen ’fetch, get’

N. herth ’household, troop under a hîr’ (Etym:KHER-)
ON hirð ’a king’s or earl’s bodyguard; the king’s men’

Q. horta- ’send flying, speed, urge’, N. hortha- ’urge on, speed’ (Etym:KHOR-)
Latin hortārī ’to incite to action’, horīrī ’to encourage’

N. hûl (Etym:SIW-) ’cry of encouragement in battle’
English howl, German heulen, Danish hyl ’howl, yell’ etc. (probably imitative in origin)

Q. ista- ’know’, N. isto ’to have knowledge’ (Etym:IS-)
Ancient Greek οἶδα ’I know’ – irregular, pl. forms ἴσ-: ἴσμεν ’we know’, ἴστε ’you (pl.) know’, ἴσασι(ν) ’they know’ (cognate to Latin video, English wise, German wissen ’to know’ etc.)

Q. kante ’edge’ (PE13:140)
German Kante ’edge’

KIR- ’cleave’ (VT45:23)
Japanese kir- ’cut, sever’

S. las(s) ’leaf’ (Let:282 etc.)
OCS листъ ’leaf’ in Slavic languages; also Polish las ’forest’
North Sami lapsta, Finnish lahti – although likely a loan from Baltic *lapsta

Q. lehta ’free, released’ (VT39:17), N. leithian ’release, freeing’ (Etym:LEK-)
Ancient Greek ἐλευθερία ’freedom, liberty’, ἐλευθερικός ’free’, λύω ’of men, release, deliver, esp. from bonds or prison, and so, generally, from difficulty or danger’

Q. ’hand’
Catalan ’hand’ from Latin manus

Q. mahta- ’wield a weapon, fight’ (Etym:MAK-)
Ancient Greek μάχομαι ’fight, contend, quarrel’
Spanish machete

Q. mal ’but’ (VT43:23)
Greek μα ’but’ [7]
Italian ma ’but’
Turkish ama [əmə] ’but, however’

Quenya mat-/mata- ’eat’ (Etym:MAT-, VT39:5)
Gothic mat-s ’meat, food’
ON mat-r ’food, meal’
(-s and -r are the nom. masc. sg. endings)

Q. Melko, Melkor
Nivkh milk ’devil, evil spirit’

S. mell ’dear’, milui ’friendly, loving, kind’, melui ’sweet’ (VT42:18), mîl ’love, affection’
Q. melin ’dear’, melda ’beloved, dear’, melmë ’love’ (Etym:MEL-)
Russian милый ’dear’
Lithuanian meilė ’love’
Latin mītis ’mild, gentle’
Gothic mildiþa ’mildness, kindness’
OE milde ’gentle, merciful’, English mild
W. melys [’mεlɨs] ’sweet’
also Ir. mil, Welsh mêl, Cornish, Breton mil, Latin mel; Greek μέλι, Gothic miliþ, all meaning ’honey’

S. meneg ’thousand’ (Etym:MENEK-), as in Menegroth ’thousand caves’ (= a lot of caves)
Gothic manag-s ’much, great, many’ (aj.)
OHG manag ’some, much, many’
OE manig ’many’
German mannig- ’many’ (archaic)

Q. menta- ’send, cause to go’, mitta- ’insert’, mittanya ’lead (into)’ (VT41:6, VT43:15,22,30)
Latin mittō ’send’

Q./S. mi ’in’ (Etym:MI-, VT50:18)
Nivkh mi ’in, inside’ (postposition)

S. morn, Q. morna ’black, dark’ (Etym:MOR-, Mordor, Mornedhel…)
French morne ’cloudy, opaque, muddy’

Q. mule ’meal, grist’ (PE17:115,181)
Classical Nahuatl mōlli ’1. sauce, 2. broth, stew’, loaned into American Spanish as mole, also uacamulli as guacamole

Q. mundo ’snout, nose, cape’ (Etym:MBUD-)
German Mund ’mouth’ [Having a labial in the word for ’mouth’ is suggestive and iconic, but the similarity is closer than that.]

S. na ’to, towards, at’ (and other meanings) (Etym:(A)NA-), Q. allative suffix -nna
Russian на ’to, towards’ (with accusative)
Greek να ’to’ [7]
German nah ’near, close’, nach ’to, towards’

Q. nár ’flame’, Anar ’Sun’ (Etym:NAR2-, A-NAR-)
Mongolian nar ’sun’
Arabic [na:r] ’fire’

S. narn ’tale, saga’ (WJ:313), N. †naro ’tell’ (Etym:NAR2-)
Latin narrare ’tell’

NDAK- ’to slay’
Akkadian dāku ’to kill, beat, strike’

S. nîdh ’juice’ (PE19:91)
Hungarian nedv ’juice’

S. niphredil ’pale white flower (like snowdrop)’ (PE17:55, LotR)
Ancient Greek νίφω ’to snow’, Latin nix, gen. nivis ’snow’, Italian neve etc.

Q. ’but’ (VT41:13)
Russian но ’but’

Q./S. nor- ’run (or leap: of animals, men etc.)’ (PE17:168)
Japanese nor- ’ride [a horse], get on [a vehicle]’

N. o(h) ’about, concerning’ (Etym: OS-), also prefix os- ’around’, as in osgar- ’to cut round, amputate’
Russian об ’about’, also as prefix ’around’, as in обрезать ’cut off, cut around’; similar in other Slavic languages
(the development ’around’ > ’about’ may have been modeled on the Indo-European development, but the word match itself seems rather coincidental)

S. o(d) ’from, of’ (WJ:366)
Welsh o ’from’
Russian от ’from, away from, of’

Q. oron (oront-) ’mountain’ (Etym:OROT-), Q. óre ’rising’, orta- ’rise, raise’, N. ortho ’raise’ (Etym:ORO-)
Greek ὄρος ’mountain’ [7], Ancient Greek ὄρνυμι ’raise’
OCS гора ’mountain’ in Slavic languages

N. ostrad ’street’ (Etym:RAT-)
Latin via strata ’paved road’, the source of French estrade ’platform, stage’, English street, Italian strada, Welsh ystryd

S. #pân ’all’ (SD:129-131)
Ancient Greek τ πᾶν ’the whole, one’s all’, πᾶν ’everything, anything’ etc.

EN pant ’money’, panthig ’coin’ (PE13:124)
OE pening, penig, English penny, ON penning-r, German Pfennig

Q. pen ’without, not having’, penin ’I haven’t’, penya ’lacking, inadequate’ (PE17:173)
Ancient Greek πένης ’one who works for his living, day-labourer, poor man’, πενέω ’to be poor’

Q. quendi ’Elvish woman’ (MR:229)
N. gwend, gwenn ’maiden’ (Etym:WEN-,WENED-)
ON kvendi ’woman’, English queen (originally ’wife’), Gothic qino ’woman, wife’, Greek γυνή ’woman, wife’ from PIE *gwen-
Maori, Hawaiian wahine ’woman’
Potawatomi kwé ’woman’

N. râd ’path, track’ (Etym: RAT-)
G. rada ’track, path, way’ (GL:64)
OE rád is as a rule used for the act of riding or sailing, not as its modern descendant ’road’, for a beaten track (MC:51)
(This is what Tolkien writes in the essay On Translating Beowulf)

Q. ranko, N. rhanc ’arm’ (Etym:RAK-)
Lithuanian ranka ’arm’

N. rista- ’cut, rend, rip’ (Etym:RIS-)
ON rista ’cut, slash, grave, carve, form by carving’

Q. sil- ’shine (white)’ (LotR, Etym:SIL- etc.)
Ancient Greek σιγαλόεις ’glossy, glittering, shining, splendid’ < σίαλος ’fat, grease; fat hog’

Q. sicil ’dagger, knife’ (Etym:SIK-)
OE sicel, sicol ’sickle’

SLUK- ’swallow’ [no derivatives given]
German Schluck ’gulp’

N. sog-, Q. suc- ’to drink’ (Etym:SUK-)
OE súcan ’to suck’ (ablaut: pl. sucon – pp. socen), sogeða ’juice’, ælf-sogoða – a disease ascribed to fairy influence, by a kind of vampirism
Latin sugere ’to suck’

Q. ta ’that, it’ (LR:72)
Chinese (first tone, high and even)

Q. taina ’lengthened, extended’, ’stretched, elongated’
Ancient Greek τείνω ’stretch or strain’
Ainu tanne ’long’

Q. tampa ’stopper’, tape ’he stops, blocks’ (Etym:TAP-)
Portuguese tampa, French tampon, Spanish tampón ’stopper, plug, tampon’
English tamp

Q. tanya ’that’ (Etym:TA-)
Ainu tan ’this’

Q. tella ’hindmost, last’, N. tele ’end, rear, hindmost part’ (Etym:TELES-)
Greek τέλος ’a coming to pass, fulfilment, result, end’

S. têw ’sign’ < CE tekmā (PE17:44)
Gothic táikns ’token, sign, wonder, miracle’, English token < Prim. Germ. *taiknan

Q. tië ’path, course, line, direction, way’ (Etym:TEƷ-, Rgeo:67, UT:22)
F. tie ’road, path, way’ (see above)
Old Japanese ti ’road’, survives fossilized in Modern Japanese chimata ’road fork, public, location (of an event)’, yamaji ’mountain road’

S. thel- ’to intend, mean, purpose, resolve, will’ (Etym:STEL-)
Greek θέλω ’want’

Ilk. thôn ’pine-tree’, N. thaun (Etym:THŌN-)
Ger. Tanne ’fir-tree’, of uncertain origin

Q. varna ’safe, protected secure’, varnassë ’security’ (Etym:BAR-)
ON varnaðr ’protection, keeping’, also in the sense of:
English warning, German Warnung

Q. yaru ’gloom, blight’ (GL:36)
Japanese yoru ’night’