Colours: Differing points of hue

April 27, 2012 by Phillip Ball @ BBC

A computer model reveals how the way we agree on names for colours is more complex than meets the eye.

We do not always agree about colour. Your red might be my pink or orange. Vietnamese and Korean people do not differentiate blue from green – leaves and sky are both coloured xanh in Vietnam. The late English artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman once met a friend on London’s Oxford Street and complimented him on his beautiful yellow coat. His friend replied that he had bought it in Tokyo, where it was not considered yellow at all, but green.

These overlaps and omissions are unnoticeable if they are part of your culture –but they can seem utterly bizarre if they are not […]

 

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