Original blog post: https://ling-app.com/ja/colors-in-japanese/
Are you wondering how to properly describe the physical look of an object by using 色 / い ろ ( pronounced as Iro) or colors in Japanese language? In today’s post, we will walk you through the translations to different colors so that you can use them the next time you speak with a Japanese citizen. So, if you are up for that, then let the learning begin!
Colors are important in the sense that they help us communicate certain ideas, beliefs, and instructions. In fact, literature relies heavily on the concept of color theory as it is also used to express specific emotions and can even help portray a character’s personality. Even some of our old traditions and superstitions are also based on colors, right? For this reason, a huge number of people believe that the reason we are attracted to particular colors is that we have some sort of connection with it that is truly personal and unique.
In addition, colors are important since they hold universal meaning. Just take the case of the traffic light which remains the same for almost every country- red (あか/ aka) means stop, yellow (きいろ/kiiro) means slow, and green (みどり/ midori) means to go. Interesting, right? Now, if you are ready to learn more about the Japanese colors, let’s dive deeper into it in the next parts below.
Words For Basic Colors In Japanese
Unlike in other countries, the color words in the Japanese language take on two major forms: the noun form and the i-adjective form. Unfortunately, these two forms differ only based on their role in the sentence, and this is perhaps one of the reasons why many language learners also fail to understand the Japanese language right away.
Fortunately, understanding the Japanese adjectives for basic colors is easy as you simply have to remember to put an additional “i” on the last letter for the noun form. Also, there are only six colors (also known as “true colors” in Japanese grammatical context) that have i-adjectives!
Remember, always use the i-adjective forms with the particle no or の when you are using the color word to modify a noun in the same way you use it in English. For instance, you should say green vase or 緑の花瓶 (midor no kabin) instead of 緑花瓶 (midori kabin).
Other Japanese Colors
Now that we know the basics about the other forms of colors let us now draw our attention to the other colors that you might want to learn. Please do note that we will also add here the katakana for the loan English loan words for the colors. The reason for this is because many of the younger generations also use the loanword version when speaking, which is why it would be best also to prepare yourself with these types of words.
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn the basic vocabulary that you can use when describing colors in Japanese. Which of these is your most favorite color? Let us know in the comment section down below, and please don’t forget to start your sentence with a watashi no sukinairo wa + name of color + desu (which means “my favorite color is” + the color).
Suppose you enjoyed this post and figured that you would love to start learning Japanese more. In that case, we highly recommend that you check out our previous language learning post, like the basic slang words used in Japan, how to say thank you, and introduce yourself to the locals using their language. But, on the other hand, if you may also want to learn deeply about the sentence structure, grammatically correct forms of words, phrases, and expressions, then using innovative language tools can definitely help you out.
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