Language Time

It has been a while since we had a language adventure here on the blog.  I recently started doing research on the ancient Greek terms for the color green and relating them to other Near Eastern languages.  That project will make an appearance at some point, but for now I thought I would post some stuff from the Kurdish dictionary which I bought this summer, and which has turned out to be a fascinating reference work due to the language’s Indo-European heritage mixed with the influence of various strains of Islam.  The first definition given is for the English (from Latin) A.D. (year of our lord) which is translated as milAdi, from the Arabic root wld relating to birth.  The last definition given is for Zoroastrianism, so there we have the Persian influence and the common Indo-Iranian connection.  The second part of the book is a Kurdish to English dictionary.  Opening it up at random I came upon page 254 where the word ordu is defined.  It means army in Kurdish and is the root of both the language name Urdu (aka Hindustani) and the English word Horde, as in the Golden Horde.  Urdu was a great administrative language during the British Raj, and has elements of Hindi, Arabic, Turkish, English and Persian.  If you are a language geek like I am, well, it does not get any cooler than this.  More tomorrow…


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