COLOUR MEANINGS AROUND THE WORLD

Colour can be an important factor in certain countries.  Before translating your documents find out what your colours mean around the world.

RED

Red is the colour of fire andblood, it can also be associated with love, danger, wealth, power and mourning.

Western Cultures – Red symbolizes energy, love, passion, and danger. Red is a youthful, energetic color.

Asian cultures – Red symbolises luck, prosperity, celebration and happiness.  In India red is associated with spirituality, beauty and purity.

Middle East – Red represents danger and caution in the middle east.  While in Egypt red is considered a lucky charm.

African Cultures – In South Africa, red represents death and mourning.

BLUE

Blue symbolises calm and tranquility but can also mean depression.  Blue has more meanings that any other colour around the world.

Western cultures – Blue symbolizes a calm and tranquil colour but it is also commonly associated with sadness “having the blues”. It is also a symbol of trust and authority.

Asian cultures – In Asian cultures blue symbolises immortality.  In China blue is also a feminine colour.

Middle East  – In many Middle Eastern countries, blue means safety, protection, and spirituality. However, it can also indicate mourning.  In Egypt it is used to ward off evil.

GREEN

Green often represents nature but can also represent jealousy. It’s usually considered a calming color.

Western cultures – In Western cultures green can represent spring and freshness but can also represent jealously and greed.

Asian cultures – In most eastern cultures green symbolises fertility, new life and youth. However, in China it also indicates infidelity.  Green has traditionally been forbidden in Indonesia.

Middle East – In the Middle East, green also symbolises fertility, wealth, and good fortune.

YELLOW

For a colour that has a happy and warm feeling, yellow also has some dark meanings in other cultures.

Western cultures  – Yellow is associated with warmth and happiness but represents jealousy in France and Germany.

Asian cultures  – Yellow also has mostly positive associations in most Asian cultures. In Japan, yellow represents courage and wealth. In Thailand, it is a lucky color associated with the recently deceased King. However, in China yellow is associated with pornography.

Middle East – In Egypt, yellow represents happiness and good fortune.

African Cultures – In African nations yellow is reserved for people of high rank, it is usually associated with money and success.

ORANGE

Orange is the color of autumn and warmth. However, it has a variety of meanings around the world, and some ofthem are much less comforting.

Western cultures – Orange is the color of harvest and warmth. In the Netherlands, orange is the colour of the Dutch Royal Family.

Asian cultures – Orange symbolizes happiness and good health.  It has a strong Buddhist presence with Buddhist monks wearing orange robes.  In Japan and China, it symbolizes courage, happiness, prosperity and good health.  In India Orange represents courage and love.

Middle East – In Egypt orange represents mourning and loss.

PURPLE

Purple is often associated with wealth and spirituality around the world.

Western cultures – Purple represents royalty, wealth, and power across many western cultures. However, in some parts of Europe, it’s associated with death.

Asian cultures – Purple also represents nobility and faith in most Asian cultures. However, it’s a symbol of mourning in Thailand.

Middle East – In Middle Eastern cultures purple represents wealth.

African Cultures – Purple is also a symbol of royalty and wealth in Africa.

WHITE

Western cultures – White symbolizes purity, innocence, elegance and peace. However, in Italy, it is also traditionally used for funerals. 

Asian cultures – In most Eastern cultures, white indicates death, as well as unhappiness and bad luck.  While in Korea white is a symbol of purity and innocence.

Middle East – White brings to mind both purity and mourning in the Middle East.

African Cultures – In Africa, white symbolizes peace, purity, goodness and good luck. However, in Ethiopia it also indicates illness.

BLACK

In many cultures black symbolizes formality but it can also represent death, back luck and evil.

Western cultures – Black can indicate sophistication and formality. However, it’s also the primary color of death, mourning, and funerals.

Asian cultures – In China, black is the color for young boys. It has other positive connotations, like good health and prosperity. In Japan, it symbolizes mystery and feminine energy.  In India, it can symbolize evil, rebellion, or death.

Middle East – In the Middle East, black symbolises mourning. However, it may also indicate rebirth.

African Cultures – In African cultures black symbolizes maturity and masculinity.