Slovenian and Sanskrit Surprising Similarities

The similarities between Slovenian and Sanskrit are surprising. Sanskrit has a phonetic script, the same as the Slovenian language. They also share the reversed sequence of ones and decades. For example, 31, written as ‘enaintrideset’ in Slovenian, is literally translated at ‘one and thirty’. In Sanskrit 31 is written as ‘eka-trimšat’, ‘one and thirty’.

Ancient Sanskrit parchment, setting the stage for similarities with Slovenian

The first few numbers are written in similar fashion:

Number Slovenian Sanskrit
1 ena eka
2 dve dve
3 tri trini
4 štiri čatvari
5 pet panča
6 šest šat
3rd tretji tritija
4th četrti čaturthi

Slovenian and Sanskrit are the only languages know, which have the grammatical number dual. What appear to be remnants of dual that are still notable in Ukrainian, and some other Slavic languages, in fact have nothing to do with the grammatical dual, the similarities are coincidental.

The Slovenian language has six cases, three grammatical numbers (singular, dual, plural) and three grammatical persons (masculine, feminine, neuter). Sanskrit is identical with the exception that features one more case, ‘ablativ’.

Other similarities include conjugation of verbs and several words:

English Slovenian Sanskrit
to give dati dadhate
day dan dina
heaven nebesa nabhas
night noč niš
to hold prijeti parjeti
to drive peljati se palati
to drink piti pitje
mother mater matr
fog megla megha
to live živeti živati
winter zima hima
to walk hoditi hudati

This article is a paraphrased excerpt from the book Človek: navodila za uporabo (Human: Instructions for Use).

Delving into Slovenian and Sanskrit roots

By the 1960’s, at the latest, Slovenians learned about the similarities between their language and Sanskrit. A hundred years later foreign lexicologists have discovered an astounding fact, that Sanskrit and Slovenian share in total more than 30% of their linguistic core roots. In addition, they have also many common grammatical characteristics; only these two languages are known for dual, and their declensions are almost completely identical.

With these discoveries, some foreign linguists have mistakenly concluded that similarities between the languages are the results of Sanskrit influencing Slovenian. Whereas the author (of the article referenced below) concludes that it is the other way around; a version of Slovenian, older than Sanskrit existed. This ancient form of Slovenian is said to be more similar to ancient Sanskrit.

This article is an excerpt from the January 21st edition of Misteriji magazine.

Published on June 5, 2013