Their abominable Taprobani


I am reading Arthur C. Clarke's Fountains of Paradise. The story takes place in Sri Lanka (Taprobane in ancient Greek). There is paraghraph like this:
"Ah yes, those two pale ambassadors from across the western ocean! He would be sorry to see them go, for they had brought news, in their abominable Taprobani, of many wonders-though none, they were willing to admit, that equalled this fortress-palace in the sky."

Does Taprobani mean Taprobane language? Are there any other examples like this?
When I think the name of other countries' languages (Japan, Japanese; Turkey, Turkish) I couldn't find any similar one.

Thank you!
  • mrvcy


    So the country is Persia and the language is Farsi (I checked the etymology, the earlier version was Parsi which is rational - then became Farsi because of the Arabian language). Then this method of using derivational affix like this came to English from other language?


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's a common ending for the regional languages of India and its neighbours: Bengali, Kashmiri, Gujarati, Bihari, and so on. Also, unrelated (as far as I know) it forms the adjective in Arabic, so in English we say Qatari, Omani, Kuwaiti, and so on. So it is a familiar suffix, and though it might be an anachronism in Taprobani, it would be easily understood.

    Uncreative Name

    English - United States
    Most of the -stan countries (afghanistan, pakistan, etc.) use -stani to describe nationality (and the name of a language is often synonymous with the nationality, such as "Japanese," "Spanish," etc.) I don't know if there are any specific languages from these countries, but if there are, they would almost certainly use this convention for the language's name.