English Words of the Same Meaning with Igbo - Onyeji Nnaji

 

Most European languages, including English, belong to the Indo-European family of languages. Common historical experiences have brought about borrowing across several European borders, such that most international words are found in almost all European languages. There are various Igbo words that formed the foundations of European words, which shall be treated in due course. A few examples will suffice here: the English word, ‘say’, etymologically evolved from Old English secgan, Germanic sagen, Old Latin insquam (I say), all of which find their roots in Igbo si (say), sikene/sakene (say!), nsi (I say), asikwam (I say, [emphatic]); English ‘cock’is derived from Old Norse kokkr, Old French coq, Medieval Latin coccus and Igbo okuko

There are many more of such words with Igbo roots across several European languages, both Eastern and Western Europe. Below are but a few of such words: of

English Language
Implied meaning
Igbo Equivalent
Meaning
Go
To leave/walk away
Gaa
To leave/walk away
Adam
First man/fallen man
Adaam
I have fallen
Say
Talk/answer
Saa
Talk/answer
Cock
Domestic bird
Okuko
Domestic bird
King
Anchor of power
Ikenga
Anchor of force or power
Animal
Four-footed beings
Anumanu
Four-footed being
Marine
Water
Miri
Water
Choir
Group of singers
Ukwe
Song/group of singers
Chief
Ordained leader
Ichie efu
Non-initiate ordained leader
Order
Rule
Ora dere
cosmically established/god ordained
Make/made
To to
Mee/mere
To do

The verb phrase, "go away" is also realized in the Igbo language in such a way that makes a novice to think if both language users share the same boundary. As though coincidental, 'go' in English has the same meaning as 'gaa' in Igbo; in the second way, Goaway is realised in Igbo in the same rhythm as 'gawa'. we

What we have just demonstrated is to show that, according to Merritt above, the similarities in the languages of the ancient civilization around the globe may have sourced a fraction (if not almost all) of their population from the East. Of all my research as a language analyst, this paper has discovered only the English language with borrowings from over three languages. Language is an indelible identity that hardly loses its presence in the cultural affinity of any people. It does not lose its presence completely, it does not matter the number of generations it may last. It proves Dr. Pegel true that, “language doesn’t change that entire fast — it retains a signal of its ancestry over tens of thousands of years”.  See other topics below to clear your doubt.




As a unique feature, language that is capable of being the mother of all tongues must not borrow from the offspring languages without having a term that stands and represents the borrowed terms independently. Such a mother tongue should not have any borrowed tongue(s), must not have any borrowed terms as its standard code, it does not matter the level of innovation caused by modernity or any contemporary feature. We have, in the cause of this study, tested the languages of many ancient civilized worlds and found them loaded with several inventions borrowed from other languages. We equally tested the Igbo language and found that borrowing was rather based on the internal motif of the speaker at any given time as he strives to escape certain critical opinions that would define his level of incompetence. Of course, we find prominent among Igbo speakers, such borrowings as Agbero, Oyibo etc. when they lack the exact name of the term in reference. The Igbo do not have anything like such in the lexicon and it had never been borrowed. 

The Igbo words for the above terms are Eburu and Bekee. The first refers to the lowest grade of labourers. To be specific, Eburu is used to refer to the low-ranked labourers whose role is to carry loads. It is in this lexeme one finds such labourers as Onye eburu Nsi (a person who drains toilet pits) and other forms of Eburu. The latter, Bekee, is used to address people who are fair in complexion or people dressed in the attire of the western culture.

The Igbo repudiation to the one unique feature that is common to every language in the universe is one clear conception of its original position as the mother of the global tongues. It does not accept borrowings from any other language. And as the language of rules, tradition and culture, the Igbo rather choose representation of terms by familiar terms within its language community than submitting to wear the cloth sewn by another language culture. If Igbo had not been originally conditioned thus, then the rule must have been broken in the colonial era. 

The Elizabethan lifestyle brought several innovations and inventions which ought to have been wedded into the Igbo language culture, but this attempt did not succeed. For instance, colonialism brought about such things as bicycle, motor cycle, car, train, air craft and ship as instruments of transportation. It brought about western education carried out in schools, churches and mineral resources all of which should have a place in the Igbo language, but the language became duly repulsive to them. Rather than imbibe those foreign colours, Igbo improvised terms for them from the local colour. We have such word samples as follow.

English
Igbo
Sources of Improvisation
Bicycle
Inyinya Igwe
Mode of paddling
Motorcycle
Ogba tum tum
TheMeans sound
Car
Ugbo Ala
 of transportation
Train
Ugbo Oloko
The horn 
Plane
Ugbo Elu
Means of transportation
Kerosene
Manu Oku
The uses
Petrol (fuel, gas etc.)
Miri Mmo
Mode of evaporation
School
Ulo Akwukwo
Education that is book based
Church
Ulo Uka
A house of discussion
Rice
Os(h)ikapa
Increase in size when cooked
Beans
Agwa
Colouration

It is clear from the little analysis shown above that rather than become influenced by foreign culture, the Igbo language had held to its aboriginal relevance by sustaining its language culture unswervingly. Where a direct name did not occur, the Igbo language realizes such terms in phrasal forms as exemplified above. On rare cases, an aspect of the new words is retained while it serves as a complement to the main term drawn from the local colour. A good example is Electric (Oku latrik) etc. No language in the world exists without one form of influence from another language, but the Igbo. All the instances sampled above and other related views unstated here gave us the impetus to insist that the language of the world aborigine was Igbo.      


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