Ferengi and farangi

I was telling someone that I think that Quark is my favorite character on DS9 because the actor conveys the character's complexity and depth. Then we were talking about Ferengi, and my friend said that "farangi" (spelled a little differently but with the same sound) is the word for "foreigner" in Farsi (she studied it and had been to Iran). Then I realized that the Thai word for foreigner, farang, sounds similar. So what's the deal?

"One explanation for the origin of this word is that it is borrowed from the Persian word farang which means Frankish. Another explanation is that it derives from farangset, which is the Thai pronunciation of fran├žais, the French word for 'French' or 'Frenchman'...In Farsi, the word farangi refers to foreigners."

I guess it's all the traveling that the folks of yore did. Now similar things are happening, except we can travel virtually anywhere via the Internet, so it will be interesting to see how language continues to evolve that way.

By the way, someone who's way into DS9 compiled the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. Good to know that people have lots of time on their hands.


Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, faranji is also the word for foreigner in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia - Iran - Thailand
I bet that's all these countries have in common.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

02 11 06
MJ: Now This is a very interesting post about the Ferangi!
Ha! I always thought it was Persian or something because of Frangipangi perfume and I always got that from Farsi merchants. I know it is an odd association, but the brain makes strange connections. Ironically, I am not sure if frangipangi is a Persian word! Ha!

I love Quark btw. He is so shady yet lovable. The Rules are easy to come by nowadays-well take it from someone who used to sit around reading those damnable books all day! ha! Good post MJ:) Take Care and remember that people are not punctuation marks!

I am going through a refi on my home now and am about to pull my hair out! I also notice the need to compensate in other areas; like being super obsessively clean! Yes, the brain I say!
Have a good week:)

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

02 11 06

Hmm, maybe there were ancient trade routs that connected those places. I have read somewhere that there is shaky evidence that trade routs between Africa, Asia and Europe existed thousands of years ago. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for supplying the Ethopian connection. We do live on a planet, after all, where travel has existed via various means.

A while ago I did a presentation in a class about Thai, and found a lot of info about the development of the word "farang" which is related to the word for "French person" and they said it resulted from trade that grew from the Arab cultures. I should find that info online again. Really interesting.

I love Quark--the best character on DS9. Good luck with the house and don't try to rehab people. ;)

Unknown said...

Is Firangi/Phirangi a derogatory term? As an Indian I never used it in that manner, but, do you all think otherwise?

Llyn said...

Humans have been traders and travelers for ever. Read SilkRoads by Peter Frankpan. Lapiz from Afghanistan was transported to Mesopotamia as early as 6500 BC. Lots of time for lots of things, including language, to get around.