Colors in Korean: Complete list with audio and usage examples

Last Updated on June 11, 2021 by 90 Day Korean
How To Say 'Color' In Korean

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

Here is a list of some common colors in Korean:

  • Purple – 보라색 – borasaek
  • Blue – 파란색 – paransaek
  • Orange – 주황색 – juhwangsaek
  • Yellow – 노란색 – noransaek
  • Black – 검정색 – geomjeongsaek
  • Grey – 회색 – hoesaek
  • Red – 빨간색 – ppalgansaek
  • White – 하얀색 – hayansaek
  • Green – 초록색 – choroksaek
  • Brown – 갈색 – galsaek
  • Pink – 분홍색 – bunhongsaek

In addition to the different colors 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

Here is a free PDF guide that you can download to help you learn Korean colors:

In this lesson about colors, we’ll explain the words and phrases using both Hangeul (Korean Alphabet) and 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. The lesson will help you with learning Korean words easily.

List of Colors in Korean

Below is a list of all Korean colors in Hangul. The list contains various shades of Korean color words.

Words related to colors are great Korean words to know and incorporate into your plan for learning Korean. To learn more essential Korean vocabulary, go here.

How to Pronounce the Colors in Korean

Here is how to pronounce the colors in Korean using Hangeul. The Hangeul in brackets is the way to pronounce the colors.

Colors in EnglishColors in KoreanHanegul Pronunciation
black
[검정색]
blue
[파란색]
brown
[갈쌕]
dark brown
[밤색]
gold
[금색]
gray
[회색]
green
[초록쌕]
light green
[연두색]
blue-green or blue-navy
[청녹쌕]
orange

[주황색]
pink
[분홍색]
purple
[보라색]
red
[빨간색]
silver
[은색]
white
[하얀색]
yellow
[노란색]
navy blue
[남색]
sky blue
[하늘쌕]
soft color[부드러운 색]
vivid color[선명한 색]
dark color[어두운 색]
light color[발근 색]
pastel color[파스텔 톤의 색]

The reason that some of the colors are pronounced differently than they are spelled is because of the special Korean pronunciation rules. Knowing these rules will make learning Korean easier.

How to Use Colors in Korean

You can use colors in Korean above as nouns or as adjectives. These are helpful when describing everything you see daily from a house to a dress or a book.

For example:

빨간색 자전거 좋아해요 (ppalgansaek jajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like red bicycles.

Although 빨간색 (ppalgansaek | red) is a noun in the example, it acts as an adjective to describe the color of bicycles.

This is how you’ll commonly see colors in Korean used, and is the best way to start learning Korean language in general. It’s basic and gives you lots of ways to use 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, best way to start, and what we recommend. The next part is helpful because you’re going to see these other words for the colors, so it’s better to know why they appear in that form.

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

The five Korean words for colors 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.

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 | red) in front of the noun that it’s modifying (the bicycle).

In the second example, the 빨갛다 (ppalgata | red) 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 | red) in its noun form, along with the verb 이다 (ida | to be).

Korean Color Adjectives vs. Nouns

Most of the words for the colors in Korean 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:

초록색 자전거 좋아해요 (choroksaekjajeongeo joahaeyo)

I like green bicycles

자전거 초록색이에요 (jajeongeo choroksaegieyo)

The bicycle is green

In other words, the Korean word for “red” 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.

When should I add the Korean word “색 (saek)” to colors?

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 words for colors work in sentences, check out some examples below.

Colored pencils drawing on paper

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

If you look up the word “color” in the dictionary, you may also come across the Konglish word 컬러 (kheolleo | color). You’ll be understood if you use this word, 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 colors in their 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 Korean colors. Let’s learn its use with the vocabulary below.

For example:

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

What’s your favorite color?

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

Which color should I dye my hair next?

How to say “white” in Korean

The two common ways to say the color white in Korean are 하얀색 (hyayansaek) and 흰색 (huinsaek). You can use them interchangeably. If you want to describe something as white in Korean, you can put those words before a noun.

For example:

햐얀색 말 (hyayansaek mal)

a white horse

흰색 말 (huinsaek mal)

a white horse

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

I will wear my white dress today.

How to say “black” in Korean

There are a few different ways to say the color black in Korean. You can use 검정색 (geomjeongsaek), 검은색 (geomeunsaek), or 까만색 (kkamansaek). They all mean the color black, so you can use any of them.

To describe something as black in Korean, you can use any of those three words in front of a noun. For example, you could say the following to talk about a car:

검정색 자동차 (geomjeongsaek jadongcha)

a black car

검은색 자동차 (geomeunsaek jadongcha)

a black car

까만색 자동차 (kkamansaek jadongcha)

a black car

그녀는 검정색 옷만 입어요. (geunyeoneun geomjeongsaek otman ibeoyo.)

That girl only wears black clothes.

How to say “blue” in Korean

The two most common ways of saying the color blue in Korean are 파란색 (paransaek) and 푸른색 (pureunsaek). Sky blue in Korean is 하늘색 (haneulsaek).

For example:

파란색 하늘 (paransaek haneul)

a blue sky

푸른색 하늘 (pureunsaek haneul)

a blue sky

하늘색 하늘 (haneulsaek haneul)

a sky blue sky

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

My new car is blue.

How to say “red” in Korean

The common way to say red in Korean is 빨간색 (ppalgansaek).

For example:

빨간색 좋아해요 (ppalgansaek joahaeyo)

I like the color red.

How to say “yellow” in Korean

You can say yellow in Korean as 노란색  (noransaek).

For example:

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

My favorite color is yellow.

How to say “purple” in Korean

Purple in Korean is 보라색 (borasaek).

For example:

그 보라색 가방이 제꺼예요. (geu borasaek gabangi jekkeoeyo)

That purple bag is mine.

How to say “green” in Korean

You can say green in Korean as 초록색 (choroksaek). For light green in Korean, you can say it as 연두색 (yeondusaek).

How to say “orange” in Korean

Orange in Korean is 주황색 (juhwangsaek). This term is for the color orange, but there’s a different term for the orange fruit.

How to say “brown” in Korean

The color brown in Korean is called 갈색 (galsaek). On the other hand, dark brown in Korean is 밤색 (bamsaek).

How to say “rainbow” in Korean

Since we’re talking about colors, rainbow in Korean is called 무지개 (mujigae).

How to say “silver” in Korean

This is not your common color but you can say silver in Korean as 은색 (eunsaek).

How to say “gold” in Korean

This is often associated with jewelry and treasures. You can say gold in Korean as 금색 (geumsaek).

How to say “light” in Korean

When we talk about light in Korean in terms of colors, you can say it as 밝은 색 (balgeun saek).

How to say “dark” in Korean

Opposite to light colors, dark in Korean is 어두운 색 (eoduun saek).

You may want to use the example sentences using the Korean colors along with common Korean phrases. The sentences will help you learn Korean since you will get to know other 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 Korean colors! Now it’s time to try your newfound skills in colors to help you learn Korean.

So, tell us: What are your favorite colors in Korean? Are they blue, purple, red, or the basic white? Brown, light green, yellow, and orange? Or maybe you like light blue, gray and pink! Let us know in the comments below, and try to use the colors in Korean to make a sentence if you can!

    31 replies to "Colors in Korean: Complete list with audio and usage examples"

    • Avatar for Mad Mad

      Hey in my korean learn book it says
      “Adjective used with the end of the sentence ending: 빨간데요” and
      “Adjective used with the end of the sentence ending: 빨갛네요”
      is that the same as “빨개요” and “빨간색이에요” in the example you used?
      i am really confused about that

      • Avatar for Mad Mad

        wait wrong i meant:
        Hey in my korean learn book it says
        “Adjective used with the end of the sentence ending: 빨간데요” and
        “Adjectives(!!!) used with the end of the sentence ending: 빨갛네요”
        is that the same as “빨개요” and “빨간색이에요” in the example you used?
        i am really confused about that

        • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

          Hi, Mad! All the sentences mean “it’s red”, but each sentence has a different nuance. It would be hard for you to understand the difference yet, but you will figure as you get more used to speaking Korean! ^^

    • Avatar for Rachel Rachel

      Thank you for the helpful post! My friend told me there were also many ways to say yellow, is that true? Also, I was wondering if there’s any reason behind the many different ways to say the same color 🙂

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Rachel! It’s similar to how you can describe something as ‘golden’ or ‘copper’. It’s just to describe the shade of color. ^^

    • Avatar for Suha Suha

      Thanks so much! That is so helpful

    • Avatar for Aliya Aliya

      What is different between 오렌지 and 주황색

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Aliya! They mean exactly the same thing! 주황 means ‘between red and yellow’, which means orange color. ^^

    • Avatar for Kai Kai

      What’s the difference between 검정색 and 검은색?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Kai! Both mean ‘black color’ and they can be used interchangeably! ^^

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