The COLORS in GERMAN (& How to remember them)

The COLORS in GERMAN (& How to remember them)

Today, we’re going to talk about the subject, without which the world would look like this. No joy. No emotions. No color. I say: Es werde Farbe! (Let there be color!)

There! That’s much better! In this video, you will learn the basic colors. Make sure to pay attention because in the end, I will test you with a little quiz.

Ich bin Spring German Lehrerin Brunhild und mein T-Shirt … ist rot! (I’m Spring German teacher Brunhild and my T-shirt is red!)

1. Rot (Red)

Er schaut schon wieder hier rüber!
(He’s looking over here again!)


Oh, oh! Schau wie du rot wirst!
(Oh oh! Look how you’re blushing (becoming red)!)

Was? Stimmt doch überhaupt nicht!
(What? That’s not even true!)


Du wirst rot! (You’re turning red!) means “you’re blushing”, although the literal translation is “You are turning red”. People typically say this to tease someone over having a crush.

Download the PDF through the link in the description for more useful German chunks like this. It’s free and will come in handy!

Außerdem ist rot die Farbe der Leidenschaft! (Red is also the color of passion!) No wonder women love to use it.

Mein Lippenstift ist rot.
(My lipstick is red.)

Mein Lippenstift ist rot.
(My lipstick is red.)

Meine Haare sind rot.
(My hair is red.)

Die Schokoladenschachtel ist rot.
(The chocolate box is red.)

Red sure is a popular color! Now if you paid attention you will realize that there is one color all of these girls have in common. In fact, they were born with it… can you guess? I’ll give you a hint. They can never not wear it. That’s right: ihre Augenfarbe (their eye color).

2. Blau (Blue)

Meine Augen sind blau.
(My eyes are blue.)

Meine Augen sind blau!
(My eyes are blue!)

Meine Augen sind auch blau.
(My eyes are also blue)

Meine Augen sind auch blau.
(My eyes are blue.)

Und meine Augen sind blau.
(And my eyes are blue.)

By the way, Germans love using colors as metaphors. A slang term for skipping school or work for no good reason is “blaumachen” which consists of the words blau (blue) and machen (to make).

You see, back in the days, dying fabrics was a full-time occupation. The particular paint used at the time reacted chemically with the air, so it was actually during the drying process that the wool turned blue. While waiting for the wool to air dry, the dyers had nothing to do, so blaumachen – “making blue” meant relaxing for them.

MARIE sitting in school. Dials KIMS number.

KIM lying in bed, picks up phone.


Kim! Wo bleibst du? Unterricht hat angefangen!
(Kim! Where are you? The lesson has started!)

Ich mach’ heute blau.
(I’m skipping school today.)

3. Gelb (Yellow)

Guten Abend, Frau Wagner. Ihre Haare sehen aber schön aus!
(Good evening, Ms. Wagner. Your hair looks so pretty!)

Zu dem Friseur gehe ich nie wieder. Ich wollte blond, nicht gelb!
(I’ll never visit this hairdresser again. I wanted blonde, not yellow!)

To be fair – I wouldn’t want yellow hair, either. But other than that, I think it’s a great color that symbolizes….

  • Licht (Light)
  • Positivität (Positivity)
  • Kreativität (Creativity)
  • Neugier (Curiosity)
  • Intellekt (Intellect)
  • Wissbegierde (Inquisitiveness)

And many more things! Außerdem mag ich meine Bananen gelb! (Furthermore, I prefer my bananas yellow!)

Ich bin so hungrig!
(I’m so hungry!)

Möchtest du eine Banane? Ich habe zwei dabei.
(Would you like a banana? I got 2 with me.)

Nee! Die sind ja noch ganz grün!
(No way! They’re still quite green!)

Was redest du da! Die Bananen sind gelb!
(What are you talking about? The bananas are yellow!)

Die sind grün!
(They’re green!)

Die Bananen sind gelb!
(The bananas are yellow!)

4. Grün (Green)

Meine Palme ist grün.
(My palmtree is green.)

I like green. It stands for:

  • Frische (Freshness)
  • Vitalität  (Vitality)
  • Natur (Nature)
  • Fruchtbarkeit (Fertility) und (and)
  • Wachstum (Growth)

When someone is good with gardening, we say that they have einen grünen Daumen (a green thumb) –  a green thumb. It’s a common figure of speech.

Yo! Ich brauche eine unkomplizierte Pflanze.
(Yo! I need an uncomplicated plant.)

Was meinst du mit “unkompliziert”?
(What do you mean by “uncomplicated”?)

Eine, die nicht stirbt. Ich habe wirklich keinen grünen Daumen.
(One that doesn’t die. I really don’t have a green thumb.)

Can you guess what our next color is? I’ll give you a hint. It’s what you get when you mix Gelb (yellow) with Rot (red).

Orange (orange)! And I got some good news for you, Orange (orange) is actually written the same way as in English! But the pronunciation, as you can hear, is a tiny bit different.

5. Orange (Orange)

Orange steht für … (Orange stands for…)

  • Ausgelassenheit (Exuberance)
  • Neugier (Curiosity)
  • Wärme (Warmth)

Und es ist die Farbe einer köstlichen Frucht! (And it is the color of a delicious fruit)

Heute hab ich irgendwie keine Lust auf Banane.
(Somehow I don’t feel like banana today.)

Iss ‘ne Orange!
(Eat an orange!)

Du hast Orangen dabei?
(You have oranges with you?)

Ja. Deine grünen Bananen kann ja kein Mensch essen. Die hier sind wenigstens reif.
(Yes. After all, your green bananas are inedible. These are ripe, at least.)

As you can hear, there is a slight difference between the pronunciation of the color and the fruit. The color is pronounced – orange (orange). Without an -e in the end. The fruit is called: Orange (orange). With the -e. Orange is the color, Orange is the fruit.

Kim! Was für eine Überraschung!
(Kim! What a surprise!)

Eva. Trägst du immer noch diesen orangen Pulli? Der ist doch total hässlich.
(Eva. Are you still wearing this orange pullover? It’s so ugly.)

Charmant wie immer.
(Charming as always.)

Du solltest mehr schwarz tragen!
(You should wear black more!)

6. Schwarz (Black)

You may know this color from famous brands like Schwarzkopf or famous people like Schwarzenegger. Schwarz (black) stands for many things. Such as…

  • Eleganz und Seriosität (Elegance and Seriousness)

There is a reason  why so many professionals are required to wear black.

Ich trage eine schwarze Bluse.
(I’m wearing a black blouse.)

  • Macht und Luxus (Power and Luxury)

If you want to impress someone, black might get you there! Außerdem steht schwarz für (Furthermore, black stands for):

  • Kultiviertheit und Formalität. (Sophistication and Formality.)

Wenn ich in die Oper gehe, trage ich ein schwarzes Kleid.
(When I go to the opera, I wear a black dress).

Nicht zuletzt steht schwarz für: (Last but not least, black stands for:)

  • Verführung (Seduction)

Hey, Kim! Psst! Kim! Kim hallo! Schau mal hier rüber!
(Hey, Kim! Psst! Kim! Kim hello! Look over here!)


Hi. Ich hab was für dich.
(Hi. I got something for you.)

MAX passes a black notebook to KIM. She opens and finds a letter:

Wann gehst du mit mir aus?
(When will you go out with me?)

KIM sighs. She writes underneath:

Da kannst du warten, bis du schwarz wirst.
(Don’t hold your breath.)


Da kannst du warten, bis du schwarz wirst. (Don’t hold your breath. Lit.: You can wait until you turn black.) literally means “You can wait for this until you turn black”, so probably not worthwhile waiting for!  

You see, in the medieval ages at some point, it was assumed that a dead person eventually would turn black. So Da kannst du warten, bis du schwarz wirst (Don’t hold your breath) means that you will wait for the rest of your life, until you’re dead and black.

Die vertrockneten Blumen werden schwarz.
(The withered flowers are turning black.)

So “Don’t hold your breath”.  There are many unpleasant terms around the color black which we’ll better not go further into and switch to a bit brighter subject- the opposite of black!

8. Weiß (White)

Last but not least! We should mention the color, that isn’t one. In the German culture, white embodies

  • Frieden (peace)
  • Unschuld (innocence)
  • Reinheit (purity)
  • Klarheit (clarity)
  • Reinlichkeit (cleanliness) und
  • Perfektion (perfection)

KIM gives note back to MAX
Hier hast du es Schwarz auf Weiß! Ich will nicht mit dir ausgehen.
(Here you have it in black on white! I don’t want to go out with you.)


Schwarz auf Weiß (black on white) means that the information is being presented with all clarity, leaving no room for further interpretation. Or do you think that the boy is still gonna ask the girl out after this? Schwarz auf Weiß literally means black on white. As if it was written with black ink on black paper. Very clear. Very hard to misunderstand.

To get more insider chunks like Schwarz auf Weiß (black and white), make sure to download our free essential German chunking kit. I know I said this three times by now, but it’s really worth it and it’s completely free, so there is no reason for why you shouldn’t do it. So go ahead and do it, you’re not gonna regret it.

Phew! Lots of colors to keep track of! Did you pay attention? For the moment of truth, here comes a little quiz to test yourself!

9. Quiz

Welche Farbe hat mein Blazer?
(What color is my blazer?)


Welche Farbe hat meine Bettdecke?
(What color is my blanket?

Meine Bettdecke ist weiß.
(My blanket is white.)

Welche Farbe haben die Bananen?
(What color are the bananas?)

Die Bananen sind gelb.
(The bananas are yellow.)

Welche Farbe hat die Orange?
(What color is the orange?)

Ja, natürlich orange.
(Yes, orange of course.)

Welche Farbe haben meine Haare?
(What color is my hair?)

Meine Haare sind rot.
(My hair is red.)

Welche Farbe hat meine Palme?
(What color is my palmtree?)

Meine Palme ist grün.
(My palmtree is green.)

Welche Farbe haben meine Augen?
(What color are my eyes?)


Welche Farbe hat meine Mütze?
(What color is my hat?)

Meine Mütze ist schwarz.
(My hat is black.)

Welche Farbe hat mein Lippenstift?
(What color is my lipstick?)

Richtig. Mein Lippenstift ist rot!
(That’s right. My lipstick is red!)

Welche Farbe hat mein Pullover?
(What color is my sweatshirt?)

Richtig. Mein Pullover is orange.
(Right. My sweatshirt is orange.)

Welche Farbe hat mein Kleid?
(What color is my dress?)

Mein Kleid ist blau-weiß.
(My dress is blue-white.)

Welche Farbe hat meine Handtasche?
(What color is my purse?)

Richtig. Schwarz.
(Right. Black.)

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