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  5. "Niebieski kolor"

"Niebieski kolor"

Translation:The color blue

December 27, 2015



My native is Ukrainian and we have two different words for blue:

блакитний (blakytnyj) - for sky-blue or for the eye colour

and синій (synij) for darker blue.

Does Polish have that too? Or niebieski stands for both?


"sinyj " is "granatowy" and sky-blue can be "błękitny"


Wow, amazing, in Ukranian гранатовий (granatowyj) means dark red, because гранат (granat) is pomegranate :D

Thanks a lot! So granatowy and błęjitny can be both called niebieski? Like, subtypes of the niebieski kolor?


Granat is a pomegranate in Polish too, but the colour is usually understood as exact equivalent of 'Navy Blue'.

Siny is also a colour in Polish, but it is rarely used outside of specialist lingo used by artists – that is because we have "siniak"= bruise, so in colloquial use "siny" = bruised, with the exception of "siny z zimna", which means bluish-greyish discolouration a skin gets from cold. ;-)

I'm not a specialist, but the example you posted for sky-blue I would call "lazurowy" – błękity are a bit darker for me.

If you want to know all the colour names that we use in Polish, you could check this handy list. ;-)


So I guess what is "błękitny" in Ukrainian is "niebieski" in Polish and what is "siny" is "indygo" in Polish – I find it a bit funny, because most of the somehow basic colours go way back to Proto-Slavic and yet this is the group of words that is most commonly false-friends among Slavic languages, as far as I know. ;-)

The funniest one for me here is:

fruit: Ukrainian - frukt, Polish - owoc; vegetable: Ukrainian - owocz, Polish - warzywo

Synchronization failed :)

I actually made a map here, showing this interesting confusion:

pink - the language has the root "fruit" for "fruit"

green - the root "owoc" for "fruit"

grey - something different

P.S. Actually, German is even cooler, they have the word Obst for "fruit" (which is like "owoc"), but they also have the word Frucht (which is like "fruit") which is a fruit in a wider meaning - like, fruit of my work or fruit of any tree


Answer to fiachra.ol:

That small "part of Ireland" is Northern Ireland which is included in the UK.

I was marking the colours not according to the languages spoken in the given region (that would take me forever to study local ethnicity situations in different countries and drawing rough language borders), but just according to the political borders - the map is simply taken from Google Images. So the UK is simply taken as "English", not considering, say, Welsh, Irish and Scottish.

e.g. Switzerland is unclear as well, since they have three major languages, so I marked it as "German" (therefore green) since it's spoken by 63% of the population, not going into details of which regions speak French and which Italian (which are pink).


Why is part of Ireland pink then ? The root of the Irish word "toradh" is not "fruit" in any parts of Ireland.


CarolynHar19, this is a root older than both Polish and German and is not a loanword of one into another.


Wow, thanks for the cool reply :)

I was simply curious, because I don't know any other language beside Ukrainian and Russian which has this distinction in everyday use. For example, when we list the rainbow colours, it's red, orange, yellow, green, "blakytnytk", "synij", violet; and as I said, eye colour is definitely "blakytnyj", so it's not artistic or scientific, on the contrary very common use :)


"Błękitny" is fairly common in Polish too, certainly you can use it to denote a bit lighter blue and everybody will understand you – I think it is in fact one of the 5000 most common Polish words, but I can't find the frequency list right now, so not 100% sure thing. ;-)

As for rainbow, "kolory tęczy" in Polish:

Pomimo faktu, że w tęczy występuje niemal ciągłe widmo kolorów, tradycyjnie uznaje się, że kolorami tęczy są: czerwony (na zewnątrz łuku), pomarańczowy, żółty, zielony, niebieski, indygo i fioletowy (wewnątrz łuku).

So I guess what is "błękitny" in Ukrainian is "niebieski" in Polish and what is "siny" is "indygo" in Polish – I find it a bit funny, because most of the somehow basic colours go way back to Proto-Slavic and yet this is the group of words that is most commonly false-friends among Slavic languages, as far as I know. ;-)


nobody knows what "indygo" is . "Normal people" say it's niebieski, granatowy. for me granatowy and niebieski are different colours, but indygo, błękitny and siny are shades of colours. (blue)

also błękitne is a word to describe sky- niebieskie niebo sounds silly.


OK, I will admit that my sister finished ASP(sculpture, but she also paints some), so I might have obtained a bit of the more "professional" lingo this way. ;-)

For me "Indygo" is all right, but if you say Poles don't use it, then so be it. :)


Shouldn't the Polish be "Kolor niebieski"? It feels more natural...


Both are ok and both are used, but "kolor niebieski" more often. Im native speaker


It's colour in English. Not color


It's color in American English, which is also English. But they should maybe be a bit more consistent between the two.


In Canadian and UK English, yes.


What is the grammar of this sentence. Is "niebieski" an adjective applying to the word "kolor" here?


colours are usually adjectives :) and can be placed before or after word "kolor" . I think course creators did not want to mess up with learners perception adding adjectives after nouns here.

(we have nouns for most basic colours, but I doubt they make to this course, and there isn't one for blue)


"Blue color" is not idiomatic in English. It sounds like a foreign speaker error. "Blue" or "the color blue" are more naturally sounding equivalents of the Polish prompt.


Changed the default to 'the color blue'.


Plus "the colour blue", I hope :-)


That's automatically accepted ;)


Serdecznie dziekuje!


I wrote the blue colour and it was marked incorrect. ? I would perhaps say" The blue colour used here( in this artwork) adds to the atmosphere ....


@frkrygow I just added "a blue color".


"a blue color" was rejected.


"Niebieski" looks like it means "not 'something' ", or is that just a coincidence?


just coincidence. it is related to word niebo=sky/heaven


Correct me if I'm being wierd with this, but I'm pretty sure that in English, names of colours can be used as nouns as well as adjectives, so to say 'the blue colour' it would actually be more natural to say just 'blue' for me; e.g. 'look at that blue' or 'the blue of the sky'.


In Polish it behaves a bit similarly, you can say "ten niebieski" (this blue), for example. It's like an adjective that sometimes can be treated kind of as a noun.

Moreover, we do have nouns for colours. Like "czerwień" (red), "zieleń" (green)... and somehow, actually "niebieski" is the only major colour that doesn't have its own noun. Its shades have nouns though: błękit (light blue) and granat (navy blue). But not blue itself. Maybe because it comes from the word "niebo" (sky).

And for that reason, if we actually used the word "kolor" in the Polish phrase, I think it should be translated.


This makes me curious about the pronunciation of "ie." While talking to a Polish person, she pronounced "oshiem" like "oshem" (English phonetic). But in this pronunciation of "niebieski," it sounded like "nyebeski" (English phonetic). Why does the first "ie" have a "ye" sound? Is that normal for Polish, or a quirk of this voice synthesizer?


Do not think of "ie" as of cluster, it's the consonant + "i" that is important here. An "i" makes preceding consonant palatalized i.e. changes "s" in "osiem" into soft "sh" (softer than English one) - "ś". In "niebieski" this occurs three times as "ni" is changed to "ń" (sounds like Spanish ñ), "bi" and "ki" are palatalized. "i" after "k" is pronounced because there is no other vowel to create a syllable.


Sagitta145: Thanks!


Why does niebietski end in an i? Is it a noun? The only use I know of so far for an adjective to end in "i" is plural masculine human.


"Niebieski" is actually an adjective, describing the noun "kolor" which is m.inan. For the declension of "niebieski", take a look at https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/niebieski and click the "show declension" button.


OK, so it appears niebieski is just one of those words that doesn't follow the "y" rule. Thanks.


I think it's more general than that; it's a feature of the many adjectives which end in "-ski" (and I'd guess "-cki", which is a compressed form of "-tski").


OK, that also makes sense. The link didn't really explain why it was different. It just showed it chillin' in the middle of a bunch of colors ending in "y".


Well, "niebieski" is almost a toponym, like, for example "Poznański". The latter means "of, from, or pertaining to "Poznań", whereas "niebieski" comes from the word "niebo" ("sky") so it's "skyish" (hard to believe in the U.K.)

There also seems to be a "morski" which is a bluish/greenish colour (pertaining to the "sea")


Awesome! Thanks.


There are no adjectives ending with -ky in Polish. All singular nominative masculine adjectives with penultimate letters -sk- end with an i. Polski, niski, bliski, męski, wąski, ludzki, miękki, lekki, płytki, głęboki... There are tons of those.


OK. Good to know! That might be a good candidate for the introductory lesson on adjectives. Thanks!

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