What is life without color?! Colors are everywhere and are an important part of communicating in any language. Colors play an important role in describing objects and emotions and serve as powerful adjectives.
Knowing the colors in the German language will help you make choices; for example, ‘I’d like the red one, please,’ describe feelings and help you understand German idioms or sayings.
This article will teach you far more than just the names of colors in German, such as blue, red, yellow, green, purple, orange, and grey. Also included are how to say different variations of hues such as dark blue or light green.
You’ll learn how to describe colors and how they are pronounced by listening to German audio. Get to understand the meaning of the ever
How To Say The Most Common Colors In German
Let’s get straight to it! You’re here for the colors, and here they are.
Many of the German colors are quite similar in pronunciation to their English language counterparts, making them much easier to learn and remember. Click on the blue speaker button to hear and listen to how the colors are pronounced in German.
|Color In English||Pronunciation In German||Color|
Can you see how easy it is to learn the colors in German?! Orange is simply orange, and grey is so similar it’s even easy to spell. The only tricky colors to learn are purple, pink, black, white, and yellow. With some extra practice, you’ll learn those quickly and be ready to use them in real life.
Distinguish Between The Nuance Of Colors In German
Sometimes it’s not possible to outright describe colors. In these instances, nuances of hues are used to describe objects. No one truly knows the names of all the variations of colors, so often ‘-ish’ is added to the end of a color’s name. Below are the nuances of hues in German to help you identify or describe objects in Germany.
|English Word||German Pronunciation|
As you may notice, you simply add ‘lich’ to the end of the word for most of the colors. The exception to the rule is purple, where purplish is very similar to the English term for violet.
How To Describe Color Characteristics In German
It’s also helpful to distinguish between intensities of colors in German. Just like with many languages, It’s also helpful to distinguish between intensities of colors in German. Like many languages, German uses’ light’ and ‘dark’ to differentiate between hues. Let’s take a look at how shades are distinguished in Germany.
|Color In English||Pronunciation In German||Color|
By simply adding ‘dunkel’ or ‘hell’ to the beginning of any color, you can easily describe hues as dark or light. One thing to note is that when ‘light’ or ‘dark’ is added to color in Germany, two words form a single word. So light blue becomes lightblue (hellblau ) and dark green would become darkgreen (dunkelgrun).
How To Use Colors In German Sentences
Colors are classified as adjectives, and unlike many languages, in German, the adjective can go before OR after a noun.
When A Color Goes After A Noun
Putting the color after a noun is the easiest way to use colors in a sentence and is quite simple to understand. The order of these sentences is article, noun, auxiliary verb, and adjective, which nicely follows the English sentence structure. Here are some examples and how to pronounce them:
The dog is brown – Der Hund ist braun
The sky is grey – Der himmel ist grau
The snow is yellow – Der Schnee ist gelb
When A Color Goes Before A Noun
When the color goes before a non is where German becomes similar to French sentence and grammatical structure. It is the most challenging thing to learn about German grammatical structures. Understanding this structure is not nearly as simple as placing a color adjective before a noun.
Let’s look at the color red. When ‘red’ is used after a noun, it is ‘rot.’
However, when ‘red’ is used before a noun, its spelling will change to;
Adjectives are used to classify the noun and therefore change depending on the noun itself:
- What is the gender of the noun? (masculine, feminine, neutral)
- Is the noun plural or singular?
The form of the color adjective also depends on whether the following are used in the sentence:
- Case (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative)
- Definite article [the – der (masculine), the – die (feminine), das- that (neutral)]
- Indefinite articles [an – ein (masculine), an – eine (feminine)]
Here Are Some Examples of What Happens to the German Color’ Red’ When the Adjective Goes before the Noun:
The red monster = Das rote Monster (nominative, definite article, neuter gender, singular).
A red monster = Ein rotes Monster (neuter gender, nominative, indefinite article, singular).
The red balls = Die roten Bälle (masculine gender, nominative, definite article, plural).
A red ball = Ein roter Ball (masculine gender, nominative, indefinite article, singular).
This aspect of the German language will take lots of practice, but it is possible to learn! You can easily pick up German in just a few minutes a day, especially if you use the Ling App. The app makes learning languages, and even grammar, fun!
Fun Facts About Colors In Germany
Germany uses colors to describe far more than just the different hues of objects. In other cultures, colors have their unique cultural significance in Germany.
For example, in many western nations, red denotes emotions such as anger or rage. It is also used to explain pain or identify political affiliations. Blue also has its unique meanings, such as sadness or depression. In Germany, a color may mean different things, and each color has its distinct cultural implications.
The Color Red
In German, the color red is used to express love and anger. For example, the German phrase, ‘Rot wie die Liebe,’ means red like love. Yet you can also use this color to describe rage.
- “rot vor Wut” means to be red with anger
- “rot sehen” means seeing red
It’s also used to describe the local political party, ‘die Roten’ The Reds.
The Color Black
Black typically evokes dark feelings or affiliations, which is no different in the German language. The color black describes the darkness, death, negative actions, and negative people.
Black also refers to a political party in Germany and describes people who don’t pay their taxes, ‘schwarzarbeiten.’
The Color White
In Germany, white is synonymous with money. The Germans have a common phrase, ‘weißbluten,’ which translates to, ‘Bleed someone dry (of money).’ White is also used to indicate a big sale at shops. ‘Weiße Woche,’ or ‘White Sales’ means there will be great deals over a week-long period. Look for this on signs to know when to go shopping and get discounts!
The Color Yellow
Yellow in Germany isn’t used in a positive light. If we look at a famous English saying, ‘Green with envy,’ we see in German they say, ‘Yellow with envy,’ ‘Gelb vor Neid’ instead. So, it is not the happy-go-lucky color that we think!
The Color Blue
Blue is by far the color with the most interesting uses. Rather than the meaning of depressed or sad, as in many cultures, in German culture, the word blue or ‘blau’ is used to describe being drunk! People will even take a day off because they are hungover, called “blau machen.”
Blau can also be used differently in other cultures to describe a black eye. Rather in Germany, a black eye becomes a blue eye. “blaues Auge” (because you usually get one in a drunken fight).
German Idioms That Use Color
Let’s look at some popular idioms used in Germany that make us of colors.
In Germany, a large, respected part of the culture is knowing when to remain silent. They remind themselves of this virtue by saying, “Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold” which means “Talking is silver, silence is golden.”
An interesting idiom is used for Mondays, “Blauer Montag,” meaning “Blue Monday.” “Blauer Montag” describes a sick day (usually a Monday) or a day someone plays hooky from work, most likely for being hungover.
Fun Ways To Practice German Colors!
There are a few games you could play with a friend or even on your own to help you learn colors in German. The great thing is that you can play them from anywhere in the world.
- I Spy! “I spy with my little eye, something that is….!” Say this phrase and then use the color in a sentence, ‘The clouds are white – ‘Die Wolken sind weiß.’
- Categories/Word Association. Simply list or say things that are of the same color.
- A Color Scavenger Hunt. Create a scavenger hunt for yourself or a friend where you need to follow clues to find all the colors.
- Collect the Colors. Best played with a friend, you walk around and ‘collect’ as many colors as possible. When you see one, you simply say it out loud. The player who collected the most colors wins!
- Buzz Words. A great game to practice listening skills! You simply listen to music, TV shows, movies, or other people’s conversations and listen out for colors. You can also play an alternative version where you look for ‘buzz words (colors)’ on road signs or advertisements.
Other Ways To Practice Colors In German
Listen to and sing a song! Listening to Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat song could be a fun way to remember German colors. Simply replace this line, “Red and yellow and green and brown and blue…” with the German color words. There are many other colors sung in this song, and you could challenge yourself to learn those as well!
Probably the best way to learn colors in German is through your favorite device – your phone! Always The best way to learn colors in German is through your favorite device – your phone! Always have the ability to brush up on your colors through Ling App. Ling will ensure you pronounce all the words correctly while learning a new language, plus the app will even teach you to read and write! Try it now!