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4 comments

Comment from: Andrey [Visitor] · http://asiafilm.tv/
You are slightly wrong about the colors of the rainbow. The end of the spectrum is really considered to be "голубой, синий, фиолетовый" in Russian, and in English they are considered to be "blue, indigo and violet", but that doesn't matter голубой is blue and синий is indigo.
Consider these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow
http://yandex.ru/yandsearch?text=голубой
http://yandex.ru/yandsearch?text=синий
http://yandex.ru/yandsearch?text=индиго
http://yandex.ru/yandsearch?text=фиолетовый

So, there is no actual difference between indigo and violet for both English and Russian native speakers, and I guess that there is no difference between голубой and синий for you, but for Russian native there is a clear difference between голубой and синий, these are completely distinctive colors.

Don responds:When I was writing this entry, I hesitated a bit over the listing of the colors of the rainbow. I eventually decided that even though the colors in Russian and in English don't precisely match, it was worth sticking with the traditional naming of the sequence in both languages rather than trying to provide a word-for-word correspondence that wouldn't sound good in either language. In translations you often have to make that kind of judgment call. If I had been writing about the color синий, I might well have called the shot differently.

Regarding синий and голубой, while it's true that in English we can say that they are both shades of the color blue, at least in relation to the words we use, we can also say that they are completely different colors. If I look at a синяя машина and a голубая машина, I don't think they are the same color, even though I describe them as dark blue and light blue.

Let's assume I am rich and have a light blue Porsche that I have allowed the valet to park at an expensive restaurant. After the meal I come out and tell the valet to bring me the light blue Porsche. Instead the inattentive kid brings me a dark blue Porsche. Being rich and rude I immediately scream at him, “You idiot! I told you to bring the light blue one. This one is a completely different color!” In fear the kid responds, “I'm sorry, mister, but I'm color blind.” “Then you should have looked at the license plate number on the receipt. I want to talk to your manager. Now.”

On the other hand, women and men in the US seem to have completely different color vocabularies. I might say to my girlfriend, “That maroon dress Veronica wore last night was very nice.” And she might respond, “Don't be silly, honey, that wasn't maroon. It was burgundy.” And I would groan back, “What do you mean? Maroon and burgundy are the same thing!” And she would roll her eyes back in her head and mumble, “Why are men so obtuse? Next you'll be telling me you can't tell the difference between taupe and umber!” And I would answer back in complete disbelief, “There's a color called ‘taupe’? You've got to be kidding.” And then I would offer her a glass of white wine in hopes of changing the subject. Of course, if she drinks Burgundy, the evening is a complete loss.
04/28/11 @ 01:36
Comment from: carlsonwf [Visitor]
Is there any post written about these "7 letters spelling rule"?

Don responds:If you look on the right side of the blog from the main page, there is a section titled “Russian Trivia,” under which there is a link to the three Russian spelling rules. There is no separate blog entry discussing the spelling rules. Can't think of any way to make them amusing. You can also use this direct link.

All the best, Don.
04/28/11 @ 09:32
Comment from: Muireann [Visitor] · http://russiandinosaur.blogspot.com/
Hi Don,

Surely that's 'радуг' for genitive plural?

A very touching memory and a useful post.

Don responds: Ah, indeed. The typo has been corrected. Thanks much!
04/28/11 @ 23:46
Comment from: Graeme MacDonald [Visitor]
Hello there,
Thank you for a great site!
I've just started learning russian, and this is one of the 2 or 3 sites that I keep coming back to.


04/29/11 @ 06:34

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