Master Name of Colors in French: Shades and Their Usage Examples for Learners

Bodhi Ramos9 min
Created: Nov 28, 2023Last updated: Dec 27, 2023
Colors in French

Replenishing your vocabulary is essential when mastering French or any other language. Of course, learners should start with the simplest topics and develop their knowledge with time. Have you noticed how often you use the color names in your daily speech? You might have yet to pay attention to this point, but you definitely utilize these words as often as months’ names and times. Therefore, every student should consider memorizing colors in French. It’s a basic topic, so it’s time to learn everything and boost your speaking skills. 

Amazing Purple, the Symbol of Nobility

Like in many other countries, purple symbolizes nobility and wealth in France. This amazing color is translated as “pourpre” [pˈuʁpʁ], but it’s not the only word locals use. Purple has multiple shades; memorizing them will help you significantly enrich your lexicon.

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Lavande[lavˈɑ̃d]Lavender
Violet[vjolˈɛ]Violet
Mûre[mˈyːʁ]Mulberry
Raisin[ʁɛzˈɛ̃]Grape

Of course, knowing one shade of purple is pretty enough to describe everything around you. However, learning at least a few more alternatives would still be more beneficial. In this case, you will impress others with your knowledge.

Majestic Orange Color in French

This autumn color is usually associated with warmth and energy. In France, it symbolizes optimism and positive emotions, so it’s not surprising you can see it everywhere. The French word is the same as in English, “orange” [oʁˈɑ̃ʒ]. In line with other colors, it has different tones:

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Ambre[ˈɑ̃bʁ]Amber
Rouille[ʁˈuj]Rust
Orange mandarine[oʁˈɑ̃ʒ mɑ̃daʁˈin]Tangerine
Bronze[bʁˈɔ̃z]Bronze

Many shades of orange in French are similar to their English names, which makes it easier for learners to memorize the words. However, remember that the pronunciation differs, so pay special attention to transcription.

French Blue Color: Symbols & Variations

The color of the skies and freedom is among the favorite in France. Can you imagine what our lives would be without it? Numerous shades of “bleu” [blˈø] can help you describe everything you see around you. It’s time to discover them!

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Turquoise[tyʁkwˈaz]Turquoise
Bleu sarcelle[blˈø saʁsˈɛl]Teal
Cyan[sjˈɑ̃]Cyan
Bleu bébé[blˈø bebˈe]Baby blue
Bleu nuit[blˈø nyˈi]Midnight blue

Do you think you can implement the above words in your speech? Describing the starry night, the endless ocean, and the entire beauty of the Earth is impossible without using different shades of blue.

Red, Showing Passion and Love

This color is often associated with love and passion, so knowing its tones is essential for French speakers and learners. “Rouge” [ʁˈuʒ] is the most common term you’ll meet when mastering the language. But there are many more shades, and it’s time to familiarize yourself with them.

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Cerise[səʁˈiz]Cherry
Rouge brique[ʁˈuʒ bʁˈik]Brick red
Bourgogne[buʁɡˈɔɲ]Burgundy
Rouge bordeaux[ʁˈuʒ bɔʁdˈo]Maroon
Rouge sang[ʁˈuʒ sˈɑ̃]Blood red

In France, “rouge” is associated with danger and anger. This color is on the country’s flag, demonstrating equality and justice. Different shades of red will be helpful in your speech, so learn as much as possible to understand the French locals better.

Sunny and Joyful Yellow in French

Yellow is the color of joy, fun, and pleasure and has multiple tones. The bright “jaune” [ʒˈon] can describe the sunlight, beautiful flowers, tasty fruit, and many other things most people love. It’s time to learn more shades to make your vocabulary more diverse:

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Jaune citron[ʒˈon sitʁˈɔ̃]Lemon
Doré[doʁˈe]Gold
Jaune clair[ʒˈon klˈɛʁ]Light yellow
Sable[sˈabl]Sand
Chartreuse[ʃaʁtʁˈøz]Chartreuse

Now, you can easily speak about a sandy beach, bright sunny days, and many other things associated with yellow tones. Knowing the entire colors in the French list is only possible when you memorize everything from the above table, so learn at least a few shades.

Brown Color: Variations and Shades

Are you a fan of different types of chocolate? Then, “marron” [maʁˈɔ̃] is your color! Learning its shades will strengthen your French speaking skills and allow you to describe everything you need. Take a look at the most common brown tones:

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Châtaigne[ʃatˈɛɲ]Chestnut
Cèdre[sˈɛdʁ]Cedar
Café[kafˈe]Coffee
Noyer[nwajˈe]Walnut
Amande[amˈɑ̃d]Almond

Which French word for colors do you like most? Initially, the brown shade name in French comes from “marron” (chestnut). In the country, this color is usually connected with warmth and reliability. Brown has many different shades, but even a few words will help you diversify your speech. 

Bright Pink and Its Tones in French

In France, pink is the color of aristocracy, popular among kings several centuries ago. Of course, in modernity, it also symbolizes femininity and tenderness. “Rose” has different shades, so learn some right now:

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Corail[koʁˈaj]Coral
Saumon[somˈɔ̃]Salmon
Rose pâle[ʁˈɔz pˈaːl]Blush
Fraise[fʁˈɛz]Strawberry
Magenta[maʒɑ̃tˈa]Magenta

It’s only possible to describe everything around you when you know different pink tones in French. Beautiful flowers, the sun during the sunset, juicy fruits, and many more objects have this color.

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Color of Nature Green and Its Shades

Green is among the most diverse colors, as it has dozens of tones. Knowing the shades of “vert” [vˈɛʁ] is especially helpful for lovers of nature who adore exploring everything the Earth has given us. It’s worth noting that green and blue shades in French change depending on gender. For instance, “la pelouse” [lˈa- pəlˈuz] (lawn) is feminine. It should be used with the adjective “verte” [vˈɛʁt].

Like many other colors, green has numerous shades that may be helpful to describe everything around you. Familiarize yourself with different tones to strengthen your speaking skills:

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Écume[ekˈym]Seafoam
Citron vert[sitʁˈɔ̃ vˈɛʁ]Lime
Olive[olˈiv]Olive
Émeraude[emʁˈod]Emerald
Jade[ʒˈad]Jade

Now that you know different shades of blue and green, it will be simpler to talk about everything around you. Memorize words from the above table and learn how they differ to show your profound knowledge.

Classic Black in French

The noble black is an eternal classic, and the trend for it hasn’t changed for decades. “Noir” [nwˈaʁ] is often associated with death and darkness, so many people avoid it. However, it also symbolizes elegance and power in France. Many people prefer this color and its different shades in clothing to always look attractive and stylish. Learn the most popular shades of black in French and use them in communication with natives:

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Ébène[ebˈɛn]Ebony
Encre[ˈɑ̃kʁ]Ink
Obsidienne[ɔbsidjˈɛn]Obsidian
Noir de jais[nwˈaʁ dˈə- ʒˈɛ]Jet black
Noir charbon[nwˈaʁ ʃaʁbˈɔ̃]Charcoal

Do you know the difference between all these shades? France is the world’s fashion capital, and many prefer to visit it for shopping. In this case, learning various colors and their tones will be beneficial, as you can describe what you need and create your fantastic outfits.

White French Color: Symbolism and Meaning

The synonym for purity and peace is the favorite one for many people. “Blanc” [blˈɑ̃] is among the symbolic French colors, as it’s located on the country’s flag. There are multiple white tones in this language, so it’s time to master some of them.

ColorTranscriptionEnglish Translation
Ivoire[ivwˈaʁ]Ivory
Blanc perle[blˈɑ̃ pˈɛʁl]Pearl
Os[ˈɔs]Bone
Albâtre[albˈaːtʁ]Alabaster
Noix de coco[nwˈa dˈə- kokˈo]Coconut

Many words are similar to English, so it might be easier to memorize them. Learn the above words and find examples of how to implement them. Your speech will become more diverse; moreover, such knowledge will help avoid misunderstandings when speaking with French residents.

Tips to Learn French More Efficiently

Persistent students usually want to master a new language as soon as possible. However, it’s not a secret that mastering French is challenging. Many learners prefer to do it independently, so they often search for tricks to reach their goals faster. Grab some ideas on strengthening your skills: 

  1. Read books in French. You don’t have to choose long, complicated classic novels. Beginners should start with fairy tales and stories for children that can significantly replenish their vocabulary.
  2. Watch videos and movies in French. In this case, you can perceive information by ear and listen to the correct pronunciation. You can turn on English subtitles to make it easier to understand everything.
  3. Communicate with native speakers. Ideally, moving to the language environment and practicing daily will help you master everything faster. However, finding a penfriend and chatting online is also a great idea to expand your skills.
  4. Listen to native speakers as much as possible. Consider French songs or exciting podcasts, as they are accessible everywhere. You can combine this activity with your routine affairs. For instance, listen to music when driving to work or turn on podcasts when cooking dinner.
  5. Speak more. You can find a community with like-minded people who also aim to master the language. Speaking out loud in front of the mirror is another option to practice pronunciation.
  6. Learn at least a few new words daily. Memorizing several collocations won’t take much time but will bring the desired result in the future. Try to figure out how to form expressions with new wordings to implement them in your lexicon and use them when communicating with others.
  7. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Analyzing the educational process and constantly improving it is essential for every learner. Don’t try to do everything ideally from the first time; just get as much practice as possible.

Implement these tips when learning French or any other language, as they are useful for every student. Remember that practicing daily is among the critical points that help learners reach the desired level of fluency sooner. Additional assistance from professional tutors is also a great idea, as they help learners conveniently divide topics and consistently study everything.

Master French Colors and Other Important Topics with Promova

Learning French independently is possible, considering the number of materials students can find online. However, well-developed lessons can help you accelerate the process. The Promova platform is an excellent destination for learners who value an innovative approach. French guided courses are available for all students; download the app or use the web version to access plenty of new words and thrilling quizzes to strengthen your skills. 

Promova offers a free version and a Premium subscription, providing learners with even more benefits. Numerous exciting topics are covered. Mastering the language is now more accessible than ever, as all the classes fit inside your device. Devote time to learning daily, and you’ll see the progress shortly after. 

Conclusion

Knowing the colors in French is essential for everyone who wants to master the language, understand locals, and speak with them. As a rule, we don’t even notice how often we describe shades around us daily. However, it remains among the most critical topics when learning a foreign language. Memorize the shades listed on this page, and remember to replenish your vocabulary regularly.

FAQ

How many people globally speak French?

According to Statista, French is the 5th most spoken language worldwide. Around 309 million people globally use it. Besides France, it’s widespread in Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Madagascar, the Central African Republic, and many other states. Therefore, learning this language will be beneficial, as you can speak it in numerous regions.

What are the additional online resources to improve language knowledge?

Mastering French independently is possible, and regular learning is the key action for those who want to achieve their goal. Using online materials is the most convenient way for modern students. Dictionaries are indispensable assistants for every learner, so take advantage of WordReference or Collins. Use these sources to translate the new words and expressions and practice more to implement them in your speech.

Why is it important to learn color names in French?

Colors are among the essential topics every student should master. They are used in most conversations, so it would be easier to understand your interlocutor if you knew at least a few basic shades. This topic is as essential as knowing how to greet people or say your address, so remember to comprehend the main colors.

Why are red, blue, and white the national country’s colors?

All three shades are placed on the French flag, so locals have a special attitude towards these colors. Blue and red are the official tones of Paris, the country’s capital. These colors were popular during the French Revolution; locals value their traditions, so the original flag has been kept until now. The white color between red and blue symbolizes royalty, as it used to be the monarchy shade. The tones’ arrangement is not accidental because it demonstrates the direct power of the people.

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