Thursday, November 27, 2014

On the Notion of Rainbows

BRT has talked often about how language defines our notion of reality based on how said language is constructed, whether it be pictographic like Chinese and Japanese or modular like English or Russian. To that end, a good friend of mine posted an awesome link showing how English differs from Chinese when it comes to color, a most important aspect of describing reality without question.

Here's a fascinating visualization (seen above) created by Muyueh Lee that shows the differences between how the English language and Chinese language each describe colors. On the left, you can see the number of English names for color hues (there's a lot!) and on the right, the number of Chinese names (there's a little!).

Shown below is a dataset depicting specific breakdowns of color descriptions.

This is English

This is Chinese

Interesting, eh?

To see how this works in interactive 3D, Muyueh Lee's amazing site is the place to go as the interrelational aspects of just how deep this finding goes is truly astounding.

To yours truly, the notion that language describes our take on reality rings true as shown by Lee's incredibly creative and innovative research.

PS. Thanks Mark for turning me onto this. :)

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