How To Name And Pronounce Colors In Dutch
If you’re a student of the Dutch language and you don’t yet know how to name colors in Dutch, you’re missing out. There are famous artworks to describe, picturesque scenes along The Amstel to recount to an old friend, and shopping blunders to expertly avoid.
With a few oranjes and paars, you can expertly identify various kinds of tulips in nod to the famous Dutch tulip mania.
And let’s not forget Amsterdam’s Red (or is it Rood?) Light District.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to learn the names of Dutch colors; they’ll come in handy in all sorts of contexts. If nothing else, they’re just fun to say. Here’s a quick and handy guide to help you correctly name and pronounce common colors in Dutch.
Red — rood
Orange — oranje
Yellow — geel
Green — groen
Blue — blauw
Purple — paars
Pink — roze
Brown — bruin
Black — zwart
White — wit
Gray — grijs
Light — licht
Dark — donker
The color — de kleur
Also, you’ll notice that when it comes time to put these in a sentence, the same rules for other adjectives in Dutch will apply.
All adjectives for “de” words have the ending -e. For example, blauw becomes de blauwe schoen (the blue shoe); groen becomes de groene auto (the green car).
Adjectives for “het” words have the ending -e when they come after a determiner (het, dit, mijn). Otherwise, you use no ending. For example, paars becomes het paarse T-shirt (the purple T-shirt), or een paars T-shirt when there’s no determiner.
Then there’s the vowel issue. Basically, long vowels are single in open syllables, and in closed syllables they are doubled: rode vs. rood (red), gele vs. geel (yellow). If the vowel in the adjective is long, e.g. “oo,” it becomes an open syllable when an ending is added (again, rood –> ‘ro-de’).