Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Colors

English / Indonesian / Tagalog / Hawaiian
red / merah / pulá / mea
blue / biru / asúl / polú or uli-uli*
green / hijau / luntian (berde) / 'óma'o*
yellow / kuning / diláw / melemele
black / hitam / itím / 'ele'ele
white / putih / putî / ke'oke'o

Indonesian, Tagalog and Hawaiian didn't distinguish the color "blue" except under Western influence. Biru and Polú are probably mispronunciations of Dutch blauw and English blue. Uli-uli means sea-blue. Tagalog asúl is from Spanish azul, like azure and Tagalog berde is from Spanish verde, green, like verdant. A reader informs me that the true, or non-adopted, Tagalog word for green is luntian.