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Author Topic: Vietnamese word for blue and green  (Read 1533 times)

Offline gaden

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Vietnamese word for blue and green
« on: May 10, 2016, 01:35:31 PM »
The Vietnamese word for blue is xanh,  green is also xanh.  To distinguish blue and green you have to use a modifier like blue as in sky blue, xanh mat troi, and green as in green leaf, xanh la cay.

Why doesn't Vietnamese have a separate word for blue and green?

Offline 大越

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Re: Vietnamese word for blue and green
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2016, 01:57:27 PM »
The Vietnamese word for blue is a Chinese derived word for blue in Middle Chinese, "qing" 青. Ancient Chinese word did not differentiate between green and blue.

Other cultures, including Japanese, Korean, and Mongolian also did not differentiate the 2 colors. Why? I don't know.
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Offline Believe

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Re: Vietnamese word for blue and green
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 05:26:42 PM »
Xanh should only mean green in Vietnamese. You'll need indigo dye to make blue, but it was rare and expensive in ancient time, reserving only for the royalties, and not a common lexicon to describe everyday items. Blue is actually shorten for "royal blue".

Offline gaden

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Re: Vietnamese word for blue and green
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2016, 03:43:22 PM »
The Vietnamese word for blue is a Chinese derived word for blue in Middle Chinese, "qing" 青. Ancient Chinese word did not differentiate between green and blue.

Other cultures, including Japanese, Korean, and Mongolian also did not differentiate the 2 colors. Why? I don't know.

Wth?  xanh doesn't sound like qing.

Offline Qu Đơn

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Re: Vietnamese word for blue and green
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 10:33:17 AM »
Chinese culture may be 2000 years old but they seem to stop progressing somewhere in the middle.  Japanese culture only started to become Japanese in the past 200 years and look how far they got.  I think Vietnamese should just keep Xanh to mean green and invent an entirely new word for blue. 

Offline 大越

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Re: Vietnamese word for blue and green
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 12:35:37 PM »
Wth?  xanh doesn't sound like qing.

Q is pronounced Ch, but that's Mandarin. Middle-Chinese pronunciation was different. Still you can see the similarities.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 12:38:40 PM by 大越 »
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Offline literallyChina

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Re: Vietnamese word for blue and green
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 01:49:21 AM »
Q is pronounced Ch, but that's Mandarin. Middle-Chinese pronunciation was different. Still you can see the similarities.

It's different it's like half way between ts and ch

Offline lalapaluza

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Re: Vietnamese word for blue and green
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 09:15:26 PM »
vnmese has so many words for black but blue and green has to share the same word.

 
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