How do you say “I love you” in 25 different languages?

Being able to tell someone ‘I Love You’ sometimes is not easy in any relationship with friends, family, or a significant other. It can be an even more difficult when it happens to be in a foreign language that is not your own.

Irish: Is breá liom tú
This Irish saying literally translates as “my heart is within you.” How could you not fall in love if someone said this to you?

Portuguese: Eu te amo
While not too different from fellow romance languages, there is a difference between the Portuguese you speak in Portugal and the one you use in Brazil.

French: French translationJe t’aime
What could be more romantic than speaking to a potential love interest in French? Romance languages like French, Spanish, and Italian tend to put the direct object (the ‘you’ part of ‘I love you’) before the verb.
Anyway, it’s the perfect thing to say while sipping on a café on honeymoon with your new beau. It may just be your most useful French phrase moving forward.

Swedish: Jag älskar dig
This can be a great way to connect with a Swede on your trip to Stockholm. Just make sure not to use it across the border in Norway!

Spanish translationSpanish: Te amo
Saying “te amo” is a big step in any Spanish relationship. There are dozens of other ways to show affection, but this is the one that shows how much you truly care. Check out other Spanish phrases that you should know.

Danish: Je elsker dig
The good news? If you already know Swedish, it’s not a huge leap to learn the Danish version. Goes to show how connected these two language actually are.

Turkish: Seni seviyorum
The Turkish language is full of love. This is only one way (the basic version) of how to let someone know how much he or she means to you.

Italian translationItalian: Ti amo
Only one letter off from Spanish, use this translation with foresight. Italians only declare this phrase to lovers and foodstuffs—so be cautious before you tell this to someone you just met on the street. 

Hebrew: Ani ohevet otcha (female to male), ani ohev otach (male to female), ani ohevet otach (female to female), ani ohev otcha (male to male)
Hebrew changes slightly depending on who you are talking to. Try and make sure you are talking to the right person—though most will be willing to forgive you if you become confused!

Russian TranslationRussian: Я люблю тебя
It could be difficult to write these 3 words in Russian for a native speaker of English, because Russians use Cyrillic alphabet.

German: Ich liebe dich
It might take a special kind of person to find this German saying as romantic, but over a beer or two, it might sound better and better.

Arabic: ‘ahbak
Speaking in Arabic can become a little complicated depending on whether you are talking to a girl or boy, but this translation offers a shorthand when you just can’t help but share how you feel.

Dutch: Ik hou van je
A bike ride just outside Amsterdam along with a nice picnic can end in this Dutch saying.

Japanese translationJapanese: Ai shiteru yo
There are so many various ways to say ‘I love you’ in Japanese, but this one will get your point across and encourage a meeting over some sushi.

Polish: Kocham Cie
Kiss your loved one on the cheek and let them know how much of a part of your life he or she is. Great for the Polish grandparents at family events.

Welsh: Rwy’n dy garu di
As one of the most difficult languages to learn, Welsh does not make saying ‘I love you’ easy. However, think of how impressed your loved one will be when you spout this out seamlessly.

Vietnamese: Anh yêu em (male to female), em yêu anh (woman to man), tôi yêu bạn (friend to friend)
Before you mutter some sweet words, remember that age also plays a part in which translation you use when speaking to others. Whether the person you addressing is older or younger, you’ll want to use a different translation.

Indian translationHindi: Main tumse pyar kartha hoon (male), main tumse pyar karthee hoon (female)
Don’t be afraid to use this saying among the many people you love. This works for siblings, friends, parents, and all the other people who add meaning to your life.

Hungarian: Szeretlek
After sitting down with some friends and goulash, you might want to tell them exactly how happy you are being there sharing a meal.

Greek: Se agapó
The Greeks are famous for their many types of love and how it can mean different things in different contexts. If you just want to let someone else know that you care, this is the best version to use.

Mandarin Chinese translationMandarin: Wǒ ài nǐ
In other parts of China, you will have to use Mandarin Chinese instead of Cantonese. Regardless, the meaning is the same: ‘I love you.’

Cantonese: Ngóh oi néih
Remember that you would use Cantonese in other parts of China. Once you know for sure that you are using it in the correct place, this is one way to remind someone how important they are to you.
Korean: Sarang hae
This is the informal way to address a companion or family member. While you might not be telling others you don’t know very well how much you love them, make sure to use the more formal version if you do (sarang-hamnida).

Thai translationThai: P̄hm rạk khuṇ
The Thai people are some of the friendliest and kindest in the world. It makes sense that they would say I love you from various levels. However, this is the translation you will usually find.

Romanian: Te iubesc
With a Latin base, you might notice some similarities between Romanian and its Western European counterparts. The pronunciation might be a little more difficult, though—make sure to practice!

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Yana Fisher

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