A Study on the Metaphor of “Red” in Chinese Culture

Many people may see Chinese people are so fond of hong se---red color under many circumstances, and the red flag, red clothes, red lantern, red couplet etc are quite common in China. Some people say the red color is the “national color” of China and China is called “red China”. Then, why the Chinese people love red color probably is a great puzzlement for many foreigners. In fact, the color term “red” has special and very interesting connotations in Chinese culture. The Chinese people share common understandings and feelings of the color term. The word “red” as a metaphor has obvious characters regarding its associations, symbols, implied meanings, and usage of “red” in Chinese language. It can represent the Chinese culture and customs, embody their value-concept and show the ways of thinking. This paper collects almost all the Chinese idioms related to “red”, expresses its literal meaning in English and interprets its implied meaning and connotation in different context of Chinese. In addition, it is of practical significance to know the cultural connotation of color term “Red” in Chinese culture and to promote the cultural communication between Chinese and English-speaking people.

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