Home DH-Debate
5. The Dwarfs were from China
7. Similarities in Heraldry and Construction Style

6. Similarities Between Danish and Chinese Language

It's called "mama" and "papa" both in China and Europe. It is a Chinese family costum to say it twice, so originally it was probably "ma" and "pa". The full word in modern chinese for father is something like "bar-pa".

The Funen village name Martofte
The Funen village name Martofte

The danish word for father, "far", is very close to the Chinese "bar".

In old Danish the word "mar" meant "horse". Hence comes the term "nightmare", "mare-ridt" in Danish. The village Martofte on the northern part of Funen is named after an enclosed fenced area, where there were horses. In Chinese "horse" is also called "ma" [ma'a].

"Jo", is a typical Danish affirmative word, which also has its match in the Chinese, "you" [jo'o]. It means something like "yes - there is", just as in Danish.

There are also basic grammatical similarities between Danish and Chinese languages.

In Danish we have a very convenient grammatical negation. We just need to put the "u-" before a word, and then the meaning of the word will be changed to its contrary. Just think about the words "u-hyggelig" (horrifying), "u-afbrudt" (uninterrupted), "u-afgjort" (undecided), "u-artig" (misbehaved), only to mention a few examples.

The Chinese language has a very similar negation. They just put "bu-" in front of a word, and thus the meaning becomes the opposite.

For example, "good" in Chinese is called "hao" [ha'uw], and bad is "bu-hao" [bu! - Ha'uw]; beautiful is "piao-liang" [pjaw! leang] and ugly is "bu-piao-liang [bu!-pjaw!-leang]; "yes" is "shi-de" [Shø-de] and "no" is "bu-shi" [bu!-shø] or simply "bu" [bu!], which are used in danish as an scaring expression, ghosts are expected to say "buh".

In Danish, verbs can be made adjective-like by adding the ending "-ende" or just "-de".(similar to English -ing), for example "løbe" (run) can become the adjective-like "løb-ende" (running - i.g. a running man) and "tale" (talk) can become to "tal-ende" (talking).

The numbers can also be made into the adjective-like ordinal numbers by adding "-de" or similar. Like it is the case in "fjer-de" (fourth), "syven-de" (seventh), nien-de (ninth) and so on.

In Chinese words are made adjective-like with very much the same ending. Chinese call their country "Zhong Guo" [djung gjår], if we talk about a Chinese woman, it will be a "Zhong-guo-de nu-ren [djung-gjår-de ny'e-renh], as "Zhong-guo" becomes adjectiv-like. "Blue" is called "lan-zi" [lan-ze'e], og the blue house will be "lan-zi-de fang-zi" [lan-ze'e-de fang-ze'e] as blue becomes adjectiv-like.


In Danish we have different ways to make verbs noun-like. Among others we can add "-se".

"Føle" (feel) is a verb; by adding the ending "-se" it can be made into the noun-like notion, "følel-se" (feeling - i.g. he has the feling).

"Overraske" (to surprise) is a verb; by ading the ending "-se" it can be made into a noun and thus become "overraskel-se" (a surprise).

The basic chinese character for son
The basic chinese character for son

The noun-like ending "-se" can be found in Chinese also, where it serves to highlight the noun-like characteristic; for example in "child", "hai-zi" [hai-ze'e], in "cup", "bei-zi" [bei-ze'e], in "wheat", "mai-zi" [mai-ze'e]", in "prince","wang-zi" [wangh-ze'e]. The Chinese characters for "zi" "[ze'e] is the fundamental character of "son".


There are also similarities between individual words. The meaning can be slightly different as we often see it, when similar words are found in different languages.

A "married woman" are in Chinese called
"fu-ren"[fu! renh]. "Ren" means "person".
The chinese word for "heavy"
is "Zhong" [djung!].
Fun and laughter is
in chinese called
"xiao"[sjau!]
In chinese excist an old and
formal word for sun: "ri" [yerh!],
for unknown reason it is
spelled "ri" in Pin-Ying
In danish a married women is addressed "fru" In Danish "heavy" is called "tung". The danish word for fun is "sjov" It sounds like year, "år", in danish.
A month has got its name from the
celestrial body, which creates this
period. Similarly one can imagine that
an "år" also originally had got
its name from the celestrial body,
which creates the period.

"To love" in Chinese is called "ai"[ai!] In chinese a "port" is called "gang" [ga'ang]

In Chinese a "house" is called "fang-zi" [fangh-ze'e] A pavilion, that is a building with roof
but no walls, is in chinese called "ting" [ting]
or "ting-zi" [ting-ze'e]. Apparently a place
where people from all directions can meet and
discus common issues. To "tinge" about the problems
as we say in danish.
It corresponds to the Danish "eje" (to own).
It seems to describe a particularly
close relationship to another person or thing.
The old Danish expression for the entrance hall
of a house is "gang", which is also a gateway, not
to the sea, but to the garden and the road outside.
It corresponds to the Danish "fængsel" (prison)
in which "fanger" (prisoners)
are retained.
The ancient Danish word for "parliament" is "ting",
here leaders from all over the country can meet
and "tinge" (negotiate) common problems.


Both in Danish and in Chinese some big natural formations like "island" and "river" are called with some rather short outbursts containing none or few consonants.

In Chinese an "island" is usually called "dao"[dao], but it can also be called [yu] such as the island off the coast of the city of Xiamen, "Golan Yu".

"River" is mostly called "he" [hrø], such as the "Yellow River", "Huang he" [Huang hrø].
In Danish the words for "island" and "river" are also some rather short outbursts with no consonants, only with the vowels "ø" and "å". Unfortunately these sounds can't be fully described with the english alfabeth only, perhaps something like "oe" and "aea".
The chinese word for a mucical note is "lu"[ly], It is very close to danish word for sound, "lyd", or "ly'", as we say in the accent of the island of Funen.

To sing is in danish "synge". To utter a sound is in chinese called "shen ying" [shyn(g) jing], where first part reminds about the danish word.

In danish we can utter "hovsa" if something unexpected, not to serious, happens. I sounds very much like the chinese word for monkey, hou-zi [houh-ze], and I think, it is originally the same word. In some languages the word monkey is used for an unexpected event

But then what? Does all this mean, that the Vikings came from China?

The original Danes was an East Indo-European people, who came to Denmark from the middle of the Eurasian continent in the beginning of the first millennium. It is reasonable to assume, that they have made a marked influence on the danish language.

Also China saw repeated invasions from the Eurasian plains at the beginning of the first millennium. It is entirely reasonable to assume, that the conquerers also here put their stamp on the local language. Some of the peoples, who invaded China must have been indo-europeans, related to the original Danes.

This is why, it is possible to find common features between Danish and Chinese languages. They come from far back in history.

The net result of the Mongol conquest in the Middle Ages was a muslim and a turkisk Central Asia, which efficiently seperated East from West. This is the reason why, that European and Chinese culture afterwards have developed completely seperately.

See Tsung-tung Chang's article in SINO-PLATONIC PAPERS Number 7, January 1988 about similar Indo-European and chinese words: Indo-European Vocabulary in Old Chinese (pdf)

See also by Zhou Jixu's article in SINO-PLATONIC PAPERS Number 175, December 2006: The Rise of Agricultural Civilization in China (pdf) , where he lists similar Indo-european and chinese words connected to domestic animals, houses and other constructions and religion.

For an introduction to modern spoken chinese see: Teris Hjemmeside - Undervisning i Talt Kinesisk (danish). Here kan be found many almost similar sounding words in danish and chinese.

Tilbage til start af artikel

20130210

Passed W3C Validation