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Does the word пять have an origin in an Indian language? I noticed that the word in Bengali sounds almost the same. See here for the spelling, and here for the pronunciation.

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    There is a site Linguistics.SE, maybe you should try asking there. linguistics.stackexchange.com – Artemix Jun 10 '16 at 9:47
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    You may find it interesting that the English word "punch" (the beverage) in fact originates from an Indic word meaning "five". – Quassnoi Jun 10 '16 at 11:33
  • @Quassnoi it's a theory - pretty accepted but not the only one - there's also a word puncheon - etymonline.com/index.php?term=puncheon -which has nothing to do with India but could be related to punch. – shabunc Jun 10 '16 at 14:43
  • @MartinPeters a-ha-ha more or less because exactly this kind of reasons european linguistics was born ) Actually a lot of words have PIE roots but yes, it's more of a Linguistics SE kind of question. – shabunc Jun 10 '16 at 14:44
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Updating my answer: Not Indian but Proto-Indo-European (PIE) from which a huge number of modern and ancient languages (commonly known as Indo-European) have evolved, including Sanskrit, Old Greek, Latin, and, eventually, most modern European languages (Roman, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic), Hindi, etc.

П.С.: надеюсь, я не нарушу слишком много правил, если добавлю источник для интересующихся тем, как из одного древнего слова получается "пять", "five", "cinque" и т.д? Для начинающих: Зализняк. "Об исторической лингвистике"

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  • Hm, but in German it is fünf and in Swedish fem which look different. – Martin Peters Jun 10 '16 at 8:53
  • Perhaps you can point me to a source when you will have the time. – Martin Peters Jun 10 '16 at 9:25
  • With pleasure but I have two problems here: 1. I read my Linguistics books in Russian (that's why I somewhat struggling with English terminology) and I'm not sure if you speak any Russian. 2. A quick search on Google does not show much info suitable for a non-specialist (I searched in English). It's either WiKi with questionable quality of materials, or some specialist-oriented papers, which you might find too hard to grind. :) – tum_ Jun 10 '16 at 9:38
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    @MartinPeters Germanic laguages do have an F in many places where related languages had P, don't they? Consider words like Vater, for example. Similarly, fünf had a P a very long time ago when German was not yet German. Google Grimm's law if you want more details. – Shady_arc Jun 10 '16 at 11:08
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    @MartinPeters - The Scandinavian fem ("five") < Old Norse fimm < Proto-Germanic *fimf < Proto-Indo-European *pénkʷe ‎(“five”). – Yellow Sky Jun 10 '16 at 11:52

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