Even though humans everywhere on earth can see all colours, not all languages have words for all colours, and if there isn’t a word for it, it isn’t really. To give common example, if a man cannot tell cyan apart from sky blue, does he still sees them differently? Scientifically, when asked specifically, yes, but not really in everyday life. Ask him to locate cyan wool and he will come home with sky blue. On the other hand woman can, and for her, world is different. Isn’t it interesting that our understanding defines our language but our language also defines our understanding. People who don’t have words for it find a notion difficult to comprehend.
A research about words for colours in different cultures lead to following fascinating hierarchy:
- All languages contain terms for black.and
- If a language contains 3 terms, then it contains a term for red.
- If a language contains 4 terms, then it contains a term for either green or yellow but not both.
- If a language contains 5 terms, then it contains terms for both green and yellow.
- If a language contains 6 terms, then it contains a term for blue.
- If a language contains 7 terms, then it contains a term for brown.
- If a language contains 8 or more terms, then it contains a term for purple, pink, orange, gray, or some combination of these.