Very interesting question. I have mulled over this many times and after seeing quite a few documentaries and articles these are some of my observations. - Warning: Following text might offend Creationist as it strongly enforces the rational argument of evolution-
Now that we've dealt with that, just to peak your curiosity these are few of the words that i've found common between English (source-latin and other older languages of Europe) and Sanskrit (one of the oldest languages on this side of the world):
- Name = ‘Naam’ in sanskrit/hindi/urdu
- Path = ‘Path’: sanskrit, pronounced pəth
- Mother = ‘Mata’: sanskrit, pronounced mätä
- Pa = Pita, or
- Serpent = ‘Sarp’: sanskrit
- Man = ‘Manuj’: sanskrit
- Saint = ‘Sant’: sanskrit
- Bad = ‘bad’: urdu but it sounds slightly different and is used as a prefix
- Star = ‘tara’ in hindi
- Nose = ‘nasika’
- Mouth = ‘mukh’
- -ped- (suffix/prefix meaning foot, like in centipede, pedal) = ‘padh’: sanskrit
- Divine = ‘divya’
- Cruel = ‘krura’
- Agnostic = Nastik (Nastik actually means athiest, but I’ll count it)
- Saturday = ‘Shanivaar’ in Sanskrit. And ‘Shani’ means Saturn. ‘vaar’ is apparently ‘day’. Similarly, Sunday = ‘Ravivaar’ and ‘Ravi’ mean sun. Monday = ‘Somvaar’ and ‘Som’ means moon.
- Cent (hundred) = ‘Shat’: pronounced shət with a soft ‘t’ at the end.
- The counting number are also interesting. Though individually they do not sound very similar, but on the whole the similarities add up and become apparent. So, here is how one counts from 1 to 9 in sanskrit: (some of these gotten from this sanskrit website): Éka (one), Dvi (two), Trí (three), Catúr (four), pañcan (five), sás (six), saptán (seven), astan (eight), Návan (nine).
Now that is rarely a coincidence. Most of the basic words that you might think were used really early on tend to be similar (not just within European languages but bridging this great distance across continents).
This is almost certainly because they have been derived from the same language, which Sir William Jones first suggested.
This was later termed the Prot-Indo-European Language. Besides sounding similar, linguists have studied several different older languages and have arrived on " irrefutable proof on their common origin and gradual evolution."
How did that happen?
It's suggested that this common language originated somewhere near present day Turkey around 6500 B.C. and then migrating populations spread it around the world.
Okay, so what can be the significance?
Once the above point has been established, its application by a further group of historians and scientists has been extremely interesting. They suggest this to be another proof of the Evolution. (As if that was even required)
Specifically, life originated in Africa and gradually forced by natural conditions or otherwise migrated all over the world. If this was true (!) it logically follows that if there were a language spoken then, there should be a common footprint among all the older languages in the world.
Isn't it great when new findings confirm established theories?For further reading refer:Origin and development of Sanskrit
- (comprehensive list of common words and the PIE language theory)Celto Himalayan connection
- Two of the oldest languages/cultures in the world.An interesting question would be, How were names/ words formed. eg. Why is the table called so? (I get that a baby might utter something similar to ma and pa and hence that relation, but does looking/hitting a table evoke such emotions?)