颜色 (yánsè) Colours!

Did you know that before modern Chinese, there was no distinct word for the colour blue? And further to that, scientific study shows that when a language doesn’t have that distinction, it means people tend not to even see that colour, simply seeing “another version of green”? … Time to learn our colours!

红色的苹果 (hóngsè de píngguǒ) red apple

红色 (hóngsè) red

黄色的公车 (huángsè de gōngchē) yellow bus

黄色 (huángsè) yellow

绿色的叶子 (lǜsè de yèzi) green leaves

绿色 (lǜsè) green

蓝色的大海 (lánsè de dàhǎi) blue ocean

蓝色 (lánsè) blue

紫色的茄子 (zǐsè de qiézi) purple aubergine/eggplant

紫色 (zǐsè) purple

白色的云 (báisè de yún) white cloud

白色 (báisè) white

黑色的忍者 (hēisè de rěnzhě) black ninja

黑色 (hēisè) black

We have a task for you today! Can you match up which item is in which colour?

  • 云 (yún)
  • 忍者 (rěnzhě)
  • 茄子 (qiézi)
  • 公车 (gōngchē)
  • 叶子 (yèzi)
  • 大海 (dàhǎi)
  • 苹果 (píngguǒ)

PS: the old word for either green, blue, green-black or ‘the colour of nature’ is 青 (qīng,) which still gets used today as well! (Like 青天 [qīngtiān] for clear/blue sky, and 青菜 [qīngcài] meaning green vegetable!) Are you glad you can distinguish blue from green?

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