…stan… and สถาน

Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 7:00 am 3 comments

This is something I wish I noticed before, but I just discovered the link between the names of nations ending with “…stan” and the Thai root สถาน. You see สถาน all over the place in Thai:

  • สถานี – Station (police station, train station, radio station, etc.)
  • สถานทูต – Embassy (place of diplomacy)
  • โบราณสถาน – Archaeological site

I first noticed this when I discovered that Pakistan is called ปากีสถาน in Thai, when I expected to see ปากีสตาน. But obviously both words share the same Sanskrit root. The Online Etymology Dictionary entry for stan indicates (if I am reading it right) that not only do these countries names come from the same root, but also English stand, station, static, standard, and so on.

Entry filed under: General. Tags: .

Moved the Blog New Category: Nailing Thai

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rikker  |  Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Making this type of connection is what makes learning Thai really cool. For the most part, the Powers That Be with respect to modernizing the Thai language tried to be (and still try to be) systematic and logical in coming up with equivalent names/words for things. I’m sure whoever coined สถานี to mean “station”, they were aware of the connection between English and Sanskrit, and chose the word based on the common root.

    Another addition on where you’ll find สถาน frequently: in the semantic double สถานที่ “place, location”.

  • 2. Mangkorn  |  Monday, November 5, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    I was studying Thai when the tsunami hit here, and as a journalist I went to cover that story. One word I learned, and never forgot after only hearing it once, was: สถานที่เก็บศพ

    Funny how we register some words forever, but may constantly forget other ones even after hearing them many times.

    Cheers. Excellent blog Khun Rikker.

  • 3. Mangkorn  |  Monday, November 5, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Oops…sorry, Jason. I thought I was on Rikker’s blog. Must’ve linked without knowing. But at least now I’ve discovered yours as yet another resource.

    Cheers, and keep up the good work.


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