Can we have a new database for just colors?

A lot of times, I see a draft in another language (like German or Scandinavian), but the colors do not translate.

A general idea of which color family would be helpful to me. I know that there is a technical difference between sky blue and turquoise, but they are both light blue, as apposed to true blue, or navy blue

I propose using a 10-color system with the adjectives "Light, and Dark" and "sort of".... the "sort of" would indicate that this the color is approximate rather than a direct technical translation.


so... the German translation of pink would be "light red" (in german) and beige would be "Light brown" or " 'Sort of ' white "

I also suggest that we highlight or bold the original word that is getting translated into other languages to avoid the 'whisper game' or 'telephone game' effect. (you know... whisper something in one person's ear.. pass it on, .. and the last person says it out loud.... and the end result is nothing like the original. )


Sara von Tresckow

 I don't quite understand this proposal.

The 10 colors you list are part of a color wheel and the translation would be available in any translating dictionary along with the words for light and dark.

Where color gets confusing is precisely the turquoise, sky blue, lime green, etc. and MANY color descriptions in texts are in this word range. Since these descriptive words for color are not always understood by native speakers, translation would be impossible. For this reason, the Pantone color system uses a numbering system listing the components of color blended into that shade. Factor in color blindness and you have an impossible task - other than providing the names of the basic color wheel - primary and secondary - along with the naturals of white, black, brown and grey.

rose Goldielocks (not verified)

ok... since there already seems to be resources available, maybee I just don't know were they are.

let me give a concreate example.  Here is  a section of colors to warp for a tablet weaving band. The orginal book was printed in black and white and has a copyright of the 1950's.

I know that this is a 'germanic' language, but I am not sure if it is dutch, german, or sweedish.


First stop to try to figure out what color "morkblatt" is:

German to English gives me "morkblatt"... not useful

Dutch to English gives me "morkblatt".... not useful.

no more germanic type languages... so try two.

Second Stop:

Danish to English gives me " Morkblatt"

Finnish to English gives me "morkblatt"

german to English gives me "morkblatt"

hungarian to English gives me "morkblatt"

Icelandic to English gives me "Blue goals"

Norwegian to English gives me "mork blue"

Polish to English give me "Morkblatt"

Swedish to English give me "morkblatt"


Now, I figured out that morkblatt is some kind of blue, but, is it a light blue, a medium blue, or a dark blue?

Having a list of just colors and the comon adjectives to describe them in different languages would be useful.


So... where would I go to figure out what kind of colors this band was designed to be?  This author aparently does not understand (or care about)  the "Pantone" color system . 

My goal is to match the name of the colors to one of the 36 colors in the basic color wheel.  (Light, medium, dark of the 12 basic colors).... not to get an exact shade or dye lot of yarn.

Does this make more sense now?




Sara von Tresckow

 No, this does not make a lot of sense.

Color choices are yours to make. What is listed in a project is a suggestion - and the final choice is yours depending on the colors of yarn available to you. When I referred to dictionaries, I didn't mean Babelfish, but real live paper books - the language of a book can usually be determined by reading the title page - the city in which the publisher resides is a firm clue as to the language. When you determine the language of the publication, you simply look in any dictionary with Eng/xxx and look up those words. For the 10 or 12 basic shades you mention, you get a clear translation - vitt - white. (And I'm not 100% certain what language you have there, but I am multilingual and the Germanic basic color words contain clues such as the similarity between the spelling of vitt and white or blatt and blue.)

Just FYI - I have large dictionaries for German, Swedish and Finnish - not just little weaving glossaries, and with a bit of creativity it is not all that difficult to locate the correct meaning of words that are new to me - just takes some detective work. Becoming multi-lingual is so much more than just word equivalence - and so rewarding when you put in the effort.

Mork is dark and ljus is light, but beyond that, the shade is not available in a text situation where everything is black and white. Just the difference in dyelots can ruin a project.

In the case of your sample, just count the number of colors used, sit down with graph paper or your design software and fill in colors you like and see what happens. In the case of 50 year old drafts, those colors may be no longer available anyway.

Pantone is a very modern system of colors used widely in the textile industry and for the paint chips at Home Depot - the numbers are an excellent way to fix the proportions of basic colors in blended shades. This makes translating shade names no longer necessary.


Caroline (not verified)

Back when these older books were published, people doing crafts were able to work with skimpy instructions and did not require full colour charts to enable them to do a project - it was assumed that the person doing the project knew these things already and had the necessary skills to adapt the pattern/instructions to suit whatever it was they particularly wanted to make. 

Ever since domestic science was dropped as a subject at school so that we could participate in an "equal" education system, modern women have found it harder to learn the skills that our mothers and grandmothers were expected to know, and the more "educated" we have become, the less able we are to apply our knowledge to what were, 50 years ago, basic household skills. Its not that anyone is cleverer, or dumber, its just our understanding is different, and applying modern problem solving techniques doesn't always work when it comes to older skill-sets.

Use the pattern drafts by all means, but have the confidence in your abilities to use your own colour choices and let them match what you want them to match, instead of a decor that may have been quite different to your natural taste and was designed to suit another era.

Ellen (not verified)

I can sympathise with your suggestion, Rose Goldilocks, and since it is such a small thing to do, I can't quite understand all the opposition to it. I once suggested a similar thing : the basic weaving structures ( I now know that twill in English is "kipper" in Danish, but there are other less common terms I struggle with, not for weaving them - just follow the draft, but for talking about them with others,)  and that suggestions was also pooh-pooh'ed

For your information the list above is as far as I can tell Swedish, and "mörk" means dark, "ljus" means light.

Anyway, if you add the colour words that are not already there to our glossary, I'm ready to fill in what I know (Danish, quite a lot of Swedish and Norwegian, German and English)


rose Goldielocks (not verified)

Ok... I was really trying to see what the author had in mind, rather than reinventing the wheel by redrafting and fussing with the colors untill I thought they were right.  I can always replace all the similar words with the same color and get an idea of what the draft's overall shape is blockwise or light/dark wise.... but it won't give me a clue to what the author had in mind..)

(Insert mental picture of "Santa" trim but... but santa's beard being green and the clothes being purple)...

I do not have easy acess to real-live paper dictionaries, nor the necessary funds to purchase them, nor the space to store them.  Any real live 'good' dictionary in foreign languages is normally in excess of $50 at a good bookstore. (I am reluctant to purchace a dictionary sight unseen, as I had bad luck with substandard  foreign language dictionarys in school).  

I will drop this subject now, and this project (seeing what the author had in mind) will have to wait untill I have funds to purchase a real live paper dictionary.

Apparently I am not suited to decode other languages and I will let that to the EXPERTS

Kristina (not verified)

Hei , Goldilocks, if you try to use the right letters (mörkblått) Google translation works correct. Another way  to get an idea of the colour is to search via google pictures.
And adding the results to the glossary would be helpful for others.

Sara von Tresckow

In reference to the edgy reference to EXPERT -  I learned my languages the hard way, on the street, with the help of a good school system in Illinois many years ago that taught me techniques for searching for what I needed to know and learning as I live.

To have that sort of reply from someone who "simply waaaants to know" what the author meant by getting instant feedback is not a good feeling.

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