Why do some words in different languages have the same multiple meanings?

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Take the English word “right”. It can mean “true, correct”, but it can also be used in something like “human rights”.

Now take the Arabic word حق. Again, it can mean “true, correct” and the “rights” in “human rights”.

It makes sense for a word to have the same single meaning across different languages. But what is the likeliness that two languages have a word that share the same multiple meanings?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

If the languages are closely related, then it’s extremely high, otherwise it’s extremely low. Direita/Derecha (Portuguese/Spanish) both mean “right” (as in right side, or human rights) and “straight”, but not “right” (as in not wrong).

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