A BBC article titled The words that change what colours we see originally appeared on The Conversation.

« Depending on what language you speak, your eye perceives colours – and the world – differently than someone else. »

« Some languages only have two terms, dark and light   »

« most of the world’s languages have five basic colour terms. Cultures as diverse as the Himba in the Namibian plains and the Berinmo in the lush rainforests of Papua New Guinea employ such five term systems. As well as dark, light, and red, these languages typically have a term for yellow, and a term that denotes both blue and green. That is, these languages do not have separate terms for “green” and “blue” but use one term to describe both colours, a sort of “grue”. »

« Welsh had a “grue” term, namely glas, as did Japanese and Chinese. Nowadays, in all these languages, the original grue term has been restricted to blue, and a separate green term is used. This is either developed from within the language – as is the case for Japanese – or through lexical borrowing, as is the case for Welsh. »

« RussianGreekTurkish and many other languages also have two separate terms for blue – one referring exclusively to darker shades, and one referring to lighter shades. »

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