Colors in Korean: Complete list with audio and usage examples

Last Updated on January 11, 2022 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 basic colors in Korean:

  • Purple in Korean is 보라색 (borasaek)
  • Blue in Korean is 파란색 (paransaek)
  • Orange in Korean is 주황색 (juhwangsaek)
  • Yellow in Korean is 노란색 (noransaek)
  • Black in Korean is 검정색 (geomjeongsaek)
  • Gray in Korean is 회색 (hoesaek)
  • Red in Korean is 빨간색 (ppalgansaek)
  • White in Korean is 하얀색 (hayansaek)
  • Green in Korean is 초록색 (choroksaek)
  • Brown in Korean is 갈색 (galsaek)
  • Pink in Korean is 분홍색 (bunhongsaek)
  • Silver in Korean is 은색 (eunsaek)

Most often, in learning a new language, colors are usually one of the first ones you’ll learn about. 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 the Korean language more than you might expect!

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

A paint board with different colors on it

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

This lesson about colors will 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 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. Audios are included for each word to help improve your Korean pronunciation too.

Words related to colors are great Korean words to know and incorporate into your plan for learning Korean. To learn 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 KoreanHangeul Pronunciation
dark brown
light green
blue-green or blue-navy

navy blue
sky blue
soft color[부드러운 색]
vivid color[선명한 색]
dark color[어두운 색]
light color[발근 색]
pastel color[파스텔 톤의 색]

The Korean pronunciation for the colors can be different from how they are spelled 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 in their noun form or as adjective form. These are helpful when describing everything you see daily, from a house to a purple dress or a book, or perhaps even the Korean flag!

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 the 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’ll 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 and the adjective form when it’s placed in front of a noun.

Shown below are the ways to say red in Korean with its different uses. 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 sentence’s main descriptive verb (adjective). 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

Here’s another concept to help you improve your Korean grammar. 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 this language, these words exist in their basic adjective verb form:- 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 things with 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)


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

색 (saek)


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 that 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). The color yellow can be associated with a sunflower.

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

The Korean word for green,  초록색 (choroksaek), is used more often. But if you’re referring to light green, 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 “pink” in Korean

The word for pink in Korean is 분홍색 (bunhongsaek). The color pink is used to describe cherry blossom trees.

How to say “brown” in Korean

The Korean word for brown, 갈색 (galsaek), is the commonly used term. However, the translation for dark brown is 밤색 (bamsaek).

How to say “gray” in Korean

One of the neutral colors that you can find almost anywhere is gray. The word for gray in Korean is 회색 (hoesaek).

How to say “rainbow” in Korean

Since we’re talking about colors, the 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 colors in Korean, you can say it as 밝은 색 (balgeun saek).

How to say “dark” in Korean

Opposite to light colors, dark colors 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 in learning Korean since you will learn other parts of Korean grammar, such as Korean particles and markers.

We hope we pleasantly surprised 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 basic colors like the color red, blue, purple, or basic white? Brown, light green, yellow, and orange? Or maybe you like light blue, gray and pink! Do you like dark colors or pastel colors? If you can’t choose, there’s still the rainbow! Let us know in the comments below, and try to use the colors in Korean vocabulary to make a sentence if you can!

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

    • Avatar for Jill Jill

      Hello, could you please explain the reason why I’ve seen 푸른 하늘 pul/reun haneul for blue sky elsewhere, while you are teaching as 푸른색 하늘 pureunsaek haneul? Why keep the word for color saek to say blue color sky? Would this be formal instead of casual, since it sounds awkward? Kamsahamnida.

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hello! The meanings are the same. You can say 푸른 하늘 instead of 푸른색 하늘 for ‘blue sky’ regardless of the level of formality. ^^

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