Rainbow colors

Color translations are approximate mappings. That a color word is listed should not be taken to imply that the speakers of the language culturally attribute that color as being a color of the rainbow. Some informants chose to attempt to translate from a seven color rainbow scheme first proposed by Newton. That English is the title row is due to the relative incomprehensibility of frequencies or wavelength values. Commas denote that informants provided more than one word for a particular English language color word.

The colors of the rainbow in longitudinal order
Language groupSubgrouprainbow redorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet
Yapeseragiim rowrowrengmagcholgalunglung, raen e gak'iyraen e mak'efraen e regurraen e blumen
ChuukeseFaichuukeseresiim paaroreinchoneonenuwen fetinaraw arau for keetforkeet
ChuukeseHall islandsmwarisi
Kapingandiumad mmeeloubugekuliinhalatee
Nukuoranumada meaganoangogilinibuluu
Mortlockese parorenichon, ramfetinarau
Pohnpeianiahia, ahia weitahtaorensoangoahngpohndihpw meipohmei maramerntahnmwei
Mwoakilleseyaya wahsaroangroang
Pingelapesesimwinamwin weisahsaten oransten poh oangoanhgten seh wel ten pwungalten pwungal maremerten imwpwilapwil
Kosraenlwehlahkwem, Lwelahkweng , nelahkwem (archaic) sruhsrahrangrang kohnrangrangfolfol srafolfol inem, folfolfolfol kohn, folfol nwemfolfol mutuk kohn, sronin muhtuhk



  1. Red – Rowrow
  2. Orange – Reng (as in sang)
  3. Yellow – Magchol
  4. Green – Galunglung or Raen e Gak’iy (literally color of plants)
  5. Blue – Raen e Mak’ef (literally color of a blue hole in the inner reef or channel)
  6. Indigo –Raen e Regur (literally color of the deep ocean or outside the reef)
  7. Violet – Raen e Blumen (literally color of blumen plant flower). Blumen: gomphrena globosa

Rainbow is generally a positive phenomenon. Eveyone loves a good rainbow – natural as the colors of the flora and fauna of Yap and Micronesia. There are pseudo-others who like to talk all the time, even when they see a rainbow, that it’s going to rain tomorrow or later in the afternoon. Like the rainbow, sunrises and sunsets have stirred the Yapese to foretell the weather. Other than this, rainbow is a natural wonder that Yapese naturally claim their own. Some Yapese have claim the moon too. Yapese moon to be brighter and more beautiful than any other countries. - DLF


Another word that is still use by many Chuukese is anun mwaresi. Anun mwaresi is something related to ghosts. [When the rainbow] appears in the sky, pregnant women are warned to be inside to avoid the ghost found in rain and sun. -MC

There is always a fascination for rainbow, and there is a belief that pointing at the rainbow causes deformity to the "pointer" finger. Also, rainbow in a very thin rainshower where the sun is also fiercly bright indicates that someone is going to give birth at either side of the bases (ends)of the rainbow. - MJA


[Pohnpeian does not] have equal translations for indigo and violet. We simply use pohmei maramer for indigo since it is somehow blue. Violet is generically described as a dark color in Pohnpeian. -RA