A Study on Translating Color Terms
―Focused on 'Green' and 'Blue' Ranges
(Taeshin Christian University)
Color is essential to human life and every language has color terms. The color spectrum is physically continuous, and different languages can carve it up in arbitrary ways. In other words, the boundaries between the color ranges differ from language to language. This study focuses on the gap of color ranges between Korean color names and corresponding English color names. Traditionally Korean language consists of two levels- Korean native words and Chinese loan words. Korean color terms also have five native color names and more Chinese loan color names. Generally Korean and English have the same number of basic color-designating words. Each color name seems to have a corresponding word. However the Korean native words 'pureuda', 'parata' and Chinese loan word 'cheongsaek' cover not only 'blue' but also 'green' in English. Particularly, the color range of 'cheongsaek' is confusing because the traditional color concept of 'cheongsaek' is different from its contemporary color concept.
The purpose of this study is to describe the current usage of these color terms and search for good translations of color terms between English and Korean.