Red vs. Orange in the Japanese Language

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Thread: Red vs. Orange in the Japanese Language

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Phoenix Metro, Arizona

    Question Red vs. Orange in the Japanese Language

    I have noticed that with a few video games of Japanese origin, the make no distinction between the colors Red and Orange.

    Here are some examples:
    • The National Pokédex does not include an "Orange" color category; most orange-colored Pokémon are placed in the Red category, with a small number in the Brown category.
    • The color for the Cool Attribute in Pokémon games is described as Red in text, but actually appears more orange.
    • For a non-Pokémon example, in the Wars series of video games, the nation known as Orange Star in the international releases is known as Red Star in Japan despite being colored orange. The change was likely made due to references to communism.

    Now, I know the Japanese language has the word orenji, however, that was borrowed from English.

    Is there any particular reason why some of these examples make no distinction?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Red vs. Orange in the Japanese Language

    "orenji" replaced "daidai," which refers to a related fruit--"bitter orange" or something like that in English. That color concept wasn't introduced from English.

    However, aka/red and ao/blue are often much broader in common use than their English equivalents. For example, traffic lights turn "ao" even thought the color is pretty much the same as the "green" lights in America. It wouldn't surprise me if orenji could be considered a type of aka.

    I'm not sure why "red star" had to be localized to "orange star." The "red star = communism" link definitely exists in Japanese as well; it's not like translating it literally would create any association that wasn't originally there.

    Heck, a red five-point star on a white field is one of the symbols of George Washington, so it's not like it couldn't be part of the whole "red star army is America by another name" thing that the Wars series has going.


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