Free, freedom

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, May 15, 2013.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    What is your equivalent of the English 'free' , 'freedom', 'to free (liberate) from' ? And can you use it in non-literal ways? [I suggest we first stick to the root 'free' (liber-, etc.), but add other things linked with the concept after that]

    - vrij, vrijheid, bevrijden van
    - vrij, for free, is not very common, but sometimes possible (normally gratis), as in vrije toegang (free access, literally)
    - vrijmaken might be used with rooms: to clear the rooms, to make space -- not that special though...

    [I find some answers at Jana.Boo's thread here, but not these words]

    Interesting P.S.: etymologically there is a link between 'free' and love...

    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2013
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    Freedom: «Ελευθερία» [elefθe'ri.a] (fem.) and colloquially «λευτεριά» [lefter'ʝa] (fem.)* < Classical fem. noun «ἐλευθερία» ĕleutʰĕríă --> freedom. Its etymology is problematic. Some philologists suggest it's a pre-Greek word. Others see a possible link with OHG liut, people & OCS людиє, people < PIE *h₁leudʰ-o-/ *h₁leudʰ-i-, to grow, people. Therefore «ἐλευθερία» is the state of a free person belonging to his people, 'the tribe', as opposed to be subjected and a slave to another foreign one.
    Free (adj.): «Ελεύθερος, -ρη, -ρο» [e'lefθeros] (masc.), [e'lefθeri] (fem.), [e'lefθero] (neut.) < Classical adj. «ἐλεύθερος, -θέρα, -ρον» ĕleútʰĕrŏs (masc.), ĕleutʰéră (fem.), ĕleútʰĕrŏn (neut.).
    To free: «Ελευθερώνω» [elefθe'rono] < Classical v. «ἐλευθερόω/ἐλευθερῶ» ĕleutʰĕróō (uncontracted) / ĕleutʰĕrô (contracted).
    To set free/liberate: «Απελευθερώνω» [apelefθe'rono] < Classical v. «ἀπελευθερόω/ἀπελευθερῶ» ăpĕleutʰĕróō (uncontracted) / ăpĕleutʰĕrô (contracted) --> to emancipate (a slave). Compound, prefix & preposition «ἀπὸ» apò --> from, away from (PIE *h₂epo, cognate with Eng. of/off) + v. «ἐλευθερόω/ἐλευθερῶ». The freed slave was an «ἀπελεύθερος» ăpĕleútʰĕrŏs in Ancient Athens (in Rome, libertinus).

    *Dionysius Solomos in his poem «Ὕμνος εἰς τήν Ἐλευθερίαν» ['imnos is tin elefθe'] (1823) (Hymn to Freedom, which is our National Anthem), uses the formal (and ancient) name of Freedom in the title -«Ελευθερία» [elefθe'ri.a] (fem.), and the colloquialism «λευτεριά» [lefter'ʝa] (fem.) in verse.
  3. arielipi Senior Member

    חינם khinam (when of cost)
    משוחרר meshukrar (from bad emotions), relaxed, freed/liberated
    חופשי khofshi (from freedom)
    פנוי panuy (single)

    חופש khofesh
    חרות kherut (bears more the liberation connotation)

    לשחרר leshakhrer
  4. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic: the root حرر /ħ-r-r/ is used for words with the meaning of "free" and "heat"

    to free (liberate): حرر ħarrara
    free: حر ħurr
    freeing (liberation): تحرير taħrir
    freedom: حرية ħurriyya

    free (gratis) is a different word: مجانا majjaanan
  5. aruniyan Senior Member

    vidu = To Leave that.
    viduThalai( Freedom( literally meaning "To leave the head"))
    vidupadu = To become free.
    ilaVasam - Give away as Free (literally - not to give-ila, but keep vaithu)

    We can also use kattuppad-aa = Without tied(kattu) with.

    FREE and LOVE link,
    I think the word FREE should be in the sense of being Seperate, to move away, and LOVE as not being separated, a bond. So there is a opposite relation here? :)
  6. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Can all of these be used to express (a) 'I am free this afternoon', (b) 'The people/ slaves are free at last'?

    As for the different languages:
    - Greek: it is a long word indeed, I suppose that explains why the etymology is not clear. Can you use /eleutheros/ for expressing (a)?

    - Hebrew: which of the four is used for (a) and which for (b)? What is the political term for 'freedom'? Isn't any of those used in a name of an event?

    - Arabic: all have the same root, I suppose --- and now I understand there was a link between the name of the square and the events in Egypt...

    - Tamil: very interesting to note that the word seems to be based on leaving, which I'd interpret as negative but that is not correct, I suppose... But how about (a) and (b)? I don't see 'free' as such, or is it vidu? --- as for freedom and love: fascinating that your term reminds you of that negative meaning, as indeed freedom is very often freedom from all kinds of force, pressure ; however, love might well grant that kind of freedom-from, and any relationship should be based on freedom, I suppose... [Just by the way, Aruniyan: that was why I started the 'loose' thread...]
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  7. arielipi Senior Member

    id like to add that פנוי panuy can also be used as khofshi but khofshi cannot be used all the time as panuy.
    for (a) we would use either panuy or khofshi, sometimes (depends on the context i think) meshukhrar.
    for (b) we could build several constructs and either use words from freedom or from liberate.

    i didnt understand the other two questions though. there is no political term for freedom... (if you talk about) the french revolution (and the freedom that came afterwards) is called in hebrew freed - חופשית khofshit (for female)

    the third question is a mystery.

    ahmed - is the word
    majjaanan linked to majnun?

    interesting is that hebrew views love more like the english way (perhaps because of its influence, demands further investigation) - that is anti-free, but not in a bad way. love sick, chains of love, etc.
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  8. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, Arielipi. As for my mystery question: I thought of things like 'freedom day', or the Statue of Liberty (New York), or the concept of 'freedom fighters'...

    Your notes on love are interesting: there is this concept of making making us un-free (as is suggested by your metaphors, indeed !), but I think most people associate it with happiness. Or did you mean something else?
  9. arielipi Senior Member

    חירות it is. פסל החירות pesel hakherut - statue of liberty. לוחמי חירות lokhamey kherut freedom fighters.
    freedom day [=independence day] יום העצמאות yom ha'atzma'ut

    about the love, we do view it in a good way but we do not delude ourselves, because it is making us less-free.
  10. bibax Senior Member

    In Czech (Slovak) there are two roots for free/freedom:

    1) vol- (voľ-);
    2) svobod- (slobod-) < *svo-pot (= lord of himself), svo- is reflexive possessive (Lat. suus);

    vol - more universal meaning: free as a bird, free afternoon, free fall, free access to,...;
    svobod - mostly persons, nations, people, cities (i.e. if someone is master/lord of himself); svobodný means also unmarried;

    volnost = freedom generally, leeway; vůle (< *voľ-ja) = clearence (of a piston, bearing);
    svoboda = liberty (Statue of Liberty, liberty of nations, etc.);

    uvolniti = to free, to loose, to release (the brake, the clutch), to make place;
    uvolnit se (reflexive) = to get clear (e.g. in a game);
    osvoboditi = to liberate (a nation, a city);
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  11. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Yes it can be used.

    Freedom Day: «Ημέρα Ελευθερίας» [i'mera elefθe'rias] lit. "Day of Freedom"
    Statue of Liberty: «Το Άγαλμα της Ελευθερίας» [to 'aɣalma tis elefθe'rias] lit. "the Statue of Liberty"
    Freedom Fighters: «Μαχητές Ελευθερίας» [maçi'tes elefθe'rias] lit. "fighters of Freedom"
  12. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    Freedom Day: يوم الحرية /yawm al-hurriyya/
    Statue of Liberty: تمثال الحرية /temθaal al-hurriyya/
    Freedom Fighters: مقاتلو الحرية /muqaatelu al-hurriya/

    They share the same root, the word "majjaan" means "free" but it can also mean "impertinent"
  13. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).

    They share letters, but they don't come from the same root.
    مجان (majjaana) is from the root م-ج-ن (m-j-n)
    مجنون (majnuun) is from the root ج-ن-ن (j-n-n)
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    As for Czech, Bibax, I can see a parallel with Dutch 'los' (see the other thread, will you): I added some translations...

    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  15. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo

    Free - svoboden
    Freedom - svoboda


    Free - slobodan
    Freedom - sloboda


    Free - frei
    Freedom - die Freiheit
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  16. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, but do you have verbs like 'to set free'? German: befreien...
  17. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo

    To set free
    (German. zu befreien)

    Croatian: osloboditi (riješiti)

    Slovenia: osvoboditi
  18. Maroseika Moderator

    I'm afraid this is wrong. According to all my sources, the only root here is svobъ < IE *se/*sue/*s(e)ue, which meant not "one's own", but "our", i.e. belonging to our tribe or clan and therefore free.
    -oda is suffix.
    By the way, exactly of the same etymology is the name of German ethnic group Schwab (i.e. Schwabs - those belonging to our tribe).

    Slavic root vol- is a cognate of English 'will', so its semantic is evident.
  19. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Very interesting information, M, thanks ! I suppose it will be confirmed by Bibax...
  20. bibax Senior Member

    According to my sources (e.g. Václav Machek) OCS svobodь ("free", Lat. liber) < *suo-potь, where *potь < IE *potis ("lord"), an analogy to OCS *gospodь ("lord") < *gostь-podь < IE *ghostis-*potis ("lord of strangers", cf. Lat. hospes, hospitis < *hostipitis).
  21. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    The Tagalog for Freedom is "Kalayaan" but when someone is in free status it is sometimes called "Alpas" (related to labas= outside). Your given sample "free access" could be " Bukas sa lahat"(open to all) in Tagalog.
  22. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    What about 'Man is free'? I don't see an etymological link between 'kalayaan' and 'bukat/ lahat'... How about 'to set free'?
  23. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Man is free. (Taong laya') The word bukas here is "open" (no barrier and anyone can move in and out).The word bukas has 2 meanings 1.) Tomorrow(buh-kas) and 2.) Open (bukahs)
  24. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So 'laya' is the key word, I suppose. Can you use it in (a) I am free today as well ? Is it also the political term? And can you ...laya... (set free) someone ?
  25. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    1.)I am free today. ( Malaya ako ngayon) 2.) Set them free from evil system. ( Palayain sila sa masamang patakaran.)
  26. arielipi Senior Member

    in hebrew free access is גישה חופשית gisha khofshit. i saw i didnt put that in my examples so filled it up now.
  27. Maroseika Moderator

    You can find interesting criticism of this Machek's etymology in the famous Trubachev's "History of Slavic Terms of Kinship" (p. 171, 172).
    According to Trubachev, Max Vasmer, P. Chernykh and others, svoboda < IE suobho, cf. Old Slavonic svobьstvo - community of free people. -bh - ordinary suffix of kinship, -oda - collective suffix, like in jagoda - multitude of *jaga (berry).

    Besides already mentioned Schwabs, the same etymology have Sabines, Sabellians, Samnites and Suebi (Suevi).
  28. ancalimon Senior Member


    Free: Özgür (probably from rarely known root and tamga (Swastika) OZ)
    Freedom: Özgürlük
    to liberate: bağımsızlık kazandırmak (to make win independence)
  29. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States


    (set free)

    frihet (freedom, liberty)

    frigjøre (liberate)
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  30. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)

    There are a bunch of ways to express 'free'. For example: 自由 jiyuu [dʑijɰː]. It means both free and freedom. It literally means ''reason of oneself''. Such word cannot be used in contexts like ''become a free nation'', ''free entrance/no fee'', ''free rooms'', ''be free''(not busy), ''free translation''. Seeing what it literally means it makes completely sense that it can't be used in those other contexts.

    To free from ~から解放する ~kara kaihou suru (unravel + set free). As you see, it doesn't use the word 自由, but you can say ''to free'' as 自由にする jiyuu ni suru. But I think it's more common to say から自由になる kara jiyuu ni naru (become free from). There are other ways to say that.

    There is no root per se because 'free' in the sense of liberty is made of two words/ideas as you saw. If you were to make other words using either 自 or 由 you'd find hundreds of them. You have a kanji meaning free on its own, but it means 'free' in the sense of free of charge: 只 tada (once again, its root is the word mouth).
  31. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great information. Of course there is something difficult regarding the evolution of meanings. They can move in mysterious ways, and the original meaning can in the end be irrecognizable. That is true of any language, I suppose. Yet, from a didactic point of view I think referring to roots is often very useful in European languages: analysing words allows me to remember words and recognize new words... And we always think that common roots refer to an underlying semantic link, which is often not the case...
  32. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Arabic/Chinese mod

    Hong Kong
    Hi! Here 由 is a verb meaning "let", thus 自由 is like "letting-oneself-->of one's own accord". Although using it for the modern idea of "liberty/freedom" is recent, the word itself is rather old in Chinese.

    As you know very well, the word for mouth (kuchi) has nothing to do with tada.:eek:
  33. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    When I look for radicals tada appears with kuchi, and the kanji dictionaries show that the radical of tada is kuchi. Perhaps it isn't so in Chinese. In Japanese 由 stands for reason on its own, the dictionaries don't show any other meaning. And since a bunch of kanji mean different things in Chinese and Japanese we shouldn't mix them up :D.
  34. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Arabic/Chinese mod

    Hong Kong
    But we're talking about words, and neither "radical" nor "kanji" is relevant here. I had a slight hunch that an unsuspecting reader of your post (#30) would assume that in Japanese the words for "freedom" (jiyou), "free (of charge)" (tada) and "mouth" (kuchi) are etymologically related, although they're actually not, thus my carping. But it might just be my paranoia, and I think we've discussed this before somewhere, so never mind, my apologies!
  35. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Ah, now I understand your concern :D. No, no, I never meant that those words are linked in meaning. I'm pretty sure that something like that was said in another thread of Thomas. There are lots of words that use kuchi but have nothing to do with each other in meaning, they simply happen to have the same radical.
  36. bibax Senior Member

    We have discussed it in the thread "to call". It seems that the radical for "mouth" (kuchi, kou) is ubiquitous (approximately like the letter "e" in an English text). Perhaps it would be better to write the Japanese words exclusively in hiragana.
  37. clansaorsa Member

    English UK
    In Scots Gaelic freedom would be 'saorsa' (Irish same word different spelling) but the meaning in both probabny has as much to do with freedom of mind or spirit than being physically free. The English word 'seer' (someone who can foretell the future) is derived from the Gaelic concept and word.
  38. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks for the contribution. does not refer to that though in its explanation of 'seer'. I would love to hear about other derivations of soarsa though (like 'to free', 'freedom', etc.).
    If you feel like commenting on these please do:

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  39. er targyn Senior Member

    free - erikti, azat, erkin, bostan
    freedom - erik, erkindik, bostandyq
    to set free - azat etw, bosatw, qutqarw
  40. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Isn't there any difference between those different adjectives? i suppose the use depends on the context, or doesn't it ?
  41. er targyn Senior Member

    They are close synonyms.
  42. ancalimon Senior Member

    From a Turkish viewpoint most of those words make sense to me. But we use most of them in different contexts. For example, bostan means a large garden where you can run freely. The word itself makes by brain make me feel freedom. Also boş means empty and free.

    It's also surprising to see that you too are using the Arabic loan "azat" (azat etmek in Turkish) which would be used in Turkish for "freeing a slave".
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  43. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    But then, Ancalimon, could you comment on those differences? I'd be quite interested !
  44. er targyn Senior Member

    Bos in bostan comes from bosh, so no relation to your garden. And azat, as far as I know is Persian.
  45. Ёж! Senior Member

    In Russian, it is rather the other way around. Also (and in this respect it seems loosely similar to the Czech system), the first word feels more 'free', like talking of the person's life, and the second word feels more 'political', like talking of the person's status or of the thing's state. Naturally, the second is more often used.
  46. clansaorsa Member

    English UK
    Don't like 'cridhe saor' at all. Surely cridhe has more to do with heart than spirit. I would even prefer 'sealladh saor' using vision in the spiritual sense which I believe it has as in 'fear sealladh/seallidh' a seer or man of vision. Incidentally I would still favour 'saorsa' for present-day independence .

    Don't like 'cridhe saor' at all. Surely 'cridhe' has more to do with heart than spirit. I would even prefer 'sealladh saor' using vision in the spiritual sense which I believe it has as in 'fear sealladh/seallaidh' a seer or man of vision. Incidentally I would still favour 'saorsa' for present-day independence .
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
  47. ancalimon Senior Member

    "er" in Turkish means "to ascend". It's related semantically with freedom.

    "erke" in Turkish means "to be able to achieve", "energy". It's semantically related with being free-able to do something.

    "erkin" in Turkish also means free, non-serviam. But we mostly have this word as male given name.

    "erkindik" in Kazakh is "erkinlik" in Turkish.

    Kazakh "azat etw" is "azat et" in Turkish.
  48. er targyn Senior Member

    erke means pet (about children) and cranky. erk is power, will
  49. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    In West Frisian it's frij (free in my local dialect) for free, frijheid for freedom (in old Frisian it used to be frīdōm), to free (from) becomes befrije (fan) en free of charge is fergees.

    Fryske frijheid refers to the period in the middle of the middle ages in which the Frisians were free from paying any taxes to the emperor and lacking any feudal structure, effectively being a farmers' republic.
  50. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting! But this fergees: what is the root? (not vergeefs, in vain, I suppose...)

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