Indo-Aryan Austronesian in the German language

Indo-Aryan Austronesian in the German language German Language Coach

Often during German lessons, I get asked if there are words in German that are of Indo-Aryan or Austronesian origin. Many words covering religion and philosophy originate in Hindi, Arabic, Malay and Tamil. They made their way into German via the English language. There is der Bambus, which originates from Malay. From Bangla, we have der Bungalow, a low-rise building. Der Dschungel is a word from Hindi and means wilderness. From Sanskrit, we have der Guru, who is a spiritual teacher. Der Ingwer is a spice (ginger), and the word originates in Tamil. Of earthy colour is khaki, which is what it means in Hindi. Die Orange made its way into German from the Persian language. Das Shampoo is a Hindi word and means to knead or massage. Less desirable words in the German language with their origin in Sanskrit are der Swastika und der Arier, but let’s not go there!

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