Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Basic Colors in Japanese

COLORS

色々な色



The Japanese word for "color" is iro
Click on the for a sound file of the word or download all the files for this page here


Colors are used grammatically in two ways, as nouns and as adjectives. The actual color names as nouns are listed in the second column. The examples in the third column show how to use the colors as nouns and how to make them into adjectives.

COLORS COLOR NAMES AS NOUNS WHEN USED AS AN ADJECTIVE MOST COLOR NAMES ADD A ""
YELLOW 黄色 ki iro 1) 黄色 はきれい。 kiiro wa kirei desu. Yellow is pretty. (this is a noun)

2) 黄色とりはきれいです。 kiiroi tori wa kirei desu. The yellow bird is pretty. (this is an adjective)

BLUE ao 1) そらは青です。 sora wa aoi desu. The sky is blue.

2) あの青いけはきれいです。 ano aoi ike wa kirei desu. That blue pond is pretty.

RED aka 1) このはなは赤です。 kono hana wa akai desu. This flower is red.

2) これは赤はなです。 kore wa akai hana desu. This is a red flower.

WHITE shiro 1) ゆきはしろyuki wa shiroi. Snow is white.

2) 外国人は白ごはんをあまりたべない。 gaikokujin wa shiroi gohan o amari tabenai. Foreigners don't usually eat plain, white rice (with no butter or salt...).

BLACK kuro 1)ふくが好きじゃない。 kuroi fuku ga suki ja nai. I don't like black clothes.
GREY 灰色 hai iro

the color of ashes

<to make this into an adjective that connects to another word add no>

1) 灰色くつしたがほしい。 haiiro no kutsushita ga hoshii. I want grey socks.

PURPLE murasaki 1)はなが一番好き。 murasaki no hana ga ichiban suki. I like purple flowers the best.
GREEN midori 1) 木は緑です。 ki wa midori desu. A tree is green.

2) 牛は緑くさを食べたい。 ushi wa midori no kusa o tabetai. The cow wants to eat green grass.


OTHER NOTES:

  • In Japanese, the word for "Black & White" is "White & Black" - 白黒 shiro kuro
  • In Japan, traffic light signals are said to be RED aka, BLUE ao (not green), and YELLOW ki
    Once I was driving my Japanese friend around in America. We were stopped at a light and were having a nice conversation when suddenly she yells, "It's BLUE!" I said, "What?" And she repeated, "It's BLUE!" Then I looked up to the signal and said, "Oh! It's GREEN!"
  • Sometimes Blues and Greens are interchanged in Japanese
  • Many colors are used in people's names
  • Most Japanese children draw the sun not yellow but RED aka
  • Polar Bears are White bears in Japanese 白熊 shiro kuma

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

missing color

What color is cha iro anyway? It looks like red on the video.

poisoness's picture

Brown

Cha iro is brown. :D

Missing color!

Cha Iro is in the video but not in the list below it!

shiro - amari

hi, in white, does anyone know what the amari part means, the only word left I can't account for is usually but I can't find them refered to each other on dictionaries etc. thanks

clay's picture

あまり amari means 'not much'

あまり amari means 'not much' and it is always used with a negative sentence.

あまり好きじゃない。 amari suki ja nai. I don't like it much.

TheJapanShop.com- Japanese language learning materials
Checkout our iPhone apps: TheJapanesePage.com/iPhone

amari negative

ah great thanks, is it the 'nai' at the end of 'tabe' that makes it negative then?

clay's picture

You got it!

You got it!

TheJapanShop.com- Japanese language learning materials
Checkout our iPhone apps: TheJapanesePage.com/iPhone

im's picture

What this means??

(to make this into an adjective that connects to another word add の no)

I don't really understant what this phrase supposed to mean??
Can someone define this phrase??

PS.i come to this page to learn japanese now i'm asking about english LOL

clay's picture

Sorry! I didn't explain well.

Sorry! I didn't explain well. :)

Most colors add -i before nouns such as:
白いごはん shiroi gohan (white rice)

But to say a grey mouse you would say:
灰色のネズミ hai iro no nezumi (grey mouse)

You can remember colors that use 'iro' will need a 'no' before nouns.

TheJapanShop.com- Japanese language learning materials
Checkout our iPhone apps: TheJapanesePage.com/iPhone

Japanese

Hey, I will give anyone my e-mail if they can help me learn Japanese!!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Support those who Support TJP!

Click here to learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com