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All about the orange!

 Language Learning Forum : Philological Room Post Reply
48 messages over 6 pages: 1 24 5 6  Next >>
Rutabaga
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Romania
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 Message 17 of 48
27 October 2011 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
In Bambara, spoken in Mali, the fruit is lenburuba (a lemon is lenburu, so orange is essentially a 'big lemon'). There is no true word for the color orange, at least to my knowledge. In Malinke, which is similar to Bambara, it is very similar, with orange the fruit being limunun). There, oranges are typically more green on the outside, so it makes sense that they wouldn't be the same word.
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Cabaire
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Germany
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 Message 18 of 48
28 October 2011 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
Before the arrival of the orange at German markets, the word kreß, which Goethe still knew, was used. It is derived from the plant Tropaeolum.

There are not many orange objects in the natural world before the arrival of synthetic colours and safran: the setting sun, some berries and flowers maybe. Any more? So no urgent need for an expression.

PS. The nearest term in Latin may be luteus (the one with the long u), derived from the herb lutum used for dyeing (not dying ;).

Edited by Cabaire on 28 October 2011 at 12:41am

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strikingstar
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United States
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 Message 19 of 48
28 October 2011 at 3:31am | IP Logged 
Rutabaga wrote:
In Bambara, spoken in Mali, the fruit is lenburuba (a lemon is lenburu,
so orange is essentially a 'big lemon'). There is no true word for the color orange,
at least to my knowledge. In Malinke, which is similar to Bambara, it is very similar,
with orange the fruit being limunun). There, oranges are typically more green on the
outside, so it makes sense that they wouldn't be the same word.



Interesting. Do you know how many true color words there are in Bambara? And do they
follow the color evolutionary pattern as presented by Berlin and Kay? (The link is on
page 1 in H.Computatralis' post. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Swahili
conforms nicely to this pattern.)

And if there is no word for the orange color in their languages, how would they
describe what we perceive as orange?
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PaulLambeth
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United Kingdom
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 Message 20 of 48
28 October 2011 at 1:54pm | IP Logged 
Rutabaga wrote:
In Bambara, spoken in Mali, the fruit is lenburuba (a lemon is lenburu, so orange is essentially a 'big lemon'). There is no true word for the color orange, at least to my knowledge. In Malinke, which is similar to Bambara, it is very similar, with orange the fruit being limunun). There, oranges are typically more green on the outside, so it makes sense that they wouldn't be the same word.


I would love to go to a land where oranges aren't orange. I'd be blown away.
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Josquin
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Germany
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 Message 21 of 48
28 October 2011 at 4:11pm | IP Logged 
In Icelandic, the colour is definitely named after the fruit. It's called "appelsínugulur" which translates into "orange-yellow" or "yellow as an orange". The fruit itself is called "appelsína".
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Ketutar
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Sweden
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 Message 22 of 48
30 October 2011 at 3:40pm | IP Logged 
After studying Sámi I am questioning the universality of Berlin and Kay.
There is some data insinuating that in Finno-Ugric languages blue was one of the first "real" color names, and that brown arrived before or about the same time as red.

As mentioned, orange the fruit is "appelsiini" (Chinese apple - we got it from the German languages as well, either from German or Swedish) and the color is "oranssi". Combination of red and yellow was used to describe the orange shades before this word.

I haven't been able to find the color in Sámi dictionary, so perhaps it's something similar there too. The fruit is appelsiidna.

In Estonian: oranzh - apelsin

In Albanian both the fruit and color is "portokalli"

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napoleon
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India
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 Message 23 of 48
30 October 2011 at 4:23pm | IP Logged 
In Bengali the colour orange is koamla and the fruit is called koamla leyboo (orange lemon).
On an interesting note, the colour orange is associated with royalty in (The Kingdom of) The Netherlands, quite similar to how purple is perceived elsewhere. Maybe, its because the House of Orange rules there and the Prince of Orange is the heir-apparent, etc.
Thats trivia for you, my fellow global citizens. :)
Cheers,
Napoleon

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tractor
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Norway
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 Message 24 of 48
30 October 2011 at 8:16pm | IP Logged 
aloysius wrote:
And orange is notoriously difficult to inflect in Swedish. I don't think this
advice (in Swedish) is followed by
many native speakers of Swedish.

Difficult in Norwegian too. Although the official spelling is "oransje", I think most people both say and spell it
without "e" at the end: "oransj". I think most people would say "et oransjt hus", not "et oransje hus" (the form
prescribed by the dictionaries). And it is usually pronounced as if it was written "orangsj".

Edited by tractor on 30 October 2011 at 8:18pm



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