What are some similarities and common things that Greek has with Arabic?

By: | Post date: 2016-09-03 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek, Other Languages

Commonalities between Greek and Arabic?

They belong to different language families—Indo-European vs Afro-Asiatic (which includes the Semitic languages, which also includes Hebrew and Phoenecian); noone has proven a more distant relation between the two.

The alphabet of both derives from Phoenecian; hence the similarity in letter names to this day. That also extends to Hebrew: aleph, alif, alfa.

A few loanwords from Phoenecian in Ancient Greek; like arrabon “pledge” (and later, engagement).

A few more loanwords from Hebrew into Koine, through Christianity, like satanas and amen.

A fair few loanwords from Greek into Arabic, via the transmission of the Classics and Greek science and mathematics.

A few loanwords from Arabic into Greek via contact during Byzantium. (e.g. magazi “shop”, maimu “monkey”).

A fair few loanwords from Arabic into Greek via Ottoman Turkish. e.g. musafiris < mısafır < mosâfer “guest”.

Pretty sure me “with” isn’t one of them. OTOH, me Albanian and Modern Greek are considered cognates.

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