Love may be a force that transcends time and space, as suggested by Murph (played by Anne Hathaway) in the 2014 movie Interstellar. So it should be a piece of cake for love to transcend the language barrier. Here’s 57 pieces of a grand cake that teaches you to say ‘I love you’ in different countries in different ways. For you can never tell when and where love may strike, it may be while on your travels around the globe.
So where do you plan to go next, lover boy/girl? Got your phrase ready? Find out below!
Norway , Sweden, Denmark, Iceland
Many Nordic countries have some of the same phrases and words for various things like greetings and expressions of gratitude. Their expression of love is no different.
“Jeg elsker deg” <ye els-ka dei> is the way Norwegians say it. The Swedish, Danish and Icelandic say it more or less the same way.
If you ever meet a Finnish mate, don’t assume that you can confess your love in any of the aforementioned Nordic ways.
‘I love you’ in Finnish is “Minä rakastan sinua” <Me-na ra-kas- tan see-nou>. Which, as you can see, is way off from its Nordic cousins.
Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, Germany
In Swiss-German, which is one of the unique languages of Switzerland, “I ha di garn” <I ha de gan> is how people express their love for one another. Though the normal German “Ich lieb dich” will also do, seeing as German is a fairly commonly used language in Switzerland as well as in Austria, Lichtenstein, and of course, Germany!
Ah, France. A country whose capital city is known as the ‘One of the Most Romantic Cities in the World’.
It should be doubly important to know how to express love in a place that is acclaimed as such.
“Je t’aime” <jhe-tem> is the magic phrase uttered between lovers in Paris.
With Dutch being one of the most prominent languages in the Netherlands and in Belgium, the phrase for expressing love is the same in both these places.
“Ik hou van je” <ik-how- van-ye> is the phrase to use when confessing your love to your lover while at a tulip field in Netherlands, or while being overwhelmed by glorious Belgian chocolates in Brussels.
Luxembourgish, the national language of Luxembourg, has its fair share of influences from some of its neighboring European languages. It does not, however, actually have a word for ‘love’ in the sense of a verb. If you have to know, as a noun, ‘love’ is “Leift” in Luxembourgish.
Since there is no word for ‘love’ as a verb, ‘I love you’ can be expressed in a different way.
“Esh hunn dech gar” <esh-hon- desh-gear>, which is akin to the expression ‘I like/love you’, and will suit the sentiment of expressing love to someone. However, a more direct translation of this Luxembourgish phrase is “I have you gladly.”
‘I love you’ in Hungarian is short and sweet: “Szeretlek” <se-ret- lek>;
“Miluji” <me-lu- yu> is the word for ‘love’ in Czech and for a phrase such as ‘I love you’, it can be expressed as “Miluji tě” <me-lu- yu-tye>.
“я люблю тебя” is how the Russians would write ‘I love you’ on paper. Oh, if you didn’t get that, it would be read as “ya lyublyu tebya” or more easily as <ya-lu- blu-teb- ya>.
Italy & Vatican City
“Te amo”, equip yourself with these words in Italy and you could be set for life when you find yourselfan Italian cook that you fancy.
“Es tevi mīlu” <es-te- vi-meal- ou> is probably what you’ll be telling various people in the bar after you’ve had your fill of Latvia’s signature beer Riga Black Balsam.
“Seni seviyorum” <se-ni- save-your- um>, is the phrase you’ll be telling a loved one after immersing yourself in Turkey’s rich history and treating yourself to some Turkish coffee.
At the birthplace of democracy, we vote that you find yourself a delightful Greek partner to whom you may, in time, say, “Se agapó”.
Being the motherland of Marie Curie, Frederic Chopin, and Nicolaus Copernicus; you might not want to let go of the next Polish virtuoso that you come across. Lock it in with the words, “kocham Cię” <ko-kam-che>.
“Mahal kita” is the sweet expression one reserves for their dearly beloved in the Philippines.
“Aku cinta padamu” <aku-chin- ta-pa- da-mu>, say the Malaysians to the ones they love.
People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau
“我爱你”, is how the Chinese would write on a love note. And as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau are occupied by mostly Chinese speakers, they’d do the same too. Oh, and <wo-ai- ni> is how you pronounce that.
Since the Indonesians and Malaysians are neighbors, it’s no surprise that the Indonesian way of saying ‘I love you’ is quite similar to the Malay with, “Saya cinta kamu”.
“사랑해”, zsa-lang- hae> is the word you may be dying to hear characters tell each other in Korean tele-dramas (once you get addicted to them).
“愛してる” <ai-shi- teru> is quite an elusive term to use among lovers in Japan, according to some. A more frequent expression is “Suki da”, which means ‘to like’ or ‘I like you’.
Thai is quite an interesting language in that it uses changes in tone with some words when speaking.
When saying ‘I love you’ in Thai, “Phom rak khun”, the “phom” lowers in tone as well as “rak”. Oh andmen and women speak it differently too. Women say “Chan rak khun”.
And if you insist on writing a love note “ผมรักคุณ”.
In Burmese, the language of Myanmar, which used to be known as Burma; love is expressed by men as “cha-nor kin-mya go chit-the” and by women as “cha-ma shin go chit-the”.
Khmer, is the official language of Cambodia. And in Khmer, ‘I love you’ is written as “ខ្ញុំស្រលាញ់អ្នក” and pronounced <kyum-sro- lan-nek>.
You’ll see actors sing or say this line in every Bollywood movie: “Main tumse pyaar karta hoon”. And if you ever wanted to take a shot an Hindi calligraphy: मैं तुमसे प्यार करता हूँ
Urdu, the language of Pakistan is similar to Hindi. The biggest difference is a completely different set of alphabets that is more akin to Arabic letters than Hindi letters. So the Hindi version should be alrightwhen speaking but if you feel like writing it, it’ll look something like this: میں تم سے محبت کرتا ہوں
The two main dialects of Sri Lanka are Tamil and Sinhala.
In Sinhala, it’s spoken as <mama oyāṭa ādareyi>. While, in Tamil it’s <naan unnai kathal ikiren>.
Dhivehi is the local dialect of the Maldives. Finding love in this beautiful place would have you ready for the phrase “Aharen Kalaa Dhekeh Loabivey”.
United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain
With Arabic basically being the main language in all these countries, <u-he- bu-ka> is what you’d use if you are a girl, while <u-he- bu-kee> is what you’d use if you’re a guy.
South Africa has a number of official dialects, among which English is one of them.
One of the local dialects you may come across, however, is Afrikaans; which is a Germanic/Dutchdescendant. “Ek het jou lief” is the phrase for ‘I love you’ in Afrikaans.
Other than English, Swahili is the official language of Kenya and Tanzania. “Ninakupenda” or “Nakupenda” is the phrase used to express love. The only difference being that “Nakupanda” is the more often used while the “Ninakupenda” is the more formal way of saying it.
In Kirundi, ‘I love you’ is translated as “Ndagukunda”.
Having French as one of the prominent languages of the island nation, the translation for ‘I love you’ in French based Mauritian creole is “Mo content toi”. However, the straight up “Je t’aime” will also do.
The people of Seychelles also speak a French based creole known as Seselwa. Seselwa for ‘I love you’ is “Mon kontan ou”.
The Portuguese way to say ‘I love you’ is “Eu te amo” <eiu-chee- amo>.
Quite similar to the Portuguese version, the Spanish say “Te amo”. With a solid “te” before the “amo” so this differs with the Portuguese way in terms of pronunciation.
The official language of the Bahamas is English so you’ll not have much trouble finding a Bahama Mama (or Papa) here.
Saying ‘I love you’ in these cozy little island in Fijian would sound like “Au domoni iko.”
However, just like in the Bahamas, English is also a prominent language here.
In Bislama, the national language of Vanuatu, which is a form of English pidgin that sounds a bit like Pirate talk or Reggae rap, you’ve got to stress on every vowel if you want to be understood.
“Mi-mi- la-vèm-you”, is how you have to say it if you want to be taken seriously.