Finnish for busy people

The Colors – Värit – Finnish Vocabulary

The world is colorful (värikäs), unless you’re blind (sokea) or color blind (värisokea). Colors come in all kinds of shades (sävy), the prettiest of which are represented in the rainbow (sateenkaari). Let’s learn some colors!

Finnish English
beige beige
fuksia fuchsia
harmaa grey
hopea silver
keltainen yellow
khaki khaki
kulta gold
liila lilac
musta black
oranssi orange
pinkki pink
punainen red
ruskea brown
sininen blue
turkoosi turquoise
valkoinen white
vihreä green
violetti purple
Finnish English
vaaleansininen light blue
tummansininen dark blue
taivaansininen sky blue
vauvansininen baby blue
kirkkaansininen bright blue
indigosininen indigo blue
vaaleanpunainen light pink
tummanpunainen dark red
tulenpunainen fiery red
viininpunainen wine red
kirsikanpunainen cherry red
kirkkaanpunainen bright red
rubiininpunainen ruby red
tiilenpunainen brick red
Finnish English
vaaleanvihreä light green
tummanvihreä dark green
harmaanvihreä grey-green
limenvihreä lime green
mintunvihreä mint green
myrkynvihreä poison green
oliivinvihreä olive green
smaragdinvihreä emerald green
vaaleanruskea light brown
tummanruskea dark brown
kastanjanruskea chestnut red
aprikoosinvärinen apricot colored
hiekanvärinen sand colored
kullanruskea gold-brown
kermanvärinen cream colored
luumunvärinen plum colored
mandariininvärinen color of mandarins

The questions associated with colors are “minkävärinen” (what color) and “millainen” (what kind). You can find out more about question words, as well as learn some other basic adjectives.

Important! Note that the names of the colors will inflect in the same cases as the word they’re connected to. This means that if the noun has -ssa at the end of it, the color also should have the -ssa ending. This is true for all the cases. For example, we’ll say vihreä takki (green coat), but vihreät housut; (green pants); likewise musta talo (the black house) becomes mustassa talossa (in the black house).

Some Sayings with Colors

  • Ruoho on aina vihreämpää aidan toisella puolella.
    • Literally: The grass is always greener at the other side of the fence.
    • Meaning: Things always seem to go better for other people.
  • Rakkaus on aiheuttanut minulle harmaita hiuksia.
    • Literally: Love has caused grey hairs for me.
    • Meaning: Love has caused a lot of trouble and sadness.
  • Hän ajoi punaisia päin.
    • Literally: He drove up to the reds.
    • Meaning: He drove through a red light.

If you’re already at an intermediate level, you might also like these conversation questions related to colors!

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What is the difference between these two Finnish words for the color purple or are they used interchangeably? The words are: violetti and purppura.


Inge (admin)

Hey! Purppura is a purple with more red mixed in it. It’s really uncommon in regular language though.

Daniel Kelly

Hello, shouldn’t the word for lilac be liila instead of lila?

Inge (admin)

Both are okay 🙂 I’ve always heard “lila”, but apparently liila is more common! Changing it 🙂

Motafizur Rahman

Hello! Thanks for this wonderful website.

Here the English of vaaleanpunainen is light pink. It will probably be light red. Thank you.