The question is quite clear and understandable as in the title. Are there traces of Old Turkish in ancient Germanic languages? Or traces of Germanic in Old Turkish?

2 Answers 2


Old Turkish was spoken in what is now Mongolia and Xinjiang. These are very far from the areas where Old Germanic languages were spoken. There are no "traces" of Old Turkish in ancient Germanic, nor of Germanic in Old Turkish.

  • A somewhat higher level no answer would be desirable. I am sure that the preserved Gothic vocabulary is analysed by etymology, and some substantiated claim about the presence or absence of Turkish relations can be made. I'm pretty sure it comes down to "no" or "only one or two words", but having a reference would be good. For a rather old trace of a Turkic (in this case originally Tatar) word in German, one can look at Horde, duden.de/rechtschreibung/Horde_Bande_Gruppe Jul 22, 2019 at 14:57
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    The article in this link mentions the Proto-Germenic root dīsi "lady" and states that its origin is unknown. tişi "female, she, hen" in Old Turkic shows a perfect parallelism. I still can't be sure. sgr.fi/sust/sust266/sust266_kroonen.pdf Jul 22, 2019 at 16:46
  • @SamiBülbül: Interesting paper, but Kroonen does not make the connection to Turkic and the consonants do not really match. Jul 22, 2019 at 16:49
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    @jknappen. The question was about OLD Turkish and ANCIENT Germanic. "Horde" does not enter German until the 15th century. dwds.de/wb/Horde
    – fdb
    Jul 22, 2019 at 17:35
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    For the other direction, Gagauz and Crimean Tatar are possible candidates of Turkic language to absorb some Germanic words. Jul 23, 2019 at 14:20

At the very least the appurtenances of Old Turkish linear script and common Germanic Runes prove they belonged to the same exchange network in the bigger picture. Terms that do appear in the writing of the Middle High period could hypothetically be older under the influence of standardization. A few linguistic traces of these fact aren't unexpected, but the borrowing process is more likely transmitted by intermediaries.

NB: Pfeifer notes about Ger. Köcher (quiver), "hunn. *kukur (als einzige Entlehnung aus dem Hunn.)." – Viz. the only loan from Hunnic.

  • The reason why Turkic "runes" are called "runes" by modern linguists is because of their superficial similarity to Germanic runes. By the same reasoning, one would conclude that Tifinagh and Germanic must be "related". A better (still bad) linguistic argument is the similarity between Germanic "thunder" and Turkic "Tengri" (the sky god).
    – user6726
    May 4, 2023 at 19:34
  • Oh no yes that is much better.
    – vectory
    May 5, 2023 at 13:48

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