The Curiosity that the German word “Orange”Posted through Sten on Nov 28, 2019 in Food, Language

German has some quirky words, and that’s what we discover in this series. Today, we’ll have a look at the word Orange. Nothing curious, it seems, right? Wait till you hear exactly how it is pronounced…

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Orange or Orange?


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Listen come the clips above, and notification how the word Orange sounds various when it refers to a Frucht (fruit) or when it refers to a Farbe (color)! The Frucht retains the -e ending, vice versa, the Farbe cuts the off.

You are watching: How to say orange in german

Curious. Why is that?

Both native come native the French indigenous orange,which, in turn perhaps comes from the word or (“gold”), introduce to the gold-yellow colour of oranges. And also yet, they arisen a various pronunciation. The different pronunciations for each word space each prevalent in Germany and also you deserve to use whatever you feel many comfortable with.

But that ending -e: that provides a world of a difference. Das Orange refers to the color, with its own page in the DudenDie Orange, the Zitrusfrucht (citrus fruit) has actually its own page, too. And also while the Zitrusfrucht only has actually the pronunciation with -e, the web page for the Farbe allows both!

But why is over there a difference? I can not uncover a conclusive answer. So I have actually some theories!

Theory 1: Time discrepancy

In German, the Farbe seems to have come after the Frucht and also the term Orange were imported right into the language. Before the shade was referred to as Orange, it was referred to as rotgelb (red-yellow) and also the like. Just later, the fruit’s color became the normal method to to express to rotgelb.

This difference in time of introduction may be why over there is a various pronunciation. However I think it might be much simpler, actually.

Theory 2: emulating the French

French pronunciation is a bit between orange with the -e and without it. That becomes clean from the nasal and non-nasal together of Orange the Germans make an initiative to sound more like the “original” French. Though possibly it’s additionally just born out of convenience.

Theory 3: etymological convenience

Perhaps it simply originates from what’s easiest for Germans. Since the Frucht is used as a Substantiv (noun) with endings that adjust in German (e.g. In plural: die Orange, die Orangen (pl.)), the Farbe does not change in plural (die Orange, die Orange (pl.)), and also is not used as much (how often do you speak the many of a color?). V die Orangen, you definitely pronounce the to leg to the -n. This is no really needed for the Farbe. For this reason perhaps because people are an ext used to express the -e with the Frucht, it exist there, and also not v the Farbe, whereby sounding more true to the initial French is emphasised.

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Also, i am provided to use the color as an adjective through orangene with the -ne at the end. If you desire to be really strict, girlfriend cannot adjust it, and also it have to be die orange Mauer. If the sounds weird, you should say die orangefarbene Mauer. Though umgangssprachlich (colloquially), orangene Mauer is totally fine and an ext widespread (at least in my experience).

Whatever theory holds, that is a curious little word!

Have friend heard different variations or had other experiences 보다 me through the word Orange and that pronunciation? Which theory is many plausible girlfriend think? Or perform you have actually a much better one? perform you have actually such curious indigenous in your language? allow me know in the comment below!