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I have not published any new posts for several years but the work on the comparative dictionary was continuing. Regrettably, my co-author and teacher Alexander Shaposhikov died last year. However, he has finished most of his part of work and also left many comments that allow me to continue with this project and lead it to the end. Currently, the dictionary is 90 per cent complete. It contains approximately 870 completed entries out of a total of 1000 planned. I hope to publish the dictionary by September 2023.

I publish an updated demonstration draft containing only a small number (16) of entries of the highest rating 5. It still lacks some essential parts in the Introduction section. The entries have not yet been correctly re-read and we are constantly updating the comments. Compared to the previous version we added and enhanced many entries and fixed some obvious errors. The formatting was optimised to reduce number of pages. The Introduction section has been restructured and expanded. The bibliographic style has been updated to ugost2008ns which, unfortunately, does not have a Cyrillic alphabetical sorting function. This should be fixed manually in the publication-ready version.

Any constructive criticism or feedback is welcome.

I have decided to upload a draft of my RUSSIAN – SANSKRIT DICTIONARY OF COMMON AND COGNATE WORDS which is the result of some eight years of work. This dictionary has been conceived as a practical reference book with the objective of providing factual material for researchers in the field of the Indo-European linguistics or anyone interested in etymology, semantics and the origin of the Indo-European, particularly, Slavonic languages. Compiling a dictionary is time-consuming and it is a mammoth task to do for a single person. The first draft published here is only a rough approximation. It contains only 488 entries, which is about a quarter of the planned volume, and still lacks some essential parts in the Introduction section. The entries have not yet been properly proof-read and I am constantly updating the comments.

 Index of entries

You may access the text at my page on

Although this work is titled ‘Dictionary’ it is neither a traditional Russian-Sanskrit dictionary nor a formal etymological dictionary, but rather a catalogue of various cognate, common or otherwise connected Russian and Sanskrit words, arranged is a systematic way with cross-references, explanatory notes, links to other Slavonic and Indo-European languages, indexes and other features aimed at making it a valuable and convenient reference book. The specific task called for employing both Cyrillic and Devanagarī scripts throughout the book because transliteration, however elaborate, cannot fully replace the native writing system. Since it is unlikely that every reader would be proficient in both scripts, each word is accompanied by a conventional transliteration.

In writing this book I endeavoured to go through all major works dedicated to this issue starting from the discovery of Sanskrit and its relation to the European languages in general, and particularly to Slavonic, covering the period from the 17th century up to the modern days. Each proposed cognate word has been carefully evaluated, checked through various dictionaries and, sometimes, re-linked or rejected. This method provided some eight hundred pairs that made the back-bone of the dictionary. The rest of the cognate pairs (about another thousand two hundred) are the result of many years of scrupulous research.

Many cognate pairs are obvious, some need more or less detailed explanations and might be difficult to apprehend without some basic knowledge of the principal linguistic concepts and terms. This is why the dictionary is prefaced by an Introduction containing some essential information about the Russian and Sanskrit languages and their phonetic and grammatical features with particular attention to the principal rules of sound correlation. This section is now in work and it is not included in this draft.

I would be grateful for any constructive criticism or comments. If you would like to support this project there are several ways of helping me with the work:

  •  report any spelling or other mistakes that you have noticed
  •  suggest any other cognate pairs
  • check the various cognates I mention in Slavonic and other languages if they happen to be in your native language

Some time ago I published a post “Weer Rajendra Rishi on the affinity of Russian and Sanskrit” which quickly became very popular especially with our Indian brothers. One of the quotes from Dr. Rishi’s book related to the “the melodiousness of the rhythm of the Russian folklore and the Sanskrit verse”:

“That the melodiousness of the rhythm of the Russian folklore and the Sanskrit verse synchronises with each other is confirmed by a news item published in the Soviet Land (No. 2 of January 1968) published by the Information Services of the Embassy of the USSR in India, New Delhi. It is stated that the style of the verse of Russian folk legends and Puskin’s tales is closer to the rhythm of Sanskrit verse. Professor Smirnov (1892— 1967), the reputed Sanskritologist of the Soviet Union has translated Mahābhārata into Russian in this type of verse. Professor Smirnov had with him a recording of an extract from the Mahābhārata read in Sanskrit original by Professor Nirmal Chandra Maitra of India to the accompaniment of Indian instruments. When after playing the recording of the Sanskrit version, Professor Smirnov read his Russian translation, the enchanting melody of the rhythm was found to be very much like that of the Sanskrit original as read by Professor Nirmal Chandra Maitra and sounded in unison.”(p.16)

Reading it I recalled a poem by Valery Brjuosov (Valery Bryusov) which rhymes very well with Dr. Rishi’s words. I have translated the poem into English for you.

Не надо обманчивых грёз,
Не надо красивых утопий:
Но Рок поднимает вопрос,
Мы кто в этой старой Европе?


No need for deceptive reveries,
No need for delightful Utopias:
But Fate is calling for a quest
– Who are we in this Old Europe?


Случайные гости? Орда,
Пришедшая с Камы и с Оби,
Что яростью дышит всегда,
Все губит в бессмысленной злобе?


Fortuitous guests? A horde,
Arrived from rivers Ob and Kama,
That always with abhorrence breathes
Destroying all in senseless hatred?


Иль мы – тот великий народ,
Чье имя не будет забыто,
Чья речь и поныне поёт
Созвучно с напевом санскрита.Валерий Брюсов, 1914
Or are we that great folk,
Whose name will never be forgotten,
Whose speech until this day does sing
In tune with melodies of Sanskrit.Valerij Brjusov, 1914


Photo of Valerij Brjusov from Wikipedia
Mikhail Vrubel. Portrait of Valery Bryusov. 1906. Charcoal, red crayon, chalk on paper 104*70 Tretyakov Gallery. This is the last painting by Vrubel, he became blind when working on it {PD-art}}

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This is a  list of some most obvious  Russian – Sanskrit cognate nouns. It is only a short-list in which I give only the generally accepted cognate pairs having the rating 5 & 6.  Since one should  compare similar forms, I give Russian nouns in a special transcription, approximated to Sanskrit Latin transliteration. Read the rest of this entry »

The topic of Iranian loans into Slavonic has become a common place in Slavistics reflecting, to a considerable extent, the stereotype view on Slavonic mainly as a target language for borrowing. In reality, the number of truly attested Iranian loans is confined to a rather short list of words. Strictly speaking, the term ‘iranism (иранизм)’, widely used in Russian linguistic literature, stands for a direct borrowing from one of the attested Iranian languages.  However, according to the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Oleg Nikolajevič Trubačev, such loans are limited to a few cultural terms such as *kotъ ‘stall, small cattle shed’, *čьrtogъ ‘inner part of a house’, *gun’a ‘shabby clothes, rags’, *kordъ ‘short sward’, *toporъ ‘axe’ etc., plus a separately standing group of religious terms and names of gods. However, even if any of these words are indeed borrowings they may not  necessarily be ‘iranisms’ in the true sense (i. e. direct borrowings from one of the attested Iranian languages). Read the rest of this entry »

This is a short list of some most obvious  Russian – Sanskrit cognate verbs.  Since one should  compare similar forms, I give Russian verbs in the same format as Sanskrit verbs are presented in traditional dictionaries (for example in Monier Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary): verbal root – 3rd person, singular, Present Tense form. For a comparison of conjugation paradigms see my other post. See also the Russian – Sanskrit nouns

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