Chroma Chronicles: Exploring the World of Colors in Korean

Elly Kim11 min
Created: Jun 6, 2024Last updated: Jun 7, 2024
Colors in Korean

One of many things we like about the world we live in is how colorful it is. Wherever you look, you’ll see unique tones and hues. Some are quite familiar, while others are so unique that it might be hard even to describe them. Today, we’ll tell you the names of the colors in Korean. It is a great practice not only for language learning but also for understanding the traditions and culture of the country. So buckle up, and let’s dive right in. We’re going to show you Korea in a different light.

Common Names for Colors in Korean Language

Although the exact number of existing colors is still unknown, some research implies that there are over ten million of them. And we don’t know the names of half of them in English! However, we do know the names of the most common and familiar colors in different languages, including Korean. You can find them in the list.

  • 빨간색 (Ppalkansaek) – [ˈp͈a̠ɭɡa̠nˌsɛ̝k̚] – Red in Korean.

예쁜 빨간색 꽃을 샀어요. (Yeppeun ppalkansaek kkocheul sasseoyo.) – I bought a beautiful red flower.

빨간색 옷을 입으면 기분이 좋아요. (Ppalkansaek oseul ib-eumyeon gibuni johayo.) – I feel good when I wear red clothes.

  • 주황색 (Juhwangsaek) – [t͡ɕuβwaŋsɛ̝k̚] – Orange in Korean.

주황색 열기구가 하늘을 날고 있어요. (Juhwangsaek yeolgiguga haneureul nalgo isseoyo.) – An orange hot air balloon is flying in the sky.

주황색 모자를 쓴 사람이 많아요. (Juhwangsaek mojareul sseun sarami manayo.) – Many people are wearing orange hats.

  • 보라색 (Bolasaek) – [poɾa̠sɛ̝k̚] – Purple in Korean.

보라색 자전거를 타고 싶어요. (Bolasaek jajeongeoreul tago sipeoyo.) – I want to ride a purple bicycle.

보라색 꽃이 정말 예뻐요. (Bolasaek kkochi jeongmal yeppeoyo.) – The purple flowers are really beautiful.

  • 파란색 (Paransaek) – [pʰa̠ɾa̠nˌsɛ̝k̚] – Blue in Korean.

파란색 바다가 눈앞에 펼쳐져 있어요. (Paransaek badaga nun-ape pyeolchyeojyeo isseoyo.) – The blue sea stretches out before my eyes.

파란색 셔츠가 마음에 들어요. (Paransaek syeocheuga maeum-e deuleoyo.) – I like the blue shirt.

  • 초록색 (Choroksaek) – [t͡ɕʰoɾok̚sɛ̝k̚] – Green in Korean.

초록색 나무들이 숲을 이루고 있어요. (Choroksaek namudeuri supeul irugo isseoyo.) – Green trees are forming a forest.

초록색 잔디가 참 푸르러요. (Choroksaek jandiga cham pureureoyo.) – The green grass is really lush.

  • 노란색 (Noransaek) – [noɾa̠nˌsɛ̝k̚] – Yellow in Korean.

노란색 해바라기가 활짝 폈어요. (Noransaek haebaragiga hwaljjak pyeosseoyo.) – The yellow sunflowers have fully bloomed.

노란색 차가 눈에 띄어요. (Noransaek chaga nun-e tti-eoyo.) – The yellow car stands out.

  • 하얀색 (Hayansaek) – [ha̠ja̠nˌsɛ̝k̚] – White in Korean.

하얀색 눈이 소복이 쌓였어요. (Hayansaek nuni sobogi ssahyeosseoyo.) – White snow has piled up.

하얀색 벽이 방을 밝게 만들어요. (Hayansaek byeogi bangeul balkge mandeureoyo.) – The white walls make the room bright.

  • 검정색 (Geomjeongsaek) – [kʌ̹md͡ʑʌ̹ŋsɛ̝k̚] – Black in Korean.

검정색 고양이를 키우고 있어요. (Geomjeongsaek goyangireul kiugo isseoyo.) – I have a black cat.

검정색 가방이 멋져 보여요. (Geomjeongsaek gabangi meotjyeo boyeoyo.) – The black bag looks stylish.

  • 갈색 (Galsaek) – [ka̠ɭsɛ̝k̚] – Brown in Korean.

갈색 곰이 숲에서 놀고 있어요. (Galsaek gomi sup-eseo nolgo isseoyo.) – A brown bear is playing in the forest.

갈색 신발을 사고 싶어요. (Galsaek sinbareul sago sipeoyo.) – I want to buy brown shoes.

  • 분홍색 (Bunhongsaek) – [punɦoŋsɛ̝k̚] – Pink in Korean.

분홍색 꽃이 너무 예뻐요. (Bunhongsaek kkochi neomu yeppeoyo.) – The pink flowers are so pretty.

분홍색 드레스를 입은 여자가 있어요. (Bunhongsaek deureseureul ibeun yeojaga isseoyo.) – There is a woman wearing a pink dress.

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Different Shades of Korean Colors

Additionally to primary colors, there are numerous shades of hues that brighten our world. And, of course, they also have names. In the list below, we’ve collected the most popular ones.

  • 은색 (Eunsaek) – [ɯnˌsɛ̝k̚] – Silver in Korean.

은색 반지가 빛나고 있어요. (Eunsaek banjiga bitnago isseoyo.) – The silver ring is shining.

은색 자동차를 타고 싶어요. (Eunsaek jadongchareul tago sipeoyo.) – I want to ride in a silver car.

  • 금색 (Geumsaek) – [kɯmˌsɛ̝k̚] – Gold in Korean.

금색 목걸이가 정말 예뻐요. (Geumsaek mokgeoriga jeongmal yeppeoyo.) – The gold necklace is really beautiful.

금색 트로피를 받았어요. (Geumsaek teuropireul badasseoyo.) – I received a gold trophy.

  • 하늘색 (Haneulsaek) – [ha̠nɯɭsɛ̝k̚] – Sky Blue in Korean.

하늘색 셔츠가 마음에 들어요. (Haneulsaek syeocheuga maeum-e deuleoyo.) – I like the sky blue shirt.

하늘색 구름이 가볍게 떠다니고 있어요. (Haneulsaek gureumi gabyeobge tteodanigo isseoyo.) – The sky blue clouds are drifting lightly.

  • 남색 (Namsaek) – [na̠msɛ̝k̚] – Navy Blue in Korean.

남색 바지를 입고 있어요. (Namsaek bajireul ipgo isseoyo.) – I am wearing navy blue pants.

남색 자켓이 멋져 보여요. (Namsaek jaketi meotjyeo boyeoyo.) – The navy blue jacket looks stylish.

  • 청록색 (Cheongnoksaek) – [t͡ɕʰʌ̹ŋno̞ksɛ̝k̚] – Turquoise in Korean.

청록색 바다가 정말 아름다워요. (Cheongnoksaek badaga jeongmal areumdawoyo.) – The turquoise sea is really beautiful.

청록색 드레스를 입은 여자가 있어요. (Cheongnoksaek deureseureul ibeun yeojaga isseoyo.) – There is a woman wearing a turquoise dress.

  • 연두색 (Eondusaek) – [jʌ̹ndusɛ̝k̚] – Light Green in Korean.

연두색 나무가 바람에 흔들리고 있어요. (Eondusaek namuga barame heundeulligo isseoyo.) – The light green trees are swaying in the wind.

연두색 신발이 정말 귀여워요. (Eondusaek sinbari jeongmal gwiyowoyo.) – The light green shoes are really cute.

  • 무지개색 (Mujigaesaek) – [mud͡ʑiɡɛsɛ̝k̚] – Rainbow in Korean.

무지개색 깃발이 하늘에서 펄럭이고 있어요. (Mujigaesaek gitbali haneul-eseo peolleokigo isseoyo.) – A rainbow flag is fluttering in the sky.

무지개색 빛이 비추고 있어요. (Mujigaesaek bichi bichugo isseoyo.) – The rainbow light is shining.

  • 담황색 (Dam-hwang-saek) – [ta̠mɦwaŋsɛ̝k̚] – Pale Yellow in Korean.

담황색 꽃이 봄을 알리고 있어요. (Dam-hwang-saek kkochi bomeul alligo isseoyo.) – The pale yellow flowers are signaling the arrival of spring.

담황색 빛깔의 꽃들이 동산을 물들이고 있어요. (Dam-hwang-saek bichkkal-ui kkotdeuri dongsaneul muldeurigo isseoyo.) – Pale yellow flowers are coloring the garden.

  • 강청색 (Gang-cheong-saek) – [kaŋt͡ɕʰʌŋsɛ̝k̚] – Steel Blue in Korean.

강청색 하늘이 아름다워요. (Gang-cheong-saek haneuri areumdawoyo.) – The steel blue sky is beautiful.

강청색 페인트로 벽을 칠했어요. (Gang-cheong-saek peinteuro byeogeul chilhaesseoyo.) – I painted the wall with steel blue color.

  • 선명한 남빛 (Seon-myeong-han nam-bit) – [sʰʌnmjʌŋhan na̠m.b̥it̚] – Electric Blue in Korean.

강청색 빛깔의 파도가 바닷가를 춤추게 만들어요. (Gang-cheong-saek bichkkal-ui pado-ga badasgareul chumchuge mandeuraeyo.) – Waves with electric blue colors make the beach dance.

강청색 하늘 아래에 작은 구름들이 떠있어요. (Gang-cheong-saek haneul alae-jje jageun gureumdeuri tteoisseoyo.) – Small clouds are floating under the electric blue sky.

  • 선명한 녹색 (Seon-myeong-han nok-saek) – [sʰʌnmjʌŋhan no̞ksɛ̝k̚] – Emerald Green in Korean.

선명한 녹색 잔디가 너무 푸르러요. (Seon-myeong-han nok-saek jandiga neomu pureureoyo.) – The emerald green grass is so lush.

선명한 녹색 나무가 공원을 아름답게 만들어요. (Seon-myeong-han nok-saek namuga gong-woneul areumdapge mandeureoyo.) – The emerald green trees make the park beautiful.

  • 초록 (Cho-rok) – [t͡ɕʰo̞ɾok̚] – Azure in Korean.

초록 잎사귀가 바람에 흔들려요. (Cho-rok ipsagwiga barame heundeullyeoyo.) – The azure leaves are swaying in the wind.

초록 들판이 눈앞에 펼쳐져 있어요. (Cho-rok deulpan-i nun-ape pyeolchyeojyeo isseoyo.) – An azure field stretches out before my eyes.

  • 미명 (Mi-myeong) – [mi.mjʌŋ] – Gray of the Morning (color) in Korean.

미명 하늘이 조용하고 평화로워요. (Mi-myeong haneuri joyonghago pyeonghwalowoyo.) – The gray morning sky is quiet and peaceful.

미명 시간이 하루의 시작을 알리네요. (Mi-myeong sigani haruui sijageul allineyo.) – The gray of the morning signals the start of the day.

  • 깜부기숯같은 회색 (Kkam-bu-gi-sut-kka-teun hoe-saek) – [k͈a̠mbugisut̚k͈a̠t͈ɯn hwe̞sɛ̝k̚] – Charcoal Gray in Korean.

깜부기숯같은 회색 하늘이 비를 예고해요. (Kkam-bu-gi-sut-kka-teun hoe-saek haneuri bireul yegohaeyo.) – The charcoal gray sky predicts rain.

깜부기숯같은 회색 담요가 따뜻해 보여요. (Kkam-bu-gi-sut-kka-teun hoe-saek damyoga ttatteushae boyeoyo.) – The charcoal gray blanket looks warm.

Learn How to Say Black in Korean and More with Promova

Well, with this comprehensive compilation, you’ll definitely find the right adjectives to describe colorful things in Korean. However, if you want more, you might need to focus on other parts of the language. And with Promova, you’ll be able to get what you want! Our convenient application has everything you need to reach your studying goals.

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Conclusion

And that’s it for today! As you can see, Korean, like almost any other language, contains different adjectives to describe various colors and hues. And today, we’ve provided you with the most common ones. By the way, what is your favorite color? Don’t hesitate, and let us know in the comments!

FAQ

What are the national colors of Korea?

Koreans take symbolism seriously, and it is the same when it comes to colors. There are five main ones, each symbolizing two things – directions and five elements of life. The colors are blue (east), red (south), yellow (center), white (west), and black (north). Those same colors represent: blue – creativity and hope; white – innocence and truth; red – creation, passion, and love; black – existence; yellow – essence of vitality and life.

Are there any idioms or expressions related to the names of the colours in Korean?

Of course, there are some color-related expressions in Korean. For example, if you’re feeling unwell, you can say 배가 아파서 얼굴이 노란색이 되었다 (Baega apaseo eolguri noransaegi doeeotda.) Literally, it means, “I have a stomachache, so my face turns yellow.” Or 황금같은 시간 (hwanggeumgateun sigan), which literally means “time like gold” and is used to refer to precious or valuable time.

What are the best tips for mastering the names of the colors in Korean?

The best thing you can do is start with the basics, gradually expanding your vocabulary with various colors and hues. Another great thing is to create some flashcards or place stickers on different colorful objects in your house to remind you about the colors’ names in Korean (or any other language).

Is it essential to learn the names of the colors when I’m learning a language?

Colors are a basic vocabulary that you use frequently in daily conversations, descriptions, and practical situations such as shopping or directions. So they are definitely important. This way, you’ll expand your vocabulary, practice speaking, and feel more prepared for different kinds of conversations.

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