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December 10, 2017, 11:01:34 PM

Author Topic: Is "Farang" an F-word?  (Read 3526 times)

Offline united

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Is "Farang" an F-word?
« on: August 27, 2009, 05:05:43 AM »
Hi guys and gals,
Interesting article I spotted here while reading the Bangkok Post today. It's about the casual use of the word "Farang" in society today. Is it derogatory, since it is only used to describe Caucasians? Read on and share your views.


Is Farang an f word?

I'm a Westerner of European descent. In the 16 years I've lived in Thailand I have never gotten used to this word. My step daughter will soon be three years old, and the thought that she will come to accept it as standard usage as she grows up, nauseates me. I am particularly interested in the views of Thais on this subject and hope to get some help here, especially since not one of the many letters I have submitted to BP Postbag over the years on this subject, has ever been printed.

Before I begin my argument, I'd like to point out that there is a polite word in the Thai language which refers to all (non Thai) "foreigners." One transliteration is: khon tang chat. And lest there be any misunderstanding amongst some expat members, a "farang" is a Caucasian. An Indian is not. Nor is a Japanese, a person of Malay descent or any other Asian. Don't take my word for it. Ask a Thai friend.

The f word remains in very wide use. We hear it everywhere and see it in print constantly, even in the mainstream English press. Some of the BP's journalists - including at least one Westerner - continue to use it in their columns. Many Thais (my partner included) and expats in Thailand will insist it is a harmless way of referring to whites, who should not take offense. I would like to put the shoe on the other foot to illustrate why I beg to differ.

What is an English equivalent of this word in Anglophone countries? Well, considering it refers to those with common physical characteristics, i.e. white skin, a long nose and blue or green eyes, (in other words Caucasian and especially European features); "darkie" comes to mind. This word however, generally refers to people of the negroid race, and long ago fell into disuse because understandably, people of African origin in the West objected to being lumped together by shared physical features. Also the word was too often used in a deragatory context, similar to the way some Thais might say "farang kee nee ow" (stingy white person.)

So, I submit that a more apt equivalent for Asians living in predominantly Caucasian countries would be "Chinaman."

When my father was a child in the USA some 70 years ago, this is how he heard his father and his neighbors refer to all Asian immigrants. They were all "Chinamen." and perhaps to some extent, there was at the time, some truth to this, historically. Imagine however, how an assimilated Thai, Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Korean or any Asian would react in the US or the UK or Australia now, to walking into a shop and hearing the young clerk call out;"Hey dad! There's a Chinaman out front!" This and various other objectionable uses of the f word are endured by Westerners every day in the LOS. I loath and despise this word and know that many others feel the same way.

However I also know that Thailand is a developing country, and relatively speaking, is not very multi cultural. I should be patient someone may tell me. However is it too much to expect the English language press, the expatriate community, and the educated Thai classes to have an understanding of why most of the uses of this word are objectionable, so that when I explain to my partner why I don't want my daughter learning it, I can point to the fact that I am not alone?

Offline अल्विन्

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Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 06:38:27 AM »
it's a similiar version to our calling of "angmoh"..not rude i feel..nothing to make a big hoo har of.. :P

Offline tn43430

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Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 07:24:16 PM »
so how he expact people to call caucasion? the "White Tiger"?  ;)

SingThaiDisco_V2

Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 07:24:16 PM »





Offline ::GR::

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Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2009, 07:41:03 PM »
f__k them ... let those over sensitive ang mohs go think all they want ... i dont give a f__k ...

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Offline Mai Mee Tang

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Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2009, 09:54:24 PM »
Singapore / Malaysia = Ang Mo or Masaleh
Hong Kong = Guai Lo
Taiwan = Ah To Ah

So are they going to make such comments as well? This article damn bo liao. If he dun wanna his daughter to learn it must well send her back to the US.

Offline dadada

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Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 01:35:25 AM »
so you wont mind Chink?

SingThaiDisco_V2

Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 01:35:25 AM »
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Offline SIMILAN

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Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2009, 05:34:55 AM »
we all chink  ;D ;D

Offline ~PooChaiChorpKwarmRooSeukMao~

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Re: Is "Farang" an F-word?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2009, 02:27:25 AM »
jia ba liao~ i hate ang mohs~ come to people's lands, learn to accept la, cant accept, f*** off!

 


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