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 sweet words the two languages have in common. 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. :D

Here we go…

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 can only mean 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 the word up and name the newcomers in the same way they called themselves.
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) – as I recently found out, 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”. :D
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). In most situations it is used with an ironic flavor, 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 with the phrasal verb “a nu avea habar”, meaning: to not know anything, to have no idea about something.

To be continued….

9 comments on “Common Words Between Hindi and Romanian

  1. 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… ondering what if I do a 14hr flight hhehe……

    • 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 enountered 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?

  2. 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.

    • 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. :)

  3. They are explainiing how the people of India became a country also.

    Jordanes, Strabo, Ptolemy are describing the Goths and Germans as totally different people.
    Goths were a mixture o tribes like the Slavs,Germanics,Turks,Scitians will became later.
    The question is who was the ruling class.
    Northern Sagas is very explicit about this, describing the Nordic Lords (not the people who were local) as coming from Thrace and Asia Minor.
    Also later the Prussians (were known to come from Asia Minor) became the rulers of Germany. Prussians were all Germanized but their dictionary/language can be found on the Internet.
    The earliest manuscript (VIII sec. AD)in the West describe the tribes of England (Picts,Scots,etc) coming from South Eastern Europe (Balkans/Asia Minor).
    The Franks are being also described as coming from Asia Minor, their initial name being “Pranks”, corrupted to Franks.Old Norse =Frakka (which easily can be a corruption of “Thracians”
    They established their first city on the Danube somewhere in Pannonia named ( as I remember), “Mesembria” (notice “bria” = thracian name for city).
    The Goths according to Jordanes were Thracian (but himself says that some old ladies don’t believe this version). They were a mixture of tribes (Thracians, Germanic/Nordic, Scythians,etc) where the lords were obviously Thracians and people from Asia Minor.
    Also according to Jordanes the Goths divided themselves in two groups :
    1. OstroGoths
    2. ViziGoths (In Latin = Vesi-Goths) which easily can be the tribe of the “Bessi”
    Also soon after the ViziGoths arrived in today Spain they were called also Walagoths
    Note: The tribe of Bessi had thier own Bible in the same time with that of the Goths (IV cent. AD) so we know that the Bessi were Thracian ( we have a Thracian Bible – Lost for now) and the Goths were not (they have a Thracian component only).

  4. When you analyze something it is imperative to read the earliest books (usually written by Greeks or Romans) not some contemporary Historians who are making things up. (in many cases)
    Diodorus clearly said that people from the East (South Eastern Europe-He use Dionysius here) became the Leaders of the local Indian Population (who were very dark)

    “and he communicated to them the discovery of wine and of all the other things useful for life”


    LacusCurtius ? Diodorus Siculus ? Book*II Chapters*35?60

    “The most learned men among the Indians recount a myth which it may be appropriate to set forth in brief form. This, then, is what they say: In the earliest times, when the inhabitants of their land were still dwelling in scattered clan-villages,11 Dionysus came to them from the regions to the west of them with a notable army; and he traversed all India, since there was as yet no notable city which would p15have been able to oppose him. 4 But when an oppressive heat came and the soldiers of Dionysus were being consumed by a pestilential sickness, this leader, who was conspicuous for his wisdom, led his army out of the plains into the hill-country; here, where cool breezes blew and the spring waters flowed pure at their very sources, the army got rid of its sickness. The name of this region of the hill-country, where Dionysus relieved his forces of the sickness, is Meros; and it is because of this fact that the Greeks have handed down to posterity in their account of this god the story that Dionysus was nourished in a thigh (meros).12

    After this he took in hand the storing of the fruits and shared this knowledge with the Indians, and he communicated to them the discovery of wine and of all the other things useful for life.

    Furthermore, he became the founder of notable cities by gathering the villages together in well-situated regions, and he both taught them to honour the deity and introduced laws and courts; and, in brief, since he had been the introducer of many good works he was regarded as a god and received immortal honours. 6 They also recount that he carried along with his army a great number of women, and that when he joined battle in his wars he used the sounds of drums and cymbals, since the trumpet had not yet been discovered. And after he had reigned over all p17India for fifty-two years he died of old age. His sons, who succeeded to the sovereignty, passed the rule on successively to their descendants; but finally, many generations later, their sovereignty was dissolved and the cities received a democratic form of government.”

    And this also the case of the Egyptians
    There were no local people in both cases (India, Egypt) to create a civilization
    These Lords of these nations were those from Asia Minor/Balkans.
    Same happened to the Celts, Germans/Nordics, Slavs,Turks

    In the case of the Celts here is someone explaining it better…

    Where did the Swedes come from?

    The swedish people

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