People Innovation Excellence

Different Color Perception caused by Different Language

As we know there are tons of different languages and sub-languages in the world. Language is the ability of human to communicate one another using sign, for example like words and movement. Simply put, the language can be interpreted as a means to convey something that occurred in the liver. However, further languages are tools for communicating or tools to communicate, in the sense of a device to convey thoughts, ideas, concepts or feelings. In the study of sociolinguistics, language is defined as a system of heraldry, in the form of sound, is a dynamic, productive, diverse and humane. Natural language is to speak or sign language, but each language can be directed into the second stimulus using media audio, visual, or tactile, for example, the writings of graphics, braille, or whistling. Scientific study of Languages also called Linguistic. There are about 7.000 variety languages on earth. However, it is all depends on what is the capability of the human being on each language. Languages change over time, and the history of its evolution can be reconstructed by comparing modern languages in order to determine which properties must be owned by the language of his ancestors so that changes can occur later. [4]

Another definition of the language is as a communication system that makes humans can work together. This definition emphasizes the social functions of language as well as the fact that people use it to express himself and to manipulate the objects in its environment. The theory of functional grammar describes the grammatical structure through its communicative function and understands grammatical structure as a result of an adaptive process. In the process of this Adaptive grammar, “tailored” to serve the needs of communicative users.. There are two meanings of language. The first sense is also called as means of communication between members of the public in the form of the symbol of the sound generated by the tool. Second, the language is a communication system that used the vowel symbols such as speech sound (Hidayatullah, 2009)  Humans acquire language through social interaction during the toddler, and kids can already speak fluently at the age of approximately three years. The use of the language has its roots in human culture. Therefore, in addition to the language used to communicate, also has many social and cultural functions, for example to indicate the identity of a group, social stratification, and for other social and entertainment.

Have you ever heard Sapir Whorf theory?, it is a theory developed by Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf that states that the structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behavior characteristic of the culture in which it is spoken. The theorem of Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis is still continuously research by those Linguists, name for the person who mastered the linguistic theorem. Edward Sapir and Benjamin lee Whorf, the duo

Linguists says, there are two different things related to language, Linguistic Relativity and Linguistic Determinism as weak version and strong version in their hypothesis. In short term Linguistic Relativity is the difference of language which caused difference in reasoning on the person who speak the particular language. Furthermore, Linguistic Determinism is the language which affects the mind, mother tongue that we use is shaping our own perception to the world around us.

Let’s start with an example. There are so many Luxurious Apartment in Jakarta now days, its rampant development. We must have heard name “riverside”, as their mother tongue in England riverside represent the positive vibes because always comes with something beautiful, clean, and multifunction for British people. Meanwhile, riverside “pinggir sungai” in Bahasa Indonesia oftentimes already labeled as a dirty, smelly, and source of disease. Indonesian won’t be attracted to the riverside property which called “Properti pinggir sungai”. This is what Linguists called as a Linguistic Relativity, different language different concept.[1]

Speaking of Linguistic Determinism, seems to be English and Indonesia has in common. This happens on the naming of types of work related to gender. We must admit, are indeed sexist language or have a term of his own in each gender. Right now, the Nurse or the nurse is no longer dominated by women. Many of the men who worked as nurses. Is there a separate term for them? Maybe a Male Nurse or Brother? Might anyone know? Although English language and Bahasa Indonesia already have calls to nurse men, if that term is never used, will be lost. The language will make up our minds that there is no term for male nurses because if indeed there has not been much used term. In contrast to other employment terms who already has his own name or indeed accepted as the type of work that is identical with both men and women, this is because the user is already using it as plain language example: Camera Person, Chairperson, Police Officer, Doctor, President, and etc. These are just some of the many examples of the phenomenon of language in everyday life. The difference this concept occurs in all languages on Earth. In this case, English. What about other languages? From lexical level to pragmatics, sometimes what is chanted and we think really different from the original, there are also speakers of the same language of Indonesia. Understanding these things is very beneficial in order for communication to the different languages concluded with the good of no misunderstanding, because language is all about meaning. [3]

Refer to the discussion written before about Linguistic Relativity, there are many phenomena that occur around us who caused the language we’ve mastered or that we are studying. This is evidenced by the different perceptions or reasoning against a particular vocabulary with certain meanings be interpreted differently by different people. Sapir Whorf & already describes the Linguistic Relativity, where language differences cause differences of reasoning people using that language. Different language will affect the perception of difference against the color. Every language in the world has a different perception of color. The difference in naming this color system characteristics differ in according to the typology of language. In

English language, the Green and blue has obvious differences, they have their own vocabulary: “green” and “blue” (green and blue). But there are some languages that have no difference between them. In the realm of Linguistics, this term could be called “grue” (green + blue) because in some cases, they are as English-speakers do not distinguish certain colors in the light spectrum and doesn’t have a specific vocabulary to separate the particular colors.

As another example, let’s check out one of my favorite country Japan. In the language of Japan, blue color called “ao” and “aoi”, but the color of the herbs and vegetables that are essentially green thus also called “ao” aka blue. It is Similar with the green color in the traffic lights. In fact, the Japanese Language has its own vocabulary for the color green, which is “midori”. Different from Japan, Indonesian Language clearly distinguishes between green and blue. However memorable, Indonesia has hundreds or even thousands of regional language which has the distinction of the system respectively and thus became the first language (mother tongue) people of Indonesia. In Indonesia, the phenomenon of confusion to distinguish the Green and blue is already common to happen around us. In some languages, there are also areas that do not differentiate between the colors green and blue. There are still many elders who do not distinguish between the two.

Perception towards the taste of food, it turned out a little too much influenced by color; and not just the color of the food itself, but also the color of everything that is within the field of view of a person that participated and influenced them.

The Placebo Effect

The color of the placebo pills are given to the patient turns out to be also enough influence on the effectiveness and “efficacy” pills. Colored pill “hot” effectively used as a stimulant, colored pills are “cold” can serve as a depressant. It is believed as a consequence of expectations of patients who consume these pills, and not a direct effect of the color of the pill itself. Thus, this appears to be a placebo factor depends also on factors of culture.

Street Lighting Is Blue

In the year 2000, in some residential areas in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, installed street lighting lights blue. Oddly enough, then were reported a decrease in the level of crime in these areas. Then in October 2009, although it had questioned its effectiveness, a train company in Japan put up the lights blue illumination at stations as part of the effort lower suicide rates.


The conclusion is, it is not about the person seeing the different color. back again to the Sapir Whorf & very famous because of this very controversial, especially for the languages (Linguists), Benjamin Lee Whorf asserts that Linguistic Relativity in this phenomenon is not just happens in our lives in this case we named these color names one by one in the language of each of us. That’s why do some languages does not know the difference between green and blue. Unlike the other colors that belongs not to the main or primary color.


Written by : Rafi Farhan Ramadhan


  • Language and Tought . (2010). Retrieved 11 4, 2017, from
  • Cambell, L. (2004). Historical Linguistic. Cambridge.
  • Hidayatullah, S. (2009, 05 25). Sepuluh Pengertian Bahasa Menurut Para Ahli. Retrieved 11 4, 2017, from Wisma Sastra:
  • Lyons, J. (1989). Language and Linguistic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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