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linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

Did you know?

Persian "farangi" -->
Urdu/Hindi "firangi" -->
English (Star Trek) "Ferengi"

In South Asia, the term describes foreigners, specifically British but also more generally white Europeans.

It's such an apt name for the Star Trek species which embodies and makes a literal religion out of everything that is wrong with British/European/USian colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy; greed, sexism, profiteering, classism, racism, and so on.

re: linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan I believe in Thai ´Farrang' is also used for westeners (IIRC the meaning is something like 'long nosed')

re: linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@ckeen no doubt! i'm sure there are linguistic connections between these languages as they are so geographically close to each other

re: linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

Not serious:

@shahaan no doubt there's a universal understanding of intruding idiot in all societies..

re: linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@ckeen intruding, destructive, exploitative...

re: linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan yes all that bloody Jazz. And we could stop this right about now.

re: linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@ckeen that’s the hope

re: linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@ckeen @shahaan the word is used in Thailand; I heard it comes from Laos and Cambodia where the French were colonizers but in Thai the same word also means guava which is a fruit with white flesh. (hadn't heard the nose meaning before but it could be both)

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan fun, it sounds so close to "foreign" but the etymology is completely unrelated, going back to the word franc (as in, Franconian or French)

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@schratze yep! I guess it really is true: what goes around, comes around

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@schratze @shahaan similarly, Frenk in Turkish, especially (I think) after the crusades and up until the Ottoman Francophilie.

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@schratze @shahaan apropos, watching DS9 while reading Years of Rice and Salt makes for a quite fun effect when the book characters talk about the "Lost Civilization of Firangistan"

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan That is funny. I remember seeing the Persian root mentioned in a Trek wiki, but I missed the subtext 🙂

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan This is fascinating, TIL! A bit more interesting than how the makers of Stargate SG-1 got their alien race names.

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@futzle haha well whatever works I guess 🤷🏻‍♂️

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan @futzle "Admiral Calamari" was not clever even when I was seven though, so it is possible to be too lazy XD

@shahaan stuff like that is why Star Trek is better than star wars IMHO

@AlejandroP eh, I mean I tend not to compare, they’re way too different 🤷🏻‍♂️

@shahaan yeah sure, that's why I said in my humble opinion.
To each their own taste I guess

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan I like how it turns out not to be a species characteristic, but a specific cultural, economic, and social characteristic because Ferengi can escape these ideologies and transform their minds, become different. This offers us hope too!

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan spot on.

But now my brain is re-analyzing the thing with how DS9 deals with racism, but casts captain Cisko, who is black, as the racist, which always looked like a rather evil thing to write, to me.

But also, that racism is directed towards ferengi, so, oh look, it got worse?

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@panina Do you mean the thing where they keep saying “they warned us about Ferengi at Starfleet Academy?”

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan yep, but at some point, Quark calls Sisko out on it, the general racism of star fleet personnel, and Sisko has to face those accusations of racism.
Which us good, sure, they're talking about racism.
But why the fuck does Sisko have to be the one saying the hard things that white people in the present day needs to say?

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@panina hmm, I’ll have to watch that episode again to get the context right, but for sure a Black captain fielding accusations of racism is really messed up. I’m just thinking, though, since the Ferengi represent white European colonialists, could that exchange have been meant to show how disgusting it is when white people complain about “reverse racism” and the like?

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan that's quite likely, especially since Quark isn't a very honest person, so the accusations were, at least partly, a tool in some other game.

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@panina yeah, he’s always up to no good. In fact I’m surprised Sisko let him stay after all the times he intentionally and unintentionally jeopardized the lives and safety of the crew and station, in order to make a quick buck

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@panina @shahaan another complicating factor there is, from criticism I have heard, the antisemitic stereotypes ferengi seem to reproduce

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@cadxdr @shahaan oh wow, that's right. A lot of deflection going on there. Classic whiteness.

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@panina @cadxdr really? That’s terrible. I’m going to look this up, thanks for pointing it out!

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan @panina I had seen it in a video essay thingy, let me see if I can find it (unlikely)

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan @panina but the Wikipedia page on ferengi does refer to it a bit

racism, antisemitism, Star Trek 

@cadxdr @shahaan I've seen enough of that type of antisemitism to recognize it clearly. I can elaborate if needed.

racism, antisemitism, Star Trek 

@panina @shahaan I'd love to hear personally. couldn't find the video and I'm not particularly well versed in this kind of antisemitism.

racism, antisemitism, description of antisemitic caricatures, Star Trek 

@cadxdr @shahaan there are caricature comic at least back to the 30s at least, and the ferengi's smile and rubbing of hands stem from this. The greed is central to these caricatures, and it's equally central to the ferengi culture.

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@cadxdr @shahaan that whole deal is based on the fact that banking and moneylending was frowned upon by the christians way, way back, like some 500 years at least. But everyone still wanted to borrow money, so they forced Jewish people into those positions. I'm guessing, by not allowing them to do anything else.
So after they established this business for Jewish people, we started saying that those people did it because they were greedy or something.

Quite a lot of similarities with transgendered sex-workers here, actually...

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@cadxdr @shahaan and if anyone wants me to take down either of those two posts, just let me know.

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@panina @shahaan thanks!

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@cadxdr @panina ditto, thank you for this!

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@shahaan @cadxdr then I'll just put that back in the box labelled "the most disgusting knowledge in the world", thank you...

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@panina @cadxdr sorry if I wasn’t clear, I just meant that I appreciate being informed about this

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@shahaan @cadxdr oh god no worries at all! You were very clear.
That was just my emotional response to remembering this kind of stuff. Not on you at all, sorry!

racism, antisemitism, ancient history of european antisemitism, Star Trek 

@panina @cadxdr I understand, no need to apologize :)

racism, antisemitism, Star Trek 

@panina @cadxdr yeah sure, I’d prefer it to a wiki page, thanks!

racism, anti-blackness, linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@cadxdr @panina that’s a good enough starting point, yeah

linguistics, etymology, colonialism, Star Trek 

@shahaan Altho it wasn’t intentional, one of the biggest missed opportunities about the Ferengi was to have them slide into antisemitic caricatures.

We know they were intended as serious villains in The Next Generation before becoming ineffectual schemers. Deep Space 9 deepened some the antisemitic tropes but also subverted it by de-racializing all species to treat them more realistically and seriously, less as monolithic metaphors.

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Une instance se voulant accueillante pour les personnes queers, féministes et anarchistes ainsi que pour leurs sympathisant·e·s. Nous sommes principalement francophones, mais vous êtes les bienvenu·e·s quelle que soit votre langue.

A welcoming instance for queer, feminist and anarchist people as well as their sympathizers. We are mainly French-speaking people, but you are welcome whatever your language might be.