Let's talk a little about the word "free".

In English, the word, "free" is heavily overloaded. Not so much in Japanese.

自由 (jiyuu) is choice, and lack of external constraint.

無料 (muryou) is the state of not having a cost.

ただ (tada) can be lacking cost or consequences.

独立している (dokuritsu shite-iru) or 自立している (jiritsu shite-iru) are independent or self-reliant.

Of course, the semantics do cross each other. I'm sure there will be semantic overlap in these concepts in every language.

Now, if we talk about imported words, 

フリー (furii) is basically the English word, "free", bringing with it all of its overloaded semantics, and then some.


Some of the amusing over-loadings --

It sounds a little like 「振り」 (furi), -style.

It also sounds a little like 「不利」 (furi), detriment or disadvantage. Heh.

And, what do you think 「フリーマーケット」 (furii maaketto) would be? Free market? Flea market? (The answer is, yes, that is, either or both. They don't make a distinction in many cases.)

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