Saturday, July 5, 2014

Pink in Different SW Tai languages

Pink in English comes from the flowers called "pinks" in the genus Dianthus.

Here are some words for "pink" in Tai languages:

1. Thai: สีชมพู (lit. "rose apple color")
This word may be a calque from Malay: merah jambu "red rose apple"
2. Lao: สีบัว (lit. "lotus color") ສີບົວ
It seems that the word is specifically derived from the lotus flower which sometimes can be pink.
3. Northern Thai: สีออน (etymology unknown; if you know the answer please let me know) สีออฯร
This word is dying out in Northern Thai. The Standard Thai term is used instead.
4. Tai Lue: สีข่อง (etymology unknown; if you know the answer please let me knowสีข่อฯง

5. Shan: สีข่อง (etymology unknown; if you know the answer please let me know)

6. Tai Dam: สีลาว (etymology unknown; if you know the answer please let me know)



4 comments:

Billylo Lauw said...
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Billylo Lauw said...

Hello, I think the word pink for shan and lue might be related to the chinese hong 紅 (red, crimson) which is usually associated to another closed colour word to make it mean rose pink. It's just my guess. Given their commun border with China this is a plausible assumption. For taidam, being taidam myself from Vietnam I have never heard of it and have no idea of its origin since lao (alcool) was usually produce from rice resulting in a brown or whitish beverage, a tad different from red or pink wine produced from grapes. I don't know from where you took these references but as for us, we usually use "si boa" but some people also use "si khong" as well.

Billylo Lauw said...

Oh I also remember people using "si on" for pale red but I won't be sure if we can compare it exactly to pink. Colours are subjective, in some languages one could even mistake green and blue if you don't add enough details. By the way, for your etymology I assume the word "on" (soft) in thai in the same like almost all the tai(kadai) sphere.

Alif Silpachai said...

Hi Billylo Lauw. Thank you very much for the input. I got the Tai Dam word from a Tai Dam-English dictionary.