Colors in Korean: Complete list with audio & usage examples

How To Say 'Color' In Korean

Last Updated on

If you want to know more about the colors in Korean, then you came to the right place! Whatever your favorite color is, we’ll teach you the words you need to know.

Here is a list of the colors in Korean:

Colors in EnglishColors in Korean
black
검정색 (geomjeongsaek)
blue
brown
dark brown
밤색 (bamsaek)
gold
gray
green
light green
blue-green or blue-navy
청록색 (cheongnoksaek)
orange

pink
purple
red
silver
white
하얀색 (hayansaek)
yellow
navy blue
sky blue
soft color부드러운 색 (budeureoun saek)
vivid color선명한 색 (seonmyeonghan saek)
dark color어두운 색 (eoduun saek)
light color밝은 색 (balkeun saek)
pastel color파스텔 톤의 색
(phaseuthel thone saek)

In addition to the different color words in Korean, we’re going to cover some examples and special uses that you’ll definitely want to know. These situations appear in Korean language, culture, music, and everyday life all the time.

Learn a few color words, and you’ll be recognizing and using Korean more than you might expect!

Are you ready to brighten your day with Korean colors? Let’s continue on!

A paint board with different colors on it

In this lesson, we’ll explain the words and phrases using both Hangeul (Korean Alphabet) and in romanized English. If you don’t know Hangeul, you can get a free guide here and learn how to read in less than 1 hour.

How to Say “Color” in Korean

The word for “color” in Korean is 색깔 (saekkkal).

색깔 (saekkkal)

color

You can often get by just by referring to color as 색 (saek), but it does slightly depend on the context.

색 (saek)

color

You will also likely be understood just fine if you use the Konglish word 컬러 (kheolleo | color) instead, but our advice would be to use 색 (saek) instead. The word “color” also occasionally translates to 빛깔 (bitkkal) in Korean.

You’ve now learned that the word for “color” in Korean is 색 (saek). When naming a color in its basic form, you’ll add the word 색 (saek) after the color. It’s important to know 색 (saek) so you can use it with the Korean colors. Let’s learn its use with the vocabulary below.

List of Colors in Korean

Below is a list of the various shades of colors in Korean. They’re great words to know and incorporate into your plan for learning Korean. For more essential Korean words, go here.

Colors in EnglishColors in Korean
black
검정색 (geomjeongsaek)
blue
brown
dark brown
밤색 (bamsaek)
gold
gray
green
light green
blue-green or blue-navy
청록색 (cheongnoksaek)
orange

pink
purple
red
silver
white
하얀색 (hayansaek)
yellow
navy blue
sky blue
soft color부드러운 색 (budeureoun saek)
vivid color선명한 색 (seonmyeonghan saek)
dark color어두운 색 (eoduun saek)
light color밝은 색 (balkeun saek)
pastel color파스텔 톤의 색
(phaseuthel thone saek)

You can use the above Korean colors as nouns or as adjectives.

For example:

빨간색 좋아해요 (ppalgansaek joahaeyo)

I like the color red.

빨간색 자전거 좋아해요 (ppalgansaek jajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like red bicycles.

Although 빨간색 (ppalgansaek) is a noun in the second example, it acts like an adjective, describing the color of bicycles.

This is how you’ll commonly see colors in Korean used, and is a great way to start learning them. It’s simple, and gives you lots of ways to use the various colors.

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

Special Korean Colors

There are 5 special color words in Korean that you may see different forms of. We’re going to cover them below.

Before we get into that, remember that you can still use the Korean colors above. That’s the simplest way to start, and what we recommend. The next part is helpful because you’re going to see these other color words, so it’s better to know why they appear in that form.

Also it’ll give you some additional ways to use the Korean colors.

The five words below are descriptive verbs (adjectives) that have base forms. Here are the base forms, as well as the adjective form when it’s placed in front of a noun.

Verbs (adjectives) in KoreanBase forms in KoreanEnglish
까맣다 (kkamata)까만 (kkaman)black
파랗다 (parata)파란 (paran)blue
빨갛다 (ppalgata)빨간 (ppalgan)red
하얗다 (hayata)하얀 (hayan)white
노랗다 (norata)노란 (noran)yellow

As you may know from Korean grammar and conjugation rules, adjectives can come before a noun, or at the end of a sentence.

For example:

1. 빨간 자전거 좋아해요 (ppalgan jajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like red bicycles

2. 자전거 빨개요 (jajeongeo ppalgaeyo)

The bicycle is red

3. 자전거 빨간색이에요 (jajeongeo ppalgansaegieyo)

The bicycle is red

In the first example, we’re using the descriptive verb (adjective) 빨갛다 (ppalgata) in front of the noun that it’s modifying (the bicycle).

In the second example, the 빨갛다 (ppalgata) is conjugated as the main descriptive verb (adjective) of the sentence. It’s describing the bicycle’s color.

In the third example, we’re using 빨갛다 (ppalgata) in its noun form, along with the verb 이다 (ida | to be).

Korean Color Adjectives vs. Nouns

Most of the color words aren’t going to have the descriptive verb (adjective) base form. Instead, you’ll just use noun + 색 (saek). Let’s take the color word 초록색 (choroksaek) for “green”. Since you won’t be using it as the main conjugated descriptive verb of the sentence, you’ll only use it for cases 1 and 3 above.

For example:

초록색자전거 좋아해요 (choroksaekjajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like green bicycles

자전거 초록색이에요 (jajeongeo choroksaegieyo)

The bicycle is green

In other words, the word for “red” in Korean changes based on how it’s used. In the Korean language, these words exist in their basic adjective verb form, which is -ㅎ다. In use, is -ㅎ다 (-ㅎ da) is replaced by -ㄴ. The color words that continue to use 색 (saek) do not have such a form.


If you want to describe something to be a specific color, you can attach 색 (saek) with the 이다 (ida) verb. To illustrate clearly how the color words work in sentences, check out some examples below.

Colored pencils drawing on paper

Example sentences

오늘 내 하얀 드레스를 입을 거예요. (oneul nae hayan deureseureul ibeulgeoeyo)

I will wear my white dress today.

 

그 보라색 가방이 제꺼예요. (geu borasaek gabangi jekkeoeyo)

That purple bag is mine.

 

제가 제일 좋아하는 색은 노란색이에요. (jega jeil joahaneun saegeun noransaegieyo)

My favorite color is yellow.

 

제일 좋아하는 색은 뭐예요? (jeil johahaneun saekeun mwoyeyo?)

What’s your favorite color?

 

그녀는 블랙색 옷만 입어요. (geunyeoneun beullaeksaek otman ibeoyo.)

That girl only wears black clothes.

 

다음에 내 머리를 무슨 색깔로 염색할까? (daeume nae meorireul museun saekkkallo yeomsaekhalkka?)

Which color should I dye my hair next?

 

내 새로운 자동차는 파란색이야. (nae saeroun jadongchaneun pharansaekiya.)

My new car is blue.

 

You may want to use these examples along with common Korean phrases, or to help you better understand parts of Korean grammar, such as Korean particles and markers.

We hope we managed to pleasantly surprise you with this lesson, and you learned many new things about colors in Korean! Now we’d love for you to try and show your newfound color skills.

So, tell us: What’s your favorite color? Is it blue, red, brown, green, or orange? Or maybe you like gray and pink! Let us know in the comments below, and try to make a sentence in Korean if you can!

    4 replies to "Colors in Korean: Complete list with audio & usage examples"

    • Nataly khan

      I am a little confuse because when i am using the korean dictionary i would see that one colour have more than one name for example. 붉 은 , 빨 칸색, 빨 캉 and 빨칸. These are all the names i found for the colour red

      • 90 Day Korean

        Good point, Nataly! It can be hard to differentiate the different color descriptions in Korean! The standard red is ‘빨강’ or ‘빨간색’. ^^

    • Lola Wright

      So when I’m telling you what my favorite colors are, should I add ‘색’ to it? I’m a little confused as to when I should add ‘색’ to it, and when I shouldn’t. (I recently learned there are times you use it, and times you don’t.)

      • 90 Day Korean

        Good question! It’s okay to omit ‘색’, but usually it’s better to say ‘–색’. For example, 나는 분홍색이 좋아 = 나는 분홍이 좋아 (I like pink.) ^^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.