Italians say: "Chi è?"

Iranians say: "Kié?" (کیه in Persian alphabet)

Is it just a coincidence that the spoken form of both is the same or there's a relation between the two languages in this aspect?

Fun fact: Even some Italians look like Iranians facially! and culturally of course.

  • 1
    If there is a connection, it probably stems from both languages belonging to the Indoeuropean language family. Compare with, e.g., Bulgarian "кой е?" (read as "koiè"). The original proto-Indoeuropean form of "who" is *kʷis (from which the English form who is derived as well, although via a lot of non-obvious sound changes). Unfortunately I don't know enough about Indoiranic etymology to look at it from that direction...
    – Denis Nardin
    Jun 17, 2023 at 10:01
  • Of course, كيه (kié) is the spoken form in Iran consisting of ki + e. ki separately is the spoken form for "who", and é is the spoken form for is. But the written form of "who" in Persian is كس (kas). And "Who is" in written form is "che kasi ast?" (چه کسی است؟) Jun 17, 2023 at 10:14
  • As I said, the Italian chi è has a very transparent etymology through the Latin quis est all the way to proto-Indoeuropean. I guess the question is where the spoken Iranian form comes from, but unfortunately I don't know enough about Persian to answer from that side.
    – Denis Nardin
    Jun 17, 2023 at 10:19
  • As Denis Nardin says, Persian and Italian are relatives, because of their common Indoeuropean family, and there are many words that are similar in Persian and Italian, for example padar (padre) and madar (madre), e molte altre. V. eastjournal.net/archives/66313. But I don't know Persian, so I cannot say anything about Kiè, but a common origin is possible. Jun 18, 2023 at 12:39
  • 3
    @RogerVadim Merci and almost all European words came to the Persian language after the colonialism period. They didn't exist in the old times of Iran. But kiè existed in the Persian language from the old days. Jun 21, 2023 at 12:57


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