The etymology of Esperanto and other languages

The Greek word ετυμολογία [-etumologia-] (see ETUMOS ) implies two postulates:
First, that languages evolve, that words are changing in form and meaning, sometimes very significantly after centuries.
Second, that this evolution is chiefly a deterioration and that the most ancient meaning is the true meaning of the word.

If the first affirmation is easily provable, the second looks somewhat naive. The modern linguists consider that the meaning of words depends on complex relationships with other words from the language and from the context where they are used, and that they change in a way often not related with the word past history.

However, going back to that original meaning is fascinating for the mind, like an archeological discovery.
The origin of most Esperanto words is multiple. When a similar word is used in many important languages, it has a higher chance to have a similar form in Esperanto, a form that is usually close to Latin.
This multiple origin is proper to the language Esperanto.
Indeed Latin played an important role in Europe, and therefore influenced Esperanto indirectly. In previous times, Greek influenced Latin, and still now we can recognize many Greek words in our Eastern languages.
Moreover, many scientific terms were recently build from scratch from ancient Greek.

One made the hypothesis that all European languages were coming from the same original language, which one called the Indo-European language.
Sanskrit pertains to that Indo-European language as well.
One is still working to try and rebuild this ancient language, that may-be never existed at one time in one place. Etymology is not an exact science..

In the following pages, I grouped together the words that are thought to come from the same origin, if possible back to Indo-european, but there is a lot to debate.


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To find related words, go to English index.
Several other languages can be found in the ĝeneral index.