Colours and articles

franc 91

Senior Member
English - GB
I'd like some help please.
I am currently creating a set of colour dominoes for the children of some Romanian friends of mine. In the Romanian children's picture vocabulary book I've just found, where the colours are named (and not used as adjectives) systematically they are given with the definite article included - ie it's negrul and not negru, verdele instead of verde and so on. Is this correct or not? This is definitely not made clear in any of the on-line language-learning sites that I've looked at. I can give you the ISBN number if you like.
 
  • farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    The simplest and fastest way to explain it :

    The (colour) yellow used by Van Gogh -> Galbenul (culoarea galbenă) folosit/ă de Van Gogh

    The red tile goes with the green tile and the blue one with the yellow one. -> Piesa roșie merge cu piesa verde și cea albastră cu cea galbenă.

    Now simplifying to create confusion

    Red goes with green and blue with yellow -> Roșul merge cu verdele iar albastrul cu galbenul, but in common speech you could hear "roșu merge cu verde și albastru cu galben"

    În conclusion, în Romanian we would use the articulated form of the noun to refer to the colour: the colour red, meaning culoarea roșie or Roșul.

    The colour black -> culoarea neagră or Negrul.

    Most of the time when used as adjectives, the name of the colours are not articulated (black tiles - piese negre).

    Hope this clears things a bit. If you can and like to study dictionaries you should give dexonline.ro a try.
     

    franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    Thank you very much. I was beginning suspect this, but on the various dictionary websites that I've looked at (French/Romanian), very often they give the colour (in French), used in the context of a sentence, with the definite article whereas in the Romanian version it's not there. It was only when I looked at this children's book, that I saw the colours being 'announced' in this particular way. That's why I was confused about it.
    (ISBN 978 1 7246 1049 2)
     

    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    The context plays a big role and sometimes it's not easy to distinguish between the cases where articulated forms of the noun are needed, adjectives and noun forms where the article can miss: the best example I can give here is Stendhals' "Le Rouge et le Noir": the novel's title in English is similar, "The red and the black" however, the standard Romanian translation is Roşu şi Negru.

    Using the article can bring emphasis and attention to the subject: Albul mută şi dă şah -> White moves and announces/gives check. In fact it would sound bad to say Alb mută şi dă şah. However in this case, although I'm referring to the noun, I don't think it absolutely needs the article: Roşu(l) este culoarea dragostei aprinse -> Red is the colour of passionate love.
     

    franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    I have something further to ask. When the colour is 'Black and White' shown together, how do I express that ? - Negru-Alb or Negrul-Albul ? (second topic moved to a separate thread by the moderator)
     
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