Did Latin get it’s word for ‘frog’ from Chadic or Berber languages?


Taking a short break from looking at similarities between words in the Niger-Congo languages and Indo-European languages, today we uncover an intriguing relationship between the word for ‘frog’ in Afro-Asiatic languages [Hausa and Berber] and one Indo-European language [Latin, and the Romance languages which derive from it].  The influence is almost certainly northern Africa –> southern Europe and not vice-versa.


  • Hausa – ‘Rana

  • Tamazight Berber – ‘Jranna

  • Moroccan Arabic [with Berber substrate] – ‘Zraana‘ / ‘Graana‘ 

  • Somali – ‘Rah‘ / ‘Rihii

  • Oromo – ‘Raacha


  • Latin – ‘Rana‘ / ‘Ranae

  • Italian – ‘Rana

  • Spanish – ‘Rana

  • Asturian – ‘Rana

  • Catalan – ‘Granota

  • French – ‘Raine‘ / ‘Grenouille

  • Galician – ‘Ra

  • Portuguese – ‘Ra

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