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It's not pink, it's light-ish red!

It's a while ago now that I did the colors exercise, but I was thinking about it today, how light red in Danish is called light red instead of pink (as I understand it, there's also pink in Danish, but it's a specific color distinct from light red). Which reminds me of the popular machinima series Red vs. Blue where, in the first season, one character on the red team receives his own distinct uniform color - which he insists is "not pink, it's light-ish red!" And it makes me laugh to think about how in Danish, the joke just doesn't work; and also how for people who are familiar with Danish, the joke might carry a set of unintended connotations.

April 29, 2015



I love how differently words and concepts can be constructed in different languages. Yesterday, I learned that the Danish for jellyfish is vandmand (literally waterman) without even realising how silly sounding jellyfish is.


Yeah, I think compound words in any language can end up hilarious for learners to discover! And they really make you think about the weirdness of your mother tongue. Like, what's the deal with "honeymoon"? Or "bulldozer"?

[deactivated user]

    Compund words are fun! A while ago, I made a game out of them elsewhere on the Internet.

    Guess the meaning of the following words.

    Edit: I might actually post this as its own thread..


    I would love to see this game as its own thread! I also plugged all of them into Google translate, because I was too impatient to give you my guesses and see if I was right. The only one that Google refused to translate was stumtjener.


    I think it's meant to be a hat stand- when you google image it that's what appears. The bench biter was my personal favourite.


    Bench biter made perfect sense - but I never would have guessed it on my own! :-P

    [deactivated user]


      Darn, my guess for stumtjener had been dumbwaiter, a weird English compound (since dumb used to mean mute).


      i would love to see this as its own thread, i love it!


      It has its own thread here already :)


      I am a danish guy and in my world, pink and lyserød (light-red) are two words for the same color (I wouldn't rule out that some, more fashion-minded, people might claim a difference). BUT, i have a feeling, that english speakers see light-red as a less feminine color than pink? So in that sense the joke wouldn't work in danish.


      For English speakers (or at least the Americans in my area), it's more that "light red" is what someone calls it when they don't want to admit it's pink, because pink is perceived as feminine. But yeah :-P


      Maybe. I can't speak for all the difference nuances here. However, in the color wheel sense, pink and light red are different. You get light red by adding only white to red. To get pink you need also violent. It is not on the color spectrum of the rainbow (ROYGBIV) because to get it you need to add a color from one end of the spectrum, violent, to a color at the other end of the spectrum, violet. But, yeah, got your meaning. Should I ever want to wear a pink dress and find myself worrying about not being manly enough, I am definitely going to insist that it is light red! http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/03/05/stop-this-absurd-war-on-the-color-pink/

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