April 3, 2020 Balabala, A Medley of Language and Color
In the African language isiZulu
"Balabala" is a medley of colors
“bala” means color but also to tell, really, actually
and "balabala" is an idiom to tell off
"bala?" means “Is it really so?”
In other African languages "balabala"
means street or highway in Lingala
a language where peace is "botoboto"
“balabala” means babbling jabber gibberish in Setwana or Tswana
and to be loose or not tightly screwed in Woleaian
sky, cloud, rain in Glavda of Nigeria
Across the ocean in Western Fijian
"balabala" means hasten or hurry
and in the Fijian of the island of Fiji
"balabala" is cycas revoluta, a tree fern
a kind of palm fern the heart of which is eaten in times of scarcity
In the Tagalog of the Philippines
"balabala" is an idiom for pretense or make believe
whereas in Ilokano also of the Philippines
it means thought, idea, guess, conjecture,
surmise, apprehension and misgiving
“Balabala” can be written in different ways
in Sanskrit बलाबल means at one time strong at another weak
strength and weakness
with relative strength or power or weight
highness or dignity or importance
While in China "Balabala" is a leading children's clothing brand
written 巴拉巴拉 and sounds more like "barabara"
"nagbunga ti balabala na"
means his idea came to fruition
in Japanese where there is no "L" sound
"barabara" means chaotic, all over the place
And in the Buhutu of Papua New Guinea
"balabala" means "push oneself forward
or to crowd
which we cannot do today
but we can enjoy a multitude of colors
around the world
April 2, 2020 Fijian Green
In Fijian there is a word "bativou"
for a person who prefers green fruit
rather than fruit fully mature
"vou" is new and by extension "bativou"
a person attracted to those younger
often said of men attracted to a younger woman
Another word "Mata drokadroka" suggests a fresh gleaming face
a baby-face or youthful countenance
while "matadrokadroka" is also queasy
sickly green faced
"Drokadroka" the color green
describes vegetation and sometimes fish
but not water or the sea
means green or uncured firewood
following a tradition
Fijians names of colors always associated
with specific objects
"Kara-karawa" blue things
the sky, the sea, fish
as in "sa karakarawa na draki"
a relatively cloudless day with a blue sky
formerly meant either blue or green
inspired by the color of light
bouncing from Fiji parrots
depends on the viewing angle
"Drokadroka" used for the abstract color of green
"karakarawa" a species of edible parrot fish
blue and green as implied by the name
Home of the Daily Peace Challenge. Learn about world peace - one word and one language at a time. (c) Kimberly Burnham, 2022
The Meaning of Peace in 10,000 Languages
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