I’ll carry out you one better: finding out French color and the words provided to describe them will allow friend to convey a variety of other feelings and experiences, while discovering a bit an ext about French culture too.
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Probably the many famous instance of this is the French expression voir la vie en rose, i beg your pardon is literally “to check out life in pink,” yet whose definition is more prefer our “to look at life through rose-tinted glasses” or “to watch on the clear side the things.”
Perhaps this song by Edith Piaf is already going through your head right now.
But we can make use the French colour to describe our everyday experiences, not just our rosiest moments in the arms of a Frenchman.
In this article we’ll covering the principal words for colors in French, as well as the most common ways the you’ll likely encounter them in your kaleidoscopic French life.
Download: This blog write-up is accessible as a convenient and also portable PDF that youcan take anywhere. Click right here to gain a copy. (Download)11 French Colors and also Their vibrant Matching Expressions
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Let’s obtain through these expressions first.
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1. Rose — Pink
Rose as a shade adjective in French method “pink,” not the warmer crimsony color we Anglophones have tendency to think of once we use “rose” as a color.
As a noun, however, une rose denotes the exact same flower as in English. The archetypical flower to buy on the streets of Paris for your lover is a red rose, no a pink one, so yes, there’s a strange discordance in between the noun and also the color adjective in French.
Here’s the together of rose. Keep in mind that the contrasts through the surname of the wine, vin rosé, for which one does express the critical letter.
Be mindful that rose as an adjective is additionally used to define things that are erotic/sexual, therefore a téléphone rose is no a pink telephone, but rather a phone sex service.
2. Orange — Orange
This color (pronounced here), together in English, is the name of the fruit as well. You have the right to thus have jus d’orange (orange juice) in ~ breakfast as well as marmelade d’orange (orange marmalade).
Variants encompass orange brûlé (burnt orange) and also the purposely vaguer orangé (orangey). (Note: orange is one invariable adjective, whereas orangé is not.) What we contact a yellow stoplight is viewed as orange in France: feu orange.
3. Rouge — Red
Red gets every kinds the uses and also associations in English, so the shouldn’t surprise you the the exact same is true in French. Rouge (pronunciation here) is the color of the communists and can job-related as both a noun to explain such a human being or an adjective to define a viewpoint.
People choose me that are quite carefree oenophiles will simply order un verre de rouge (a glass the red) in any kind of French bar, to indicate that we could care less if it is native Bourgogne, Bordeaux, or what have actually you.
Here room a few various other quite straightforward parallels come English:la Croix-Rouge — the Red Crossêtre dans le rouge — to be in the red (accounting)chou rouge — red cabbagealerte rouge — red alertle tapis rouge — the red carpet
The lovely verb rougir method to turn red (in any sense), including to blush.
4. Jaune — Yellow
One of the most essential uses of jaune (pronunciation) is in Le tour de France; the leader in the race wears the maillot jaune, or yellow jersey.
Un jaune d’œuf (literally, yellow the egg) is an egg yolk.
As a noun, jaune is an attack term because that an oriental person and also a scab, in the feeling of somebody that goes come work during a strike.
5. Vert — Green
As through English equivalent, vert (pronunciation here) gets laden v all kinds of different symbolism and can thus be of use in many situations.
Here’s a brief sampling the the most usual uses:le fruit est encore vert — the fruit isn’t ripe yetune politique verte — a green/ecological policymanger du vert — to eat vegetation (animals)avoir le feu vert — to have the go-ahead/green lightêtre vert — to it is in furiousle Parti Vert / Les Verts — the green Partyun citron vert — a lime (these are fairly unpopular and also can be hard to find in France contrasted to your yellow cousins les citrons, or lemons)numéro vert — a toll-free number
6. Bleu — Blue
Bleu (pronunciation) has actually a few fun popular tasks in enhancement to its day project as an indicator of color. Many compellingly, un bleu is what you might get after gift punched in the challenge (a bruise). Les Bleus is provided to describe French nationwide sporting teams, such as the nationwide soccer team.
You can likewise ask for un steak bleu, which means that your meat will barely touch the pan. And also if you don’t understand what you’re doing, you’re not environment-friendly as you would certainly be in English, but rather are considered un bleu.
7. Violet — Purple
Be mindful not to confused this with pourpre (see the following); these aren’t synonyms in French.
To the French eye, once you get too cold her skin turns violet rather than blue.
The pronunciation is here.
8. Pourpre — reddish Purple
There’s a little of debate around if or to what degree language affects color perception, yet in any case, if you want to speak French you require to get used come the idea that reddish purple, or pourpre is that own group (here’s the pronunciation). Cramoisi, or crimson, is purplish red.
The French eye distinguishes pourpre from violet, i beg your pardon is an ext bluish; only the last is what Anglophones would generally call purple. You deserve to see an instance of pourpre here.
9. Noir — Black
In enhancement to the basic description of color, noir (pronunciation) deserve to be a noun for a black color person. Un noir thus method a black color man and une noire is a black woman.
The fun and also quite advantageous phrase noir de monde means just “crowded.”
In addition to that is chromatic duty together a adjective, noir deserve to mean “gloomy”; hopefully the idea of film noir currently makes that much an ext sense.
10. Blanc — White
As a noun, blanc (pronounced here) deserve to mean both a white person and also a white wine. So le blanc boit un blanc (although it sound a little bit silly) can be offered to to speak “the white guy is drinking a white wine.”
Be mindful as the feminine form is a little bit different: blanche.
The noun also method “blank,” for example laisser un blanc is to leave a blank or a an are in a document. And, écrit en noir et blanc means the exact same as in English: written in black and also white.
11. Gris — Gray
In addition to its work-related as a color, the word gris (pronunciation) can signify the weather, an especially in Brittany or Paris: il fait gris (it is overcast/gloomy). When offered to explain a person, as in Mathilde est un peu grise, it method that Mathilde is a little tipsy.
I hope the this has given you a window into the colorful civilization through French eyes. There’s a lot of to take it in, and also as we’ve seen, both an essential and frivolous means that these color words enable us to endure the world differently in French.
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With any kind of luck, you’ll shortly be complete this vocabulary into your very own communication, thinking about and life in the colorful people it describes.