Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Languages, words for colours, blue/green

 Language Learning Forum : Philological Room Post Reply
20 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
j0nas
Triglot
Groupie
Norway
Joined 5419 days ago

46 posts - 70 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, German

 
 Message 1 of 20
20 May 2010 at 11:49am | IP Logged 
I've noticed that quite a few languages (seemingly) do not distinguish between blue and
green.
Vietnamese: xanh
Welsh: glas
Xhosa: luhlaza

Does anyone know why? Or maybe is the distinction between blue and green unnecessary?

It would also be great if anyone had other "fun facts" about perception of colours in
languages.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Wise owl chick
Senior Member
Ecuador
Joined 5195 days ago

122 posts - 137 votes 
Studies: English

 
 Message 2 of 20
20 May 2010 at 12:02pm | IP Logged 
All the world has a different perception of colour, which depend of the vision, especially the point where two colours change: red/orange, blue/mauve etc. In my family we discovered this because I see the colours differently as the others, for example when my sister and Mum find that a thing is blue, for me it's lilac. This will be for green and blue the same. We have concluded that I see everything lighter or brigter.

I think that the distinction is not unnecessary, but that colours are something percieved by people, and the perceptions are different.

Colours have different significances also, in the different countries. I fidn this very interesting, and I love colour, generally.
3 persons have voted this message useful



TixhiiDon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 5341 days ago

772 posts - 1474 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese, German, Russian
Studies: Georgian

 
 Message 3 of 20
20 May 2010 at 10:46pm | IP Logged 
In Japanese, traffic lights turn blue, not green, even though they are actually exactly
the same colour as those I've seen in any other country. Also, the sun is considered to
be red, not yellow, hence the Japanese flag. I suppose it's quite difficult to check
this out without causing some serious damage to the eyes though!
8 persons have voted this message useful



DaisyMaisy
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5257 days ago

115 posts - 178 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish
Studies: Swedish, Finnish

 
 Message 4 of 20
21 May 2010 at 12:09am | IP Logged 
Wow, this is new to me! It never occurred to me that other languages would "see" colors any differently. Interesting. Makes you wonder how much of our perception is language/culturally based, without even realizing it.
1 person has voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 6786 days ago

4250 posts - 5711 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 5 of 20
21 May 2010 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
The basic terms will be at least bán ‘white’, dubh ‘black’, dearg ‘red’, buí
‘yellow/orange/light brown’, gorm ‘blue, dark green’, glas ‘non-dark green of plants,
dark grey’ and probably liath ‘light grey’. The status of uaithne ‘artificial green’
needs discussion.


The colour terms of Irish (by Diarmuid Ó Sé)

According to the list of colours at Omniglot, 'glas' is for living things, and 'uaine' for man-made things.

I've heard that the musical genre bluegrass got its name from the... "blue" grass of Kentucky. That would probably be 'gorm' in Irish.

Edited by jeff_lindqvist on 21 May 2010 at 12:40am

1 person has voted this message useful



luhmann
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 5210 days ago

156 posts - 271 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*
Studies: Mandarin, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Persian, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 6 of 20
21 May 2010 at 12:57am | IP Logged 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_term
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_relativity_and_the_c olor_naming_debate
2 persons have voted this message useful



pohaku
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5528 days ago

192 posts - 367 votes 
Speaks: English*, Persian
Studies: Arabic (classical), French, German, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 7 of 20
21 May 2010 at 4:17am | IP Logged 
I read Berlin and Kay when it first appeared, so I'm familiar with much of the research on color terms. However, here's a naive observation from my own experience. I live near the ocean. The ocean is always the ocean, of course, day after day. But any patch of ocean can be any of countless shades of green or blue and its color can change almost instantly. If a people started out referring to something as "ocean-colored," "water-colored," or something like that, it would mark out a color territory including both blue and green. There are places where the same argument could be made about vegetation. Perhaps green and blue are just "closer" to our brains or "closer" because of our experiences with vast tracts of landscape that constantly change from "green" to "blue" and back again. Perhaps that same mutability doesn't apply to colors higher in the Berlin and Kay list (black, white, red, yellow).
1 person has voted this message useful



furrykef
Senior Member
United States
furrykef.com/
Joined 6349 days ago

681 posts - 862 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Japanese, Latin, Italian

 
 Message 8 of 20
21 May 2010 at 4:28am | IP Logged 
TixhiiDon wrote:
In Japanese, traffic lights turn blue, not green, even though they are actually exactly
the same colour as those I've seen in any other country.


It's more of a matter that "blue" and "green" aren't fully distinct in the first place. From what I understand, "midori" (green) is seen more as a shade of "aoi" (blue) than a separate color. Hence, "midori" can be called "aoi" but not necessarily vice versa. Compare "blue" and "cyan" in English.

Also, I'm fairly sure I've seen at least one photo of a Japanese traffic light that showed a bluish rather than a greenish light, but I'm sure they refer to the light as "aoi" no matter what shade it is.


Incidentally, there's one language (Russian? I'm really not sure) that considers "blue" and "cyan" to be completely different colors, not shades of each other.


Edited by furrykef on 21 May 2010 at 4:30am



1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 20 messages over 3 pages: 2 3  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.9219 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2024 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.