Sanskrit Borrowed Words in Sinama

Sama learning, worldview and religion were greatly shaped by speakers of Sanskrit, teachers originally from South Asia who reached Southeast Asia prior to Arab or Western influence. Many Sanskrit words remain a part of important conversations in Sinama. We have been able to identify over 60 words in Sinama that originate from Sanskrit and we suspect that number to be much higher. We welcome any feedback you may be able to contribute about Sanskrit influence on the Sinama language or Sama culture in the comments.

 No.Language  Sinama     Language Sanskrit                Language English
1agama āgama आगमtradition, that which has come down, religion
2altaꞌartha अर्थassets, wealth
3anughalaꞌ anugraha अनुग्रहaward, blessing, favor
4astanaꞌāsthāna आस्थानassembly room, an audience hall (palace in Sinama)
5bahasabhāṣā भाषाspeech, language
6baktiꞌbhakti भक्तिdevotion (in Sinama appreciation shown to a religious teacher)
7baliyuvāyu वायुwind
8bangsavaṃśa वंशmetaphorically the family tree in how it resembles bamboo joints, race, stock, lineage (in Sinama one’s race or nation)
9banyagaꞌvaṇijaka वणिजकa merchant, trader (in other Philippine languages this is used to describe a foreigner, while in Sulu it is used to describe a slave of status lower than an ‘ata‘.)
10bassa / batsavācā वाचाspeech, word, a holy word, a sacred text (in Sinama the word for reading which gives the interesting connection that the reason for reading was connected to the sacred)
11biddaꞌbheda भेदdistinction, difference,
12bigibīja बीजa seed, a grain, semen
13biraddalividyādharī विद्याधरीa female of the above class of supernatural beings, fairy, sprite, angel
14bissala / bissaravicāra विचारdiscussion, dispute
15biyasa / biyaksaabhyāsa अभ्यासa habit, to repeat an act (in Sinama accustomed to, familiar with; kabiyasahan is a custom or habit)
16diwata / duwatadevatā देवताa supernatural being (in Sinama a being that lives in a person or is summoned in order to possess a person)
17dukkaꞌduḥkha दुःखuneasiness, pain, sorrow, trouble, difficulty (in Sinama grief)
18dusadoṣa दोषoffence, transgression, guilt, crime
19gadjagaja गजelephant
20gunaguṇa गुणa quality, property, or characteristic of something (in Sinama the use, value or utility of something)
21guruguru गुरुa teacher of religion, especially a religious text, as well as esoteric skill
22halgaꞌargha अर्घworth, value, price
23jagajāgṛ जागृalert, awake, watchful (in Sinama to guard or watch)
24kalnaꞌkāraṇa कारणcause or reason
25kassaꞌ (katsaꞌ)kāca काचglass (in Sinama a glass bottle)
26kata-katakathā कथाa tale, fable, feigned story, often of poetical composition (in Sinama often sung or chanted)
27kawasavaśa वशauthority, power, control
28kutaꞌkoṭa कोटa fort or stronghold
29lagundiꞌnirguṇḍi निर्गुण्डिthe Chinese or five-leaved chaste tree; known traditionally for its medicinal properties
30lahuꞌrāhuḥ राहुan eclipse (related to the story of a demon who opposes the sun and the moon)
31masa / musimmāsa मासrefers to a month and can refer to a months time in the past (two words in Sinama seem to link to this word: masa a long period of time in the past, an era and musim which refers to a season)
32maha-mahā महाof highest degree
33mahaldikaꞌmaharddhika महर्द्धिकprosperous (in Sinama to treat someone with utmost respect or honor, to honor)
34manusiyaꞌmanuṣyá मनुष्यmankind
35mulliyamūlya मूल्यworth (in Sinama to give special honor or worth)
36mussaꞌmutya मुत्यpearl
37naganaga नगa serpent (in Sinama possibly a dragon or maybe the Sama concept of dragon more closely resembles a serpent; when a snake grows legs it is said to be turning into a naga)
38nalkaꞌnārakaḥ नारकhell
39pahalaꞌphala फलfruit and metaphorically reward or punishment (in Sinama blessing; especially reward in the afterlife)
40paratsaya / parassayaparicaya परिचयto know intimately (in Sinama to believe in)
41paliksaꞌ / pariksaꞌparīkṣā परीक्षाto investigate
42palkalaꞌprakāra प्रकारa variation of something or type/kind of something (in Sinama it refers to major common events like weddings, funerals etc.)
43puwasaupavāsaḥ उपवासfasting
44pudjipūjā पूजाto praise, revere, honor, worship
45pasalupasārūpya सारूप्य
(also rūpa रूप)
resemblance, likeness (in Sinama for a spiritual being to appear in the form of a human)
46patulaꞌpaṭola पटोलthe dish-rag gourd
47saksiꞌsākṣin साक्षिन्eye-witness
48Samaśama शम
sama सम
(it is often asserted that the origin of the Sama name comes from the Malay word ‘sama-sama’ for togetherness, but the Malay word originates from Sanskrit and Sanskrit has two words that sound similar: ‘sama’ for equality and ‘shama’ for peace; being that it is second nature for the Sama to tell others that they are a peace-loving people, is it possible that the origin of their name itself asserts the Sama cultural value of peace?)
49samasama समequal (in Sinama can be used as a prefix e.g. Samaheya du kami.)
50samantalaꞌsamāntara समान्तरparallel (in Sinama to consider two related things; since that is so; in view of)
51sampakaꞌcampaka चम्पकthe frangipani tree (in India it is considered a variety of the champak flower, that which is found in home of Sri Krishna, a god residing in the highest realm of heaven)
52sampulnaꞌsampūrṇa संपूर्णcomplete, filled (a combination of root words sama + pūrṇa)
53sandanaꞌcandana चन्दन sandalwood (used for incense and perfume)
54sahayachāya छायplay of light, luster, light (in Sinama brilliance of a light or the shine of a light)
55sangkakalaśaṅkha शङ्ख + kālaḥ कालśaṅkha is a conch shell literally and can be a trumpet and kālaḥ means time, this is the trumpet to be blown upon the end of time
56sattuwasattva सत्त्वcreature, animal (in Sinama used often for larger wild animals)
57saupamaupamā उपमाcomparison, similarity (in Sinama to give an example)
58sukaꞌcukra चुक्रvinegar
59sulgaꞌsvarga स्वर्गheaven
60sussiśuci शुचिcompletely clean, pure, holy
61sutlaꞌsūtra सूत्रa thread, yarn, string, cord, wire (in Sinama it refers to silk)
62suwalasvara स्वरvoice
63tiksaꞌ / siksaꞌśikṣā शिक्षाpunishment (in Sinama hardship and suffering)
64usahautsāha उत्साहeffort, perseverance, exertion (in Sinama what one does for a living, usually referring to various forms of fishing)
65uttalaꞌuttara उत्तरnorth (in Sinama the name of the north wind)
66tinggaꞌtīvra तीव्रiron, steel, tin, lead (in Sinama this especially refers to weights used for diving)
67walnaꞌvarṇa वर्णcolor

1 thought on “Sanskrit Borrowed Words in Sinama

  1. The word hina in Tagalog is often used by Sama speakers to mean ‘weak’. It is not included in the Sinama dictionary and readily identified as being borrowed from Tagalog. Its Sanskrit origin (hīna हीन) makes me question whether it should be included as a Sinama word as well.

Ai tapah'llingbi pasal itu?

%d bloggers like this: