The etymology of Esperanto and other languages
The Greek word ετυμολογία [-etumologia-]
) implies two postulates:
First, that languages evolve, that
words are changing in form and meaning, sometimes very significantly
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
Moreover, many scientific terms were recently build from scratch from
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
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.
Go to the main page
To find related words, go to English index.
Several other languages can be found in the ĝeneral index.