Gens de couleur (People of color/colour)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by oona003, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. oona003 New Member

    Auvergne, France
    France, French
    Hi !
    I would like to know how you say "gens de couleur" in every language. It is the french for coloured people.
    Thankx all !
  2. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Do you mean the "color of people's skin"?

    In German:

    "farbige Menschen" as a litteral translation


    "Farbige" as a natural German word ...
  3. Tabac Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest (USA)
    U. S. - English
    In the US, the current politically correct term is "people of color".
  4. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think it's "gente de color" in Spanish.

    I don't think we have a word for it in would sound weird if I were to translate it literally...

    (I'll keep thinking about it...)
  5. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    English UK
    I think..., in the UK,.it is politically uncorrect to lump all non-white people together. Black, brown, mixed-race, is more acceptable than 'coloured'.
  6. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Do you mean ناس ملون or بير ملون? (Do I have to use the plural adjectives here) :confused:
  7. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Of course you do. It would be أُناس ملونون.

    What do you mean by بير? That means "well," that you draw water from.
  8. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Sorry, a typo. I meant تشر. (The ش is situated two letters on next to ي)
  9. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Portuguese: gente de cor.

    It's not very common to use this phrase.
  10. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Typo again? I think you mean بشر.

    That wouldn't work here, though, because it means "humanity." You can't say "colored humanity."
  11. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Ehm — yes. I'm very sorry. What happens here to me? Okay, wouldn't "humanity" be إنسانية?
  12. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    That's "humanity" in the abstract sense (the qualities of humanity).

    The other one is "humanity" in the physical sense (the human race; humankind).
  13. Saqui Member

    It seems that the expression itself is ill-employed. The persons they call "gens de couleur" or "colored people" are not pink, do not blush, do not have a red complexion and don't turn purple or gray when they die.
  14. Samaruc Senior Member

    València (País Valencià)
    Valencià/Català, Castellano
    In Valencian-Catalan we simply use the word “negres” (black) to refer to “gens de couleur”. It is this way just because the word “negres” has absolutely no derogatory sense.

    The literal translation of “coloured people” is “gent de color”. It is used by some people, but I think it is a political overcorrection… In fact, we all are “coloured people”… I know no transparent person… ;) !
  15. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    In Finnish: värilliset (=coloured).
  16. Elieri Member

    In swedish: färgade (lit. colored)
  17. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I've read the expression الملوَّنـون al-mulawwanuun (or course it becomes الملونين in the genetive case) you don't need to add people or ناس before it.
    Some reporters/writers try to respect the "politicaly correct" expressions of the West while translating into Arabic. I find it a stupid expression, but that's the one you can use if you want to sound "correct" in Arabic :)
  18. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia

    If I ain't wrong there's another thread about this.

    The Indonesian translation would be something like orang berwarna, but I think upon hearing that, most Indonesians would be rather puzzled, or at the most, think of a clown or a person who colors him-/herself.
    After all, nobody is transparent. Even "white" or "blond" is a color. :rolleyes:


  19. בעל-חלומות Senior Member

    ישראל, עברית
    This can't be exactly translated into Hebrew because the expression אנשים צבועים (colored people, anashim tsvu'im) is already taken and means "dishonest people, liars". To talk about black people we say שחורים (shHorim) which means "blacks". I can't think of a word that means "anyone who is not white".
  20. Tamar

    Tamar Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    I have a few remarks: "colored poeple" in Hebrew is translated as צבעונים tsiv'onim (also "colorful"), not צבועים (also "painted").

    In Hebrew we have the word כושי kushi, which is originaly a proper word for "black person".People do use it. But: there has been a change and a growing number of people sees that as a derogatory word (young ones, but still not all). So there's actually a mixed situation - some people use it (as not derogatory) and some do percieve it as such and don't use it (and use the word שחור shaxor black as בעל חלומות said).
  21. dudasd

    dudasd Senior Member

    Having no word for that in Serbian, sometimes we have to translate "coloured people" literally - "obojeni", but it just doesn't sound natural. And it can make you think about black people only, probably because they are rare and slightly "exotic" here, but never about any nation of middle-dark complexion, or yellowish, or red. Generally, it's unimaginable that we call someone "coloured".
  22. lizzeymac

    lizzeymac Senior Member

    New York City
    English - USA
    In Am. English, 'people of color' is not the same as 'colored people.'

    'People of color' is generally used to refer to people of all colors, except white. ;-)
    It is most commonly used as a positive, empowering term. It is perhaps a 'politically correct' term but a very useful one.
    I would think that 'people of color' is a less risky choice for 'gens de couleur' than 'colored people.'
    "Colored people' is an archaic term for African Americans (or Americans of African descent). I guess it might have been used as a more civil term than some others in use.
    To me, it does not have positive associations. Unfortunately, I am sure there are plenty of Americans, hopefully very old people, who still use it.
  23. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    In Italian we say in the same manner as in French: gente di colore.
  24. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    It would be 'kleurlingen' in Dutch, I guess, but we would not use that around here, I think, I think it would be used in connection with (?) South Africa, where you had 'blanken' (whites) and 'kleurlingen'.
    We turned to 'allochtonen' (born elsewhere, allo-chtonous) but then use the term mainly for North African people who are quite numerous in our country. The others would be 'refugees'. But then North Africans are called names, not referring to their colour, but to the feelings people harbour about them...

    It is quite a dangerous issue indeed, typically of Western countries facing immigration and feeling the urge to... 'call them names'...
  25. Nizo Senior Member

    The Esperanto word is koloruloj. The connotation (whether negative, positive, or neutral) would depend on who is speaking it and who is hearing it. Connotations of words are associated with culture. I would venture that an American would probably avoid using the term, where it might be perfectly acceptable if used between speakers from another country.
  26. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member


    «Έγχρωμος, -μη, -μο» [ˈeŋ.xrɔ.mɔs] (masc.), [ˈeŋ.xrɔ.mi] (fem.), [ˈeŋ.xrɔ.mɔ] (neut.) --> lit. encoloured < preposition and prefix «ἐν» ĕn + neut. «χρῶμα» kʰrômă --> colour, skin-colour, make up < Classical fem. «χρόᾱ» kʰróā or «χρώς» kʰrṓs (fem. nom. sing.), «χροός» kʰrŏós (gen. sing.) --> surface of the body, skin, skin-colour, colour (the Mycenaean ko-ro-we points toward a possible PIE root *kʰrou̯-)
  27. Penyafort

    Penyafort Senior Member

    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    As in French, Italian or Spanish, in Catalan there is also gent de color.

    I've only heard it very rarely, though, as it is usually seen as a cringe-making euphemism which actually sounds more offensive than simply negre.
  28. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    London, UK
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I find it stupid too, and very imposed. I'm also not so sure it sounds politically correct in Arabic! I mean, the politically correct way is not to have a term that distinguishes between white and non-white people, right?

    However, it's generally used to literally translate 'people of colour' from English or any other language.
  29. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    Things have moved on in Britain since then: we now have the initialisation BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).

    All these fairly frequent changes in terminology over time* does get a little confusing, and it has led to public figures (and us mere mortals) being publicly criticised to ridiculous degrees for using a term that just a few years previously would have been acceptable.

    *terminology can also vary between countries, as the odd British actor has been caught out in America before.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  30. Sardokan1.0

    Sardokan1.0 Senior Member

    Sardu / Italianu
    In Italian it's mostly used "di colore", "persona di colore", "uomo di colore" and similar, while the use of "negro" is considered quite offensive.

    In Sardinian instead we simply use "nieddu or nigheddu" = black (from Latin "nigellus" = black, blackish), without any negative meaning.
  31. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    (masc. sing.), barevná (fem. sing.) = coloured, having a colour; a coloured [person] (substantivized adj.);

    (plur.) = [the] coloured [people] (i.e. non-white people of any race);

    (from the noun barva < Germ. die Farbe 'colour', with a metathesis)

    Similarly in Slovak:

    farebný (farba < Germ. die Farbe);
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  32. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    In Hungarian, the term "színesbőrű" (= "colour-skinned", szín = colour, bőr = skin) is commonly used for black (or brown?) people, but not for East Asians.
    I don't think it's considered offensive, at least not by the people using it.:)

    Minority Ethnic?:confused: Minority where? In their country of origin or in the UK? If it's the latter, is this term used for any non-British people, such as Russians?
  33. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    People, men, women of color is a very positive term currently in use in the US. I use it to mean mostly African-Americans, or maybe part African-American. I think personally, I would not say it for just a group of Latinos or Asians, but that might be just me.
    Don't confuse it with colored people. As someone has said, this former politically correct expression which was highly used in the past, see NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), has fallen into disgrace for some reason and sounds terribly racist for people younger than 30, and those older who have kept up with the times. However, many people over 60 still use it and feel it is or should be still respectable.
    Following chronology, negro became coloured which became black which turned into African-American which is now moving towards people of color.
  34. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    A minority in the UK, so yes I suppose it could in theory refer to Russians for example (although most people seem to be using it to refer to non-white British people as far as I can tell). This term is not without criticism

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