Re: SV: [Pali] English words with Indian origin
No one denies that cultures influence each other all the time. But it is
important to distinguish the influence of one language on another from
other kinds of cultural influence. The English word 'father' is not the
result of influence from any other language; it is related to Latin 'pater',
Pali 'pitu' and numerous words of the same meaning in other Indo-
European languages because they are all developments (within their
respective languages) from a single word in a single language (not
recorded) usually called 'Proto-Indo-European'. By contrast, the English
word 'paternal', though related to the same Proto-Indo-European
word, was borrowed into English from Latin. The situation there is quite
similar to that of many of the words on Yong Peng's list.
It is essential when comparing languages to distinguish between 'cognates'
like English 'father' and Latin 'pater' and 'borrowings' like English 'paternal'.
For a long time it was thought that Thai and Chinese belong to the same
language family because of Thai words (including the numbers) which
resemble Chinese. Now it is usually understood that these resemblances
are early borrowings into Thai from Chinese, and that Thai and Chinese
do not belong to the same family.
As Yong Peng notes, Japan has borrowed certain culinary dishes ultimately
from somewhere in India. The Japanese word for these dishes is 'karee'.
This Japanese word is not borrowed from an Indian language, however, but
(almost certainly) from English. Thai cuisine has similar dishes, but has
not borrowed any word such as 'curry' for them. Incidently, Tamil (cited as
the source of 'curry') is not an Indo-European language, though it has
many borrowings from Indo-European languages such as Sanskrit.
--- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Ong Yong Peng" <palismith@...> wrote:
> Dear friends,
> cultures influence each other all the time. While we are on this topic, I hope to prevent any further confusion which may arise due to a lack of linguistic knowledge, a highly special area of study, for most people.
> When we say an English word has an Indoeuropean origin, very often we are referring to origins in Greek or Latin or both (in some temporal order). Less often, we are actually speaking of a direct Indian influence, except for words which are adopted into the English vocabulary in recent times, i.e. around and after the colonial era.
> Yong Peng.
> --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Ong Yong Peng wrote:
> However, cultures influences each other all the other, for better or worse.