Abstract:Meaning of words can be divided into conceptual meaning and associative meaning. Associative meaning is largely influenced by culture and gets enriched with the development of culture. Color terms in English and in Chinese have various associative meaning which may vary due to differences in history, culture, custom etc. Studying the similarities and differences of the associative meaning of color terms in English and in Chinese benefits in further understanding of the culture of English-speaking and Chinese-speaking countries, helps to avoid misusage and enhances cross-culture communication. This thesis compares the similarities and differences of the associative meaning of color terms in English and in Chinese from four aspects: associative meaning overlap, associative meaning correspondence, associative meaning conflict and associative meaning lack with the example of phrases with “red”. Furthermore, the causes of the differences will be discussed.
Key words: English and Chinese; red; associative meaning; color terms; culture difference