Skip to comments.The Origin of the Word Iran
Posted on 07/20/2006 6:08:23 PM PDT by madison10
ARYAN and Iran
ETYMOLOGY: From Sanskrit rya-, noble, Aryan.
OTHER FORMS: Ary·an ADJECTIVE
WORD HISTORY:It is one of the ironies of history that Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany, originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians, Indo-European peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran, Afghanistan, and India.
Their tribal self-designation was a word reconstructed as *arya or *rya. The first of these is the form found in Iranian, as ultimately in the name of Iran itself (from Middle Persian rn (ahr), (Land) of the Iranians, from the genitive plural of r, Iranian). The variant *rya is found unchanged in Sanskrit, where it referred to the upper crust of ancient Indian society. These words became known to European scholars in the 18th century.
The shifting of meaning that eventually led to the present-day sense started in the 1830s, when Friedrich Schlegel, a German scholar who was an important early Indo-Europeanist, came up with a theory that linked the Indo-Iranian words with the German word Ehre, honor, and older Germanic names containing the element ario, such as the Swiss warrior Ariovistus who was written about by Julius Caesar.
Schlegel theorized that far from being just a designation of the Indo-Iranians, the word *arya had in fact been what the Indo-Europeans called themselves, meaning something like the honorable people. (This theory has since been called into question.) Thus Aryan came to be synonymous with Indo-European, and in this sense entered the general scholarly consciousness of the day.
I read that post also, and someone dismissed it as rubbish.
I've tried to remember which thread it was on, but I've read too many tonite...
Yep, they changed the name in 1935 just as Hitler was beginning his military build up.
Dang! 22 seconds!
tin foil hat time.
'Iran' is actually pronounced 'Eeraawn', and not as in 'I ran'. Atleast in Iran itself, and in India.
Iran: I ran into a wall, called Israel.
Another piece of throw-away trivia to go along with the fashion.
During most of its history, it was named Persia.
Iranians back then including Darius the Great who had light skin and blue eyes as light as the sky according to historical accounts were light featured. Iranians today due to the Arab invasions around have a mix of European and Mid-eastern features.
I wonder if the Irish name 'Ryan' is any variation of this? The older languages often bear traces of their original Sanskrit.
Ms Mathur noticed the similarities after moving to BBC Radio Wales
"We tend to pronounce everything - all the consonants, all the vowels."
'Apu from the Simpsons holidaying in Swansea' or Pete Postlethwaite?
Remarkably, no-one has yet done a direct proper comparative study between the two languages to found out why this is so, says Ms Mathur.
"What I'm hoping is that if amateurs like myself - who have indulged in doing a little bit of research here and there - come forward, we can actually do proper research with professional linguists," she told BBC World Service's Everywoman programme.
Ms Mathur explained that when she moved to Wales, everyone instantly assumed she was Welsh from her accent.
"I would just answer the phone, and they would say 'oh hello, which part of Wales are you from?'," she said.
We tend to pronounce everything - all the consonants, all the vowels
Sonia Mathur "I would explain that I'm not from Wales at all - I'm from India.
"It was just hilarious each time this conversation happened."
Her interest aroused, Ms Mathur spoke to a number of other people whose first language is Hindi.
One Hindi doctor in north Wales told her that when he answered the phone, people hearing his accent would begin talking to him in Welsh.
"I thought maybe it isn't a coincidence, and if I dig deeper I might find something more," Ms Mathur said.
Particular similarities between the accents are the way that both place emphasis on the last part of word, and an elongated way of speaking that pronounces all the letters of a word.
"We tend to pronounce everything - all the consonants, all the vowels," Ms Mathur said.
"For example, if you were to pronounce 'predominantly', it would sound really similar in both because the 'r' is rolled, there is an emphasis on the 'd', and all the letters that are used to make the word can be heard.
"It's just fascinating that these things happen between people who come from such varied backgrounds."
The similarities have sometimes proved particularly tricky for actors - Pete Postlethwaite, playing an Asian criminal in the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, had his accent described by Empire magazine as "Apu from the Simpsons holidaying in Swansea".
But not only the two languages' accents share notable common features - their vocabularies do too.
'Apu from the Simpsons holidaying in Swansea' or Pete Postlethwaite? Ms Mathur's own research on basic words, such as the numbers one to 10, found that many were similar - "seven", for example, is "saith" in Welsh, "saat" in Hindi.
"These kind of things really struck me," she said.
"When I reached number nine they were exactly the same - it's 'naw' - and I thought there had to be more to it than sheer coincidence."
She later spoke to professor Colin Williams of Cardiff University's School Of Welsh, who specialises in comparative languages.
He suggested that the similarities are because they come from the same mother language - the proto-European language.
"It was basically the mother language to Celtic, Latin, and Sanskrit," Ms Mathur added.
"So basically that's where this link originates from."
You are closer than you realize. Some linguists have theorized that the "Eire" of Ireland and Arya, the name that Aryans had for themselves, are "cognate", meaning that they derive from the same source. It is possible, but by no means proven.
This article is, as some have pointed out, rubbish. The study of Indo-European linguistics began in the 1700s, when a British soldier in India noticed that the Sanskrit word "broder" and the English word "brother" were very similar. He then noticed other similarities--father, mother, sister, numbers, the verb for "to be" and many, many others. This discovery spawned a whole line of research that has had a number of theories and permutations over the centuries.
Regarding the "blonde" stuff: The original Indo-European tribes that entered what later became Iran and then moved from there into India may well have been blonde. They certainly were lighter skinned than the natives. In the mountains and rural regions in Iran (less despoiled by Arabs), there are still some blondes, especially when they are children. There are many with blue eyes. The upper crust tend to have lighter skin.
In India, physical differences spawned the caste system, and are still visible in the charasterics of the different castes. Of course, over 3000 years, the distinctions between a small invading army and a huge native population gradually diminished.
The word "iranian" denotes a group of tribes that spoke a language that was similar. In the same way, we refer to ancient "Germanic" tribes, such as the Franks, Goths, Angles, Saxons. There are Germanic languages spoken today in Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Britain and the U.S.
An Iranian tribe migrated from where Iran is now and conquered India. Another Iranian tribe was found in the deserts of western China, and is known to archaelogy today as the "tocharians." Another Iranian tribe were the Scythians, well-known in Greek and Roman tribes. They had settlements on the Danube, and roamed from there to where the "stans" are today. They were fierce warriors, great horsemen. Their blood is still probably what runs in the veins of those who live there today, with some mongolian and ottoman to add spice.
Another Iranian tribe was the Medes, the largest tribe in the land currently known as Iran. Iran was a fertile land, and the tribes that settled there grew populous and settled down to a domesticated life, changing lifestyles from the steppe nomads that they descended from. A small tribe within the confederation that the Medes set up in "Iran" was the Pars tribe. The Pars tribe, through strong leadership in the time of Cyrus the Great, overthrew the Medes and became the leaders of the Iranian confederation in Iran. Cyrus then expanded from Iran into neighboring lands, establishing the first "Persian Empire".
The land controlled by the Pars king became "Persia" and the language that they spoke, which became the language of Iran, is known in their language as "farsi", the language of the Fars, or Pars, tribe.
Hope this helps.
No, and now thanks to you I will have to repeat it at a cocktail party to prove how culturally astute I am.
OCC, great humorous minds think alike. Besides I needed an excuse to post a picture of Flock of Seagulls.
Yes, Welsh and Hindi are related languages, going back 4000 years plus. But at that separation, sound similarities are probably coincidence.