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Learning Russian Colors


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Russian language is very rich for various words and expressions. So saying color names is not an exception. The point besides of standard color names we have two or more words for the same color.  On top of that, in Russian language you can often hear distinguishing between colors. We specify colors by shades and tones. For example, in English blue means blue, but in Russian language we differentiate between light and dark.

Красный -  Red - Krasnyj

Розовый – Pink - Rozovyj

Алый – Scarlet - Alyj

Малиновый – Raspberry - Malinovyj

Оранжевый – Orange - Oranževyj

Зеленый – Green - Zelenyj

Салатовый – Light green or yellow-green - Salatovyj

Болотный – Mossy - Bolotnyj

Голубой – Light blue - Goluboj

Синий – Blue - Sinij

Пурпурный – Purple - Purpurnyj

Белый – White - Belyj

Чёрный – Black – Čërnyj

Серый – Grey - Seryj

Бурый – Dark reddish - Buryj

Коричневый – Brown - Koričnevyj

Фиолетовый – Violet – Fioletovyj

Лиловый  - Lilac - Lilovyj

Сиреневый – Lilaceous - Sirenevyj

Бирюзовый – Turquois - Birûzovyj

Мятный – Mint – Mâtnyj

By the way, I think it will be interesting to know facts about Russian flag. As you can seу on the picture in this post, Russian flag is very simple and contains of 3 colorful stripes. Would you like to know origins of Russian flag? Well, official flag of Russia Federation has 3 horizontal stripes: white, blue and red. The point is Russia did not have any flag before 17th century. Then Peter the Great in 1705 proclaimed the act, according to which all ships should have 3 striped flag.

To be frank, there are many versions about definition of colors. And here is one version:

White Color -  symbolizes nationhood

Blue  Color – symbolizes the God’s Mother auspices

White color – symbolizes freedom and independence

I am sure, you will not have problems with learning Russian colors. To fasten this process you can use your imagination and visualization. For this print a table with Russian colors and pin it somewhere in your house. Try to name colors of objects in the house or just favorite colors. Close your eyes and imagine any color – then name it. Doing this simple exercise yow will quickly learn main Russian colors and shadows. If you have any interesting color, but not sure how to translate it in Russian, so ask me and I will reply you in this post.


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  • 7 months later...

Wow!  It seems Russian is a really complex language, in my language we also distinguish the different colors  as well :)  We have different words to differentiate different color shades :)  It's interesting to learn in Russian they have the same!  It'll be an interesting experience to learn this language :)  Thanks for sharing the story of the Russian flag! 

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