no more keeping my feet on the ground

Common Words Between Hindi and Romanian

First of all please keep in mind that I am NOT a linguist, I have done no research whatsoever on etymology and language formation, and I do not aim to pull any conclusion regarding the origin of Romanian, Hindi or any other language. Since I’ve been learning Hindi for almost two years now, I thought it would be interesting to gather a list of words the two languages have in common and maybe speculate a bit on possible ties. As you will see, many of them seem to have popped out through Arabic (in India) and Turkish (in Romania) influences. The way thoughts twist and travel are always interesting, if you know of any other common words or curious coincidences, feel free to share them below!

HI: पत्थर [patthara] – RO: piatră – EN meaning: rock (subst)
HI: पर्दा [pardaa] – RO: perdea – EN meaning: curtain (subst)
HI: मुसाफ़िर [musaafir]musafir  – EN meaning: traveler/guest (subst) -> this isn’t exactly a perfect synonym, though the coincidence is pretty awesome, let me expain why: “musaafir” in Hindi/Urdu (and Arabic) means “traveler”. In the Romanian language the same word stands for “guest”, which maybe means that a few centuries ago some people arrived in Eastern Europe calling themselves “musaafir” (travelers) – the people living in Wallachia and Transilvania must have picked up the word and name the newcomers in the same way: musafiri.
HI: जुराबें [juraab] – RO: ciorap – EN meaning: sock/s (the things you wear in your feet).
HI: चाय [caay] – RO: ceai – EN meaning: tea (subst)
HI: तुम/तू  [tum/tuu] – RO: tu/voi – EN meaning: you (pron. 2nd pers singular and plural)
HI: दुश्मन [dushman] – RO: duşman – EN meaning: enemy (subst)
HI: ससुर [sasur] – RO:  socru – EN meaning: father-in-law (subst) – I recently found out that both Romanians and Indians (especially males) have a broad variety of swear words referring to the father-in-law. I wonder why…
HI: राहत [raahat] – RO: rahat – EN meaning: relief/shit (subst) – yes, the Hindi word for “relief” is the most common Romanian word for “shit”.
HI: विधवा [vidhvaa] – RO: vaduva – EN meaning: widow (subst)
HI: प्याज़ [pyaaz] – RO: praz – EN meaning: onion/leek (subst)
HI: खच्चर [khacca] – RO: catâr – EN meaning: mule (subst)
HI: किराया [kiraayaa] – RO: chirie – EN meaning: rent (subst)
HI: चरवाहा [carvaahaa] – RO: cioban – EN meaning: shepherd (subst)
HI: हलाल [halaal] – RO: halal – EN menaing: in Hindi: Islamic term used to designate anything that is accepted by the Islamic law (subst); in Romanian: bravo! great! very good! (interjection). Note that in most situations it implies an ironic flavor, meant to express a negative, a rather unfortunate outcome.
HI: कमरा [kamraa] – RO: camera – EN meaning: room (subst)
HI: तबियत [tabiyat] – RO: tabiet – EN meaning: health (Hindi) /habit (Romanian) (subst)
HI: तरला [tarla] – RO: tarla –  EN meaning: a field area (subst)
HI: साबुन  [saabun] – RO: săpun – EN meaning: soap (subst)
HI: पतलून [patloon] – RO: pantalon – EN meaning: pants (subst)
HI: आंख [aankh] – RO: ochi – EN meaning: eye (subst)
HI: नाक [naak] – RO: nas – EN meaning: nose (subst)
HI: ख़बर [khabar] – RO: habar – EN meaning: news, knowledge, information (subst) – note that in Romanian the word is only used in the phrasal verb “a nu avea habar“, meaning: to not know anything, to have no clue.

To be continued….

Common Words Between Hindi and Romanian 5.00/5 (100.00%) 1 vote


  1. ai uitat de şampon. 😛

  2. I am a cabin crew and I work with multi nationalities and came through a lot of Romanians …. common words are galley discussions like “okha” is “ankh”(eyes) , “naas” is naak or “nashika” in Sanskrit “pantaloons” is “patloon”(pj), “vesta” is “vastra”(dress),”yani” is “yaani” (it means) in hindi, and soo on..its fun to work with people from different nationality coz then you end up leaning a lot…I leant all this while doing a simple 3 hr flight…..im ondering what if I do a 14hr flight hhehe……

    • Dorothea

      July 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Aapka comment ke liye bahut bahut shukriya!! The similarities between the two languages never cease to amaze me. I’ll add ankh, naak, patloon and vastra to the list right away. As for “yani” – I never heard of this word in Romanian, I also wasn’t able to find it in the dictionary. Can you please tell me the context where you encountered it?

  3. Hey, Dorothea! Interesting post. It’s really interesting to examine the cognates between European languages and Hindi. You demonstrated a few cognates that I didn’t notice before, such as पत्थर; in English there is “petrified”, etc., which , I assume, comes from the Latin cognate “petra”, related to the Greek cognate πέτρος, etc.

    • Dorothea

      November 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Hi, David! It is indeed interesting to follow how words travel. The word petra (la) / petros (gr) / patthra (hi) is common in many languages. It must be really exciting to research more into how words appeared and spread in the first place. Was a word imported from India by the Greeks, somewhere around 1000-500 A.D (or even earlier)? Or did it originate in Europe, then spreading to Asia through the Roman Empire and later through the Arab Empire? Perhaps I can use these questions in my finding a decent Bachelor thesis. :)

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