Saturday, May 26th | 12 Sivan 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

September 7, 2017 2:11 pm

Common Words Between Hebrew and Urdu

avatar by Sarmad Iqbal

Email a copy of "Common Words Between Hebrew and Urdu" to a friend

Karachi, Pakistan. Photo: Wikimedia commons.

Shalom chaverim sheli (“Hello my friends”):

I was so happy with the overwhelmingly positive response that my previous article, “A Pakistani Lover of Hebrew,” garnered. I want to express my gratitude to all of my Jewish and Hebrew-speaking friends from Israel and around the world who read and shared that article.

The love and warmth that I received in the form of comments and likes wasn’t just confined to the praise of my article and my love for Hebrew — but for a desire to see more Pakistanis embrace Israel and the Jewish people.

For me, Hebrew isn’t just a language. It is a love that has been renewed and reignited by the warmth that I received from the Jewish community.

Related coverage

May 25, 2018 4:26 pm

The Rotten Onion: When Anti-Israel Parody Crosses the Line

The satirical news site The Onion weighed into the Gaza border violence with a parody that crossed the line from humor to offense. The...

As I promised in my previous article, I’m devoting this article to the common words between Hebrew and my mother tongue of Urdu — which is also the national language of Pakistan.

Hebrew is truly a great language, and was immensely riveting and enthralling for me as I started exploring it and studying it on my own (through online Hebrew learning sites, and movies and pop songs). So I would like to share some more words and phrases that can be found both in Hebrew, and in Urdu.

The first word is “Yom,” which is a common word for “day” in Hebrew and Urdu. Hebrew has the word “Olam” for “world,” and Pakistanis have the word “Alaam” in Urdu. Hebrew speakers have the word “Gehenom” for “Hell,” while Pakistanis have “Jahanoom” in Urdu.

In Hebrew, there is the word “Mequdash” for “holy” — and Pakistanis have the word “Muqadas.” Hebrew has the word “Ra’hmanut” for “mercy,” and Urdu has the word “Rahmat,” which derives from the Arabic word “Ra’hma.” 

For “mother” Hebrew speakers have the word “Em,” and Pakistanis have the word “Ammi.” You have “Nahar” for “river” in Hebrew, and Pakistanis have “Naher” for “canal” or a “short river” in Urdu. In Hebrew, the word for the “soul” is “Rua’h,” and in Urdu there is “Rouh.” 

And how can I forget that we also have the word for “sun” in common, though with slight difference. In Urdu, Pakistanis have the word “Shams,” and in Hebrew there is “Shemesh.” In Hebrew, you have the word “Targum” for translation, and Pakistanis have the word “Tarjuma.”

And lastly, we have the word for “one” in common — as Hebrew speakers have the word “E’had,”and Urdu speakers have the word “Wahid.” I wish from the core of my heart that one day our two peoples we will be “E’had” and “Wahid.”

We must join together against all the mutual problems shared by human beings, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or nationality.

Lehitra’ot (“Goodbye”) everyone — and Nitra’eh Beqarov! (“See you soon!)”

Sarmad Iqbal is a Pakistani writer, blogger and student who has a penchant for reading, writing, learning languages and studying cultures, religions and geopolitical affairs. He can be followed on Twitterat  @sarmadiqbal7.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Nn Rr

    Simply Urdu (Hindustani or hindi)
    have heavily under Arabic and Persian and Hebrew is close to Arabic or that region so
    Hebrew and Urdu can share something this day through Arabic
    I can say
    Sometime ‘The Time’ is bad among people or communities
    Neither all arabs/Muslim are bad nor Jewish
    But politics, politicians & political system in the region is ridiculous make difference among people and communities