Data interpreter/designer Terrence Fradet created this lovely interpretation of colors through the filter of language. At the Fathom Information Design site, he has a more expansive history on color and language, but this is a short version.
Some languages explain the entire color spectrum in two or three words--eschewing everything except maybe "light" or "dark"--while others might classify more than 60 relatively obscure colors. The World Color Survey is a global database of color names and interpretations, and Fradet mined this data for his infographic. The results are grouped by geographic area and show the most-used words nearest to the center, reaching out to the most obscure variations at the end.
Read more about it at Fathom.
Ah, the source of the skittles rainbow, lol.
Very interesting. I remember going to a pre-school in Peru and helping the kids colour, and when a little girl asked me to find her a blue pencil crayon, I passed to her what I thought was blue, and she looked at me like I was stupid. Spanish makes a clear distinction between 'azul' and 'cielo', and while to me both are blue to her dark blue and light blue were two entirely separate colours. Thought that was pretty interesting. The same could be said about cultures who see light red and dark red to be two different colours (red and pink) when really they are the same, just one is lighter. Not all cultures see them as two different colours.
I find this chart almost incomprehensible, particularly the internal part. Why is there no "Europe"? If a sample for "English" existed, I might be able to use it to decode what is being said about the other languages.