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Can you translate this Colours In Your Language?

I am yoruba and we only have three words for different languages: white (funfun), black (dudu), red (pupa) but my teacher wants to find out what we call blue, green, yellow, brown, and pink.

For example, how do you say these sentences in your language?

Yesterday, i saw a beautiful flower. It was (pink/purple/yellow) ______________

Yesterday, i bought a new blanket. It was (brown/green/pink/purple/red) ________________

Yesterday, i bought a new dress. It was (brown/green/pink/purple/blue) _________________

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23 answers

so dudu aro is dark blue, (i know it refers to dye in particular).

what's rere osun?

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@chinyere

yes many colors even in english today are called by what they are associated with so you're correct in that sense ex. ruby red, emerald green, ice blue etc  I will say that this common knowledge of a wider spectrum of colors can be associated with technological advancement.

and what are the etymologies of red, green, blue etc. i'm sure even black and white have etymologies too. all words do!!

I was making an example since that's how I would describe blue.

how come they don't teach these stuff in schools? I'm sure many other yorubas don't know the words for the colors.

yea the word aro does means dye (usually with blue shade). I didn't know it was also the word for the color blue though. thanks for the information.

what's the word for green, purple, etc I would love to know those as well.

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no it's not like that for every language. lol

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Yesterday I saw a beautiful flower.

Nyahu n fu ototo ma nma.

It was Yellow

O cha edo.

It was Red

O cha urie

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yeah this is not just with yoruba or igbo language. It's like that with most african (at least west african) languages. no specific names for the colors just the things they are associated with like u guys mentioned.

ex. brown = iyepe (sand)

i dunno why tho. I have a west african teacher who was talking about that but I don't remember her comment.

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Also, when you first heard "ododo", do you remember how the tones were arranged?

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Awon questions ti mo ko sori original post ni mo sope ko translate.

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I decided to do a search as well, and interestingly enough, I found this. . .

http://books.google.com/books?id=rugZliix0dIC&pg=PA139&lpg=PA139&dq=Igbo+ododo&source=bl&ots=IhiurjnulC&sig=6Yy2jiIlX17t_o70KldZkCb09WY&hl=en&ei=4_dUSvPFD5Oqtgf4yYWuCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

It's an Igbo-French Dictionary.

Anyway, cannot rightly say that "ododo" means "purple", or it means "light skinned", because the word "ododo" is news to me. Where/Whom did you hear "ododo" from, if you don't mind me asking?

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heh. . I wouldn't know, Tpia. This is my first time ever knowing of "ododo". I've never heard that word until I was told that it meant "purple".

Davidif, no problem.

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Chineye, thanks a lot.

FL Gators and ogaga4luv can you please translate those questions.

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First the sentences, in Igbo.

Yesterday, i saw a beautiful flower. It was (pink/purple/yellow)

Echi gaara aga, ahuru m otu okoko maara nma. O chara edo edo (yellow).

Echi gaara aga, ahuru m otu okoko maara nma. O mere di ka o ga-acha uhie uhie (pink).

Purple. . ??

Yesterday, i bought a new blanket. It was (brown/green/pink/purple/red)

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu akwa ohuru. O chara anwu anwu (brown).

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu akwa ohuru. O chara ndu ndu (green).

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu akwa ohuru. O chara uhie uhie (red).

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu akwa ohuru. O mere di ka o ga-acha uhie uhie (pink).

Purple. . ??

Yesterday, i bought a new dress. It was (brown/green/pink/purple/blue)

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu nwei ohuru. O chara anwu anwu (brown).

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu nwei ohuru. O chara ndu ndu (green).

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu nwei ohuru. O chara uri uri (blue).

Echi gaara aga, azuru m otu nwei ohuru. O mere di ka o ga-acha uhie uhie (pink).

Purple. . ??

I also found this website . . http://www.carpe-diem.at/PP/Groh%20-%20Culture%20and%20Colour%20Concepts.pdf

Starting from page 18 to 20, they discuss some Nigerian languages and colors.

I've also been told that in Northern Igboland (Anambra area), there are Igbo equivalents for purple (ododo) and indigo/blue (amaloji).

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FL Gators,

Someone told me that blue is Ayinrin and that yellow is ofee fee but they didn't know what brown was and they used a metaphor instead like (awo paali) which means the color of a carton (i think so), but that there was no original word for it.

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Good thinking poster. I've often thought about this. . . .

All I know is fifun, pupa, and dudu.

Fifun- White or light in color

Pupa- same thing, light in color (usually for skin color)

Dudu- dark or black

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Amazing.

This is also cool, i didn't know that Nigerian languages had names for yellow or green.

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@IFELEKE

Exactly, i think we just use metaphors: we compare them to things for example in order to describe that your cloth is green, you can say "aso e fe jo moto yen (assuming the car one is refering to is green in color).

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@waladis,

HA HA HA HA HA HA.

My father said that brown was awo paali, but i don't know, he also gave me the translation for the following;

buluu- blue

awo bi osan- orange

yelo- yellow

popu- purple

buraun- brown

pinnki- pink

But i told him that this were not original words but just twisting English words by using an accent like calling the color blue, buluu.

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In Kalabari

Black = Krukru

Blue = bloblo or so toru

Yellow = epe

White = Pina

Green = Inyatoru

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I used to wonder about this myself.

However, traditional cloth makers might know if there are other words for colors, since they'll use various kinds of dyes and materials when weaving fabrics. Dark blue in particular should have a name because there are blue dye pits up north and there must have been some kind of interaction in the past.

I think yellow is also pupa.

a general overview:

http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/oracle/figures29.html

I dont think blue is dudu though I could be wrong.

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@Topic

Yoruba language doesn't have specific name for the colours you mentioned but we often times associate them to things.

example blue is the colour of the sky and it's oftentimes called awo sanmo(colour of the sky), green is the colour osfand it's oftentimes called awo ewe(colour of leave)

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White = Ocha

Black = Ojii

Red = Uhie (Uhie Uhie)

Blue = Uri

Green = Ndu Ndu

Brown = Anwuanwu

Yellow = Edo Edo

Pink = ?? Hybrid color. . . uhie uhie still, I guess. So, instead of icha uhie uhie, it would be, ichatu uhie uhie, to express a "dab" of red.

This is as much as I know.

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That's the problem with my language, there are no other words for colors other than the aforementioned.

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