January 11, 2005

Chinese Numbers and Chinese Colors

Here is a list of a way to say basic colors in Chinese and how to represent the numbers with your fingers from 1-10 put together by one of the moms in our hs support group and presented today at our coop.

Red - hong se
(hong) (su)

Yellow - huang se
(open mouth from small to big when saying "huang")

Green - lu yan se
(loo) (su)

Blue - lan yan se
(put your tongue on your teeth when saying "lan")

Orange - ju huang se
(like saying "juice")

Pink - fen hong

Purple - zi yan se
(put your teeth together when saying "zi")

Counting 1-10 With Hands In Chinese:

1 - pointer finger held up.

2 - pointer and middle finger held up.

3 - pinkie, ring, and middle finger held up.

4 - all fingers held up except thumb.

5 - all fingers held up.

6 - pinkie and thumb finger held up, middle fingers down.

7 - pointer finger and middle finger come together and touch down on thumb.

8 - thumb pointing up with pointer finger pointing out. Other fingers down.

9 - all fingers down like a fist except the pointer finger is up but bent down like a crooked finger.

10 - all fingers down except the pointer finger and middle finger up and crossing over each other.

Note to readers: This is in no way an "official" Chinese translation. This was a lesson put together to let very young children play with the Chinese language. I have had several comments about some innacuries, some written in ways I will not republish. I have corrected what has been pointed out to me. However, I encourage you to do more research before you present this and realize I am not an expert or even a novice in Chinese. I merely offer you what we did and the kids enjoyed. None of us thought we were teaching the kids Chinese or Mandarin in an official way.



  1. I now know that I will never speak Chinese, but that was quite interesting. I did like the counting thing, which I think I can handle! Perhaps I'll teach those to my students at school.

  2. Wow, I was keeping up so well until ten... I haven't the dexterity to pull that one off. I'd be the kid with the counting finger lisp.

    This was very intersting. Thanks!

  3. Dy, you're in luck!

    In other parts of China, they make "10" just by closing the fist, fingers towards you.

    Or sometimes, you can make a cross with both hands, rather than with two fingers.

    (just a random passer-by)

  4. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Chinese numbers for children - free PDF. Download the PDF from here: http://www.wintranslation.com/images/Chinese_numbers.pdf