Prochnost: Week 17 & 18

How do you differentiate the colour of the afternoon sky from the colour of smurfs?

I learnt a lot of things in week 17 & 18 but the highlight has to be learning Russian names for colours and for certain cases, their perceptions too.

There are conflicting theories in linguistics on whether language affects world perception or not. For example, you most likely answered the opening question with ‘light blue’ and ‘dark blue’ and you are right, at least in English. In Russian, however, the answer isn’t just two shades of the same colour anymore.

The colours ‘light blue’ and ‘dark blue’ are distinct, individual colours in Russian, namely синий and голубой respectively. In fact, here’s a Wikipedia quote on the issue:

голубой and синий (different shades of blue) name distinct basic colors in Russian, as different from each other as blue and green would be for an English speaker; Russian does not have one single color term corresponding to “blue”.

I was and still am amazed by this so damn much! There is so much to know in this world and such little time.

Languages are full of surprises, so my major hurdle during these weeks also needs to be addressed. I have managed to scare myself away from learning Russian cases. I wouldn’t even claim I have tried to my full capacity yet, but it all seems to daunting that I would rather laze around on Duolingo than sit down for some serious grammar stuff.

Most of you might know that this post is a series of pending updates that I am covering up for my five week long absence. Regardless, the fact about my fear of Russian cases is still there, right up until Week 22 or so. It just reminds me of my childhood, sitting with a blank notebook with my Dad before every English grammar exam, relearning Tenses each time. My tenses class went on right from grade 5 to 11 or so because of all the things to forget, I would get hopeless about Tenses each year. Let’s hope I don’t take this long with the Russian equivalent of tenses 😀

15 thoughts on “Prochnost: Week 17 & 18

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  1. Some linguists do a lot of work with color names in various human languages. Some languages have very few basic color names so they’ll class red and orange together or blue and green together but I guess no human language puts yellow and blue under the same name. (I learned this while studying Klingon, a constructed language built for the warrior race in Star Trek. The linguist who invented the language, Dr. Marc Okrand, intentionally put yellow and blue in the same color name to make it more alien.)

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