Implicit Meaning of Chinese Vocabulary on Colors in Five Elements Elucidating Socio-Cultural Context

Kritsadee Songkhai


The Chinese words on colors do not only indicate types of colors, but also implicit the elucidating socio-cultural context. Colors in the Chinese language represent good and bad terms. For example, the makeup color of the Chinese opera show assigns the character wearing red makeup as a symbol of loyalty, justice, power, wealth, or high rank. Red contains most of the excellent and positive definition. On the other hand, the character wearing white means a person who is dangerous, cunning, and dishonest. These are some examples of how Chinese people use colors to represent meaning. Moreover, Chinese vocabularies are also communicated through alphabets and created to new words that hide beliefs and culture of the use of color as well.

This research aims to study the “Implicit Meaning of Chinese Vocabulary on Colors in Five Elements Elucidating Socio-cultural Context.” China is a fascinating country in culture and language. Besides, Chinese is a language used by many people as the top three in the world. This research studies 5 Chinese color words, which are red, black, white, green, and yellow. The methodology is to analyze words through the example vocabularies by describing and collecting from books, journals, and articles. For an instant, Red in Chinese culture is the color of fortune. Therefore, red words are used to create new words that relate to prosperity, such as 开门红(kāi mén hóng)means opening to welcome good things or 红红火火(hóng hóng huǒ huǒ)which is a wish for prosperity and, often used for business. As a result, it can be seen that the study of Chinese color terms is not only about colors, but these words also link to beliefs and cultures over time until many new words are created. It is the use of color words mixed into new vocabulary to reflect the ideas, beliefs, and cultures. We can study Chinese culture through color vocabulary very well.

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