"Kemeja cokelat."

Translation:Brown shirt.

August 27, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Mmm, chocolate shirt...


What was the Indonesian word for brown before chocolate entered the region via Dutch/Portuguese traders? I'd hate to call everything 'cokelat' if it referred only to a particular shade of milk choccy.


I think there might not have been any?

When I look at the list of colors in combination with the evolution of colors ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMqZR3pqMjg ) it seems that most of the colors were introduced as loanwords.

Colors in a society tend to be 'discovered' in roughly this order: white, black, red, green/yellow, blue, orange/brown etc. In Indonesian these are putih, hitam, merah, hijau, and then we come to blue/blauw, chocolate, chocolade, orange/oranje. It's interesting to note I can't find an etymology for "ungu", which suggests it's an older color word just like hijau - perhaps it meant blueish (in contrast to yellowish or reddish) before biru was used?

I don't know whether the language stopped evolving around the color blue, or if there were more colors but the names got replaced by the loanwords.

Also, the word "orange" comes from a fruit and that's integrated quite well into the English language. So I wouldn't worry too much about cokelat either.


Have you found it out? I haven't. It’s not sure there was any commonly used word before that one. Even if all human languages share concepts to an astonishing degree, the concept of color has always been extremely culturally conditioned. Think about “orange” and “violet”, a fruit and a flower; those colors seem to be newcomers in the English language.

In archaic Finnish, “ruskea” (which means “brown” today) meant red. Maybe even yellow, and anything between. If you happen to have a Finnish Bible older than the one of 1986, it’s still there. “Punainen” or “puna”, which means “red” today, designates originally ”colored”, or even ”fur” or “feather”, in Finnic languages. Compare with Spanish ”colorado”, which sometimes means ”red”.

The Volga Finnic Komi language considers the color green a shade of yellow—grass yellow, турун виж.

Homer mentions ”wine-dark sea” several times; it is believed to correspond to the color concepts of his contemporary Ionic and Aeolic Greek.

Cicero said that the sea turns purple when oars strike it. Anything between dark blue and dark red was “purpura” in Latin (Classical period). Shiny white and bleach white were not same color so they didn’t share a name, neither did shiny black and matte black.

Xhosa language in Southern Africa has 26 different names for cow colors, but none for blue and green.

EDIT: I just saw there was an answer already, by PixelSnader! Cheers for the orange, why isn’t it “carrot”? Probably because carrots were purple, white and pale yellow before the orange one grew popular.


just wondering why the spelling 'coklat' for brown is not accepted here?


well in the dictionary its spell cokelat but the pronunciation is coklat.. so nowadays we tend to spell it coklat.. same goes to isteri -> istri : wife, putera -> putra : son, puteri -> putri : daughter, karena -> karna : because, etc... i think the gov of education should change the dictionary spelling


hey thank you both, i had no idea that the spelling 'coklat' was not actually officially recognised. how fascinating! i will make better use of the kbbi dictionary now. thanks for the tip :)


The spelling “coklat” is standard Malay, though. Maybe because the English pronunciation only has two syllables. The Dutch “chocolade” is way longer.


"cokelat" the correct translation for "brown" according to the dictionary


Ah yes, the NSDAP's famous chocolate shirts.

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