All the colours of the rainbow


Ahoj and welcome to ABC of Czech. Today we're talking about colours - barvy, and not just a few colours but all the colours of the rainbow.

Ahoj and welcome to ABC of Czech. Today we're talking about colours - barvy, and not just a few colours but all the colours of the rainbow.

In Czech there are two words for rainbow, the first duha is for the rainbow after rain. The other is paleta, which is more of a technical term for a series of colours, like a colour wheel or scheme. Paleta may also be used to refer to primary colours - základní barvy - literally basic colours. You know what, before we move on to all the colours of rainbow, why don't we make sure we know our primary colours - základní barvy. There are three: blue, red and yellow. Modrá, červená a žlutá. Modrá is blue. červená is red - although you can also say rudá, as in Rudé náměstí - Red Square or Rudé právo - Red Justice, the old communist paper. žlutá is yellow.

Blue plus red equals purple - fialová. Fialová - purple is related to the English violet, which after all is another way of saying purple in English, as well as a small, light purple flower. Blue plus yellow equals green - zelená. Zelená - green is related to the Czech word for vegetables - zelenina.

Red plus yellow equals orange - oranžová. The word oranžová sounds just like orange in English, (just remember, it is spelled a bit differently, with a z instead of a g). The word for an orange in Czech is pomeranč, and the word pomerančová means pertaining to oranges, as in pomerančový džus. You can probably guess what the Czech word džus means. Be sure to notice the spelling of džus.

What about all the colours of the rainbow! There are a few more than just the primary colours. Do you remember ever learning ROYGBIV in science class to help memorize the colours of the rainbow? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. ROYGBIV. But how would that go in Czech? As it turns out Czech students don't have anything like ROYGBIC for remembering the colours of the rainbow. Let's come up with our own! Grab a pen and write down the first letter of each word!

The word for red is červená, orange is oranžová, yellow is žlutá, green is zelená, blue is modrá, indigo is also indigo, and violet is fialová.

Did you get them all? I did but it's pretty hard to pronounce. Č-O-Ž-Z-M-I-F, and all together ČOŽZMIF. That's just about as silly as ROYGBIV!

And one last note - poznámka did you notice that all the colours in Czech, except indigo, end with the letter á? That is because in Czech the word colour - barva is feminine, which means all the colours in Czech have to agree with barva and end with the letter á even when you are saying the colour by itself.

That was a pretty heavy programme so why don't we leave it at that. And don't forget to practice all the colours of the rainbow ČOŽZMIF. Take care! Mějte se! Bye bye! Čau-čau!