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  5. "Τα παπούτσια μου είναι μοβ."

"Τα παπούτσια μου είναι μοβ."

Translation:My shoes are purple.

September 9, 2016



If they use μοβ for purple, how do they say mauve?


Good question. "μενεξεδής" at least that's what "WordReference" gives but actually it's "μοβ". The formal word for "purple" is "πορφυρός" which is also not used. So, "μοβ" it is and "μοβ" it shall be. :-)


The more official and used in science is ιώδες. Μενεξεδής/βιολετής/πορφυρός are all used to describe different shades of purple.


Is μωβ also a possible spelling? That's what I would have used.


Yes, both are used for purple -mauve.


Πορφυρό (manufactured in Byzantine times by πορφύρα) means intense and dark red, not purple.


How to translate the colours?

  1. Violet = βιολετί.

Violet colour is ιώδες or βιολετί or μενεξεδί.

Viola (Ίον) is a genus of flowering plants. From this word (ίον), we have "violet colour" (ιώδες). For example, we say ultraviolet radiation (υπεριώδης ακτινοβολία) and iodine (ιώδιο). In every day speech, the flower violet is called βιολέτα (like old childish rhythm "ένα φράγκο η βιολέτα") or μενεξές (like the beginning of a traditional song "μενεξέδες και ζουμπούλια"). Similarly, the colour violet is βιολετί or μενεξεδί.

So, we have ιώδες, βιολετί, μενεξεδί.. which one should I use? Personally, I would use: In very formal/scientific context: ιώδες. In informal/ everyday speech: βιολετί. In literature or poetry: μενεξεδί.

  1. purple = mauve (French) = μωβ or μοβ.

  2. fuchsia = φούξια (used for a specific shade of intense pink, which is not pale at all!)

  3. πορφυρό = intense and dark red.

The story: The main ingredient was πορφύρα (made from sea shells, says Google). It was manufactured in Byzantine times. It was very expensive. An imperial colour for emperors. One emperor had the nickname "Πορφυρογέννητος" (I think it means he was born in luxurious "πορφύρα"). As we see in paintings, the clothes of emperors of Byzantine times have a shade of dark red colour).

I hope that helped.


What a number of loanwords in Modern Greek!


Yes, indeed and you'll come across many others as you progress. But perhaps all languages are that way.


Of course, but I have seen them more in Greek than in other languages. Most of loanwords do not even have a Greek form.


In formal speech it is wrong to use such words. In a Greek newspaper you won't find more than 3-4 foreign words. Many of them are not even found in greek dictionaries.


As is universally understood all languages have loan words. Some are more integrated and not recognized and others like μωβ stand out. But as for using it, I think that if you were to ask for ιώδες/μενεξεδής/βιολετής/πορφυρός shoes in a Greek shop you'd be considered strange. But μωβ is the color used as is μπλε more common than κυανός or γαλάζιο and how about θύρα its main use being in stadiums but in everyday use it's πόρτα. That is the nature of languages if used wisely it adds depth to the language.


Γαλάζιο means light blue and it's very very common word.

Blue is μπλε. Γαλάζιο is light blue.. like the colour of the greek sky (γαλανός ουρανός) in a sunny day, the greek sea (γαλάζια θάλασσα) (γαλαζοπράσινα νερά) and the greek flag of light-blue and white ("γαλανόλευκη" σημαία). It is the colour of the mountains when they are far away from us. It is the colour of traditional greek small houses on islands, I mean the colour that compliments their white colour.

Γαλάζιο is the colour you see everyday if you live in Greece. It's the colour you see more than any other colour. It's the colour you miss the most if you miss Greece.

Γαλάζια μάτια (pale blue eyes). Γαλάζιο πουκάμισο (pale blue shirt).

No, no, it's not unusual word. On the contrary, it's one of the most common words for colours.

Γαλάζια λίμνη (Blue lake). Γαλάζιος Δούναβης (Blue Danube).

You can ask people: what is your favourite colour? People can answer eg κόκκινο (red), green (πράσινο), pink (ροζ) and ""γαλάζιο"" (light blue).


Also it's easier to spot out the loanword in Greek, because of the difference in alphabet and the word form with the latin-script languages.


Well, as for languages full of loans you'd better take a closer look to English. Only 20%-30% of English words are native (i.e. from Old English).


Am I the only one who had to look up "mauve" to see what color it is? Looks a little like what we called lavender growing up.


The correct spelling is μωβ, I couldn't find μοβ spelling online.


Both are correct. The "old" spelling is μωβ, but the ω is not etymologically justified, as the word is a foreign word. New rules spell it with an ο.


Taking, instead of taken . sorry!


No worries your message was fine and we appreciate the positive input. It's just as you said all languages "borrow" from other languages.

Btw...you should have an "edit" option. right under your comment where you see a number which shows how many 'upvotes' meaning someone likes your comment or 'down votes' just the opposite, then you'll see the 'up vote and down vote arrows, next come, reply then edit deleteand a few other things. So, clicking on "edit" you make changes and no one need ever know you made an error. ;)

If you need anything let us know. Do you have the Greek keyboard. Try this link for various resources: https://www.duolingo.com/topic/936


Shouldn't it be παπούτσιά since the accent falls on the third-to-last syllable and it's followed by a pronoun? Or have I got the rule wrong?


παπούτσια has three syllables: pa-POO-tsya

(Not four, pa-POO-tsi-a.)


Ah, thank you!


Rule of thumb: -ι- before another vowel is a separate syllable in words borrowed from Ancient Greek but is only a semivowel in "native" modern Greek words.

(Unfortunately, you can't tell from the spelling. For example, άδεια can be either two syllables or three depending on the meaning -- "native" empty or "learned" permission.)

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