Do you want to learn how to say I love you in 100 languages? If so, you have come to the right spot!
The phrase “I love you,” universally recognized as an expression of deep affection, resonates differently across cultures. In some societies, it’s freely used, highlighting a culture that cherishes open expression of affection. In other cultures, there’s a certain heaviness to the phrase, reserved only for profound and often romantic relationships. The frequency, context, and mode of delivery can vary greatly, reflecting the cultural intricacies and subtleties of expressing love. There are many different words and different ways to say I love you, and this post will begin to scratch the surface there.
“I Love You” in American Culture
In American culture, the phrase “I love you” is used relatively freely and can denote a range of feelings, from platonic friendships to romantic relationships. It’s not uncommon for the phrase to be shared among close friends or even used as a casual sign off in a phone call or text. English speakers may be surprised for the variations in context for the phrase for some of the other languages in this list.
“I Love You” in Latin American Cultures
In Latin American cultures, the expression “Te quiero” is frequently used among friends and family and carries a lighter tone than “Te amo,” which is reserved for deeper, romantic relationships.
“I Love You” in African Cultures
African cultures vary significantly across the continent, but in many societies, direct verbal expressions of love like “I love you” are less commonly used. Instead, love is often conveyed through actions and gestures of care and commitment.
“I Love You” in European Cultures
European cultures also exhibit a range of norms. In some Northern European cultures, the phrase “I love you” is not used lightly and is often reserved for serious romantic relationships or very close familial ties. Conversely, in Southern European cultures, expressions of love can be more effusive.
“I Love You” in Asian Cultures
Asian cultures, particularly East Asian ones, are typically more reserved. The phrase “I love you” might not be frequently used, even in close relationships, compared to Western cultures. Love is often expressed indirectly, through acts of service and care. The emphasis is often on actions speaking louder than words when it comes to expressing deep affection.
I Love You in 100 Languages: The Top 25 Most Spoken Languages
I’m starting off this post with the languages that are most spoken around the globe, and therefore the most useful languages to know if you are studying a foreign language.
1. Mandarin: 我爱你 (Wǒ ài nǐ)
This phrase is used sparingly and generally reserved for significant romantic relationships, emphasizing the depth of feelings between two individuals in China in Taiwan.
2. Spanish: Te Quiero or Te Amo
In Spanish, “I love you” is translated as “Te amo.” This expression is powerful and laden with deep affection, typically used in romantic contexts or to express love in profound relationships. However, Spanish also offers a less intense alternative for expressing love: “Te quiero.” While this phrase also translates to “I love you” in English, its use is more flexible and casual, often shared among close friends or family members.
3. English: I Love You
In English-speaking cultures, the phrase “I love you” carries substantial weight and is often used to express deep emotional affinity in romantic relationships, familial bonds, and close friendships.
4. Arabic: أنا أحبك (Ana uhibbuka)
In Arabic-speaking cultures, this phrase is usually reserved for deep and significant emotional connections, akin to its usage in many other cultures. However, like in any culture, its weight can vary depending on the region and context, and it’s not uncommon to find lighter colloquial expressions of love used amongst friends and family. There are other phrases you may hear such as انت عمري (enta ‘umri), which translates to “You are my life”.
5. Hindi: मुझे तुमसे प्यार है (mujhe tumase pyaar hai)
In Hindi, the phrase “Main Tumse Pyar Karta Hoon” (I Love You) holds a significant cultural connotation for native speakers in India. It’s typically reserved for serious romantic relationships and is deeply rooted in the culture’s emphasis on emotional intimacy and commitment.
6. Portuguese: Eu te amo
In Portuguese, the phrase “Eu te amo” is predominantly used in the context of deep romantic feelings, making it a potent statement of love. Yet, similar to other cultures, its usage can be adapted based on the depth and nature of relationships, with alternative expressions like “Eu gosto de você” (I like you) used in less formal or intense contexts.
7. Bengali: আমি তোমাকে ভালোবাসি (Āmi tōmākē bhālōbāsi)
In Bengali culture (Parts of India and Bangladesh), expressing “I love you,” is typically reserved for deep romantic relationships, signifying a profound emotional connection.
8. Russian: Я тебя люблю (Ya tebya lyublyu)
In Russian culture, this a powerful proclamation, often used to express deep romantic love. Its use is typically reserved for significant relationships, highlighting the depth of emotion it conveys. Alternate, less intense expressions may be used in more casual or familial relationships.
9. Japanese: 愛してます(Aishitemasu)
In Japanese, these phrase holds deep romantic connotations and is rarely used, often saved for serious relationships or marriage. Its use in daily conversations is rare.
10. Landha (Western Punjabi): ਮੈਂ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਪਿਆਰ ਕਰਦਾ ਹਾਂ (Maiṁ tuhānū pi’āra kardā hāṁ)
This phrase is used in romantic settings by native speakers in India. There is a difference in how this phrase is used for men and women. For men, it’s said as stated above. For women, it changes slightly and is pronounced: Maiṁ tuhānū pi’āra kardi hāṁ.
11. Vietnamese: Anh Yêu Em
In Vietnam, this phrase is often reserved for intimate relationships.
12. Turkish: Seni seviyorum
In Turkey, this phrase carries a deep emotional significance. It is not used lightly, and when spoken, it conveys a strong commitment and genuine affection.
13. Marathi: मी तुझ्यावर प्रेम करतो (Mī tujhyāvara prēma karatō)
The phrase above is meant to state this sentiment as a fact. To express that you are “in love” with someone, you would use this phrase: मी तुझ्या प्रेमात आहे Mī tujhyā prēmāta āhē.
14. Telugu:నేను నిన్ను ప్రేమిస్తున్నాను (Nēnu ninnu prēmistunnānu)
Telugu is spoken in Southern India. This phrase is used in both casual and serious romantic contexts.
15. Malay: saya sayang awak / saya cintakan awak
There are two ways to say “I Love You” in Malay. Both are used interchangeably, but some feel that the latter has more a more intense sentiment.
16. Korean: 사랑해요 (salanghaeyo)
The above is the polite way to say the phrase for native speakers in both South Korea and North Korea. If you are familiar with who you are speaking to, you would use the following phrase: 사랑해 (saranghae).
17. French: Je t’aime
What is interesting about this phrase is that is also means “I like you” as well, and to make this phrase more casual, you’d say je t’aime bien.
18. Tamil:நான் உன்னை காதலிக்கிறேன் (Nāṉ uṉṉai kātalikkiṟēṉ)
This is the phrase meant to express the romantic form of love by Tamil speakers in India.
19. German: Ich liebe dich
For speakers of German, this phrase is used specificallly for romantic partners / spouses. If you are speaking to a close friend or parent, you would instead say Ich hab’ dich lieb, which roughly translates to “I have love for you”.
20. Urdu: میں تم سے پیار کرتا ہوں (mein ap say muhabat karta hoon / mein ap say muhabat karti hoon)
For native speakers in Pakistan, this phrase represents a devotion or passion for a person. The first phrase above is what men would say and the second is what women would say. You can use this phrase for close friends and family members as well.
21. Javanese: aku tresno karo kowe
This is the way to say I love you to someone of a similar age to you. If you are speaking to an elder, you’d use a phrase like “Kula tresna panjengan” to show respect.
22. Italian: ti amo
This phrase would be used with a serious romantic partner. If you are speaking with your friends or family, you’d use the phrase “ti voglio bene” instead.
23. Farsi (Persian): دوستت دارم (doostetaan daaram)
This is a common way to say literally “I like you” but it has the same sentiment as I love you in English. To express romantic love you would say عاشقتم Asheghetam, which means, “I’m in love with you”.
24. Gujarati: હું તને પ્રેમ કરું છુ (Huṁ tanē prēma karuṁ chu)
This phrase is used to express serious romantic commitment.
25. Pashto: زه تا سره مینه لرم (Za ta doste kum)
This phrase is used to express deep romantic commitment by speakers in Afganistan, Pakistan, and Iran.
I Love You in African Languages
26. Afrikaans: Ek het jou lief
27. Amharic: አፈቅርሃለሁ (āfek’irihalehu)
28. Bambara: n b’i fɛ
28. Fulani: Me do yiddi ma
29. Hausa: ina son ku
30.Igbo: a hụrụ m gị n’anya
31. Malagasy: tiako ianao
32. Oromo: sin jaalladha
33. Shona: Ndinokuda
34. Somali: waan ku jeclahay
35. Sudanese: abdi bogoh ka anjeun
36. Swahili: nakupenda
37. Tigrinya: የፍቅረኪ እየ
38. Twi: medɔ wo
39. Xhosa: Ndiyakuthandana
40.Yoruba: mo nifẹ rẹ
41. Zulu: Ngiyakuthanda
I Love You in Asian Languages
42. Armenian:Ես սիրում եմ քեզ (Yes sirum yem k’ez)
43. Assamese: মই আপোনাক ভাল পাওঁ
44. Azerbaijani: Mən səni sevirəm
45. Burmese: မင်းကိုချစ်တယ် (mainnkohkyittaal)
46. Cantonese: 我愛你 (Ngo5 Oi3 Nei5)
47. Cebuano: gihigugma tika
48. Filipino: Mahal kita
49. Georgian: მიყვარხარ (miq’varkhar)
50. Hebrew: אני אוהב אותך(Ani ohev otah)
51. Indonesian: aku mencintaimu
52. Kannada: ನಾನು ನಿನ್ನನ್ನು ಪ್ರೀತಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ (Nānu ninnannu prītisuttēne)
53. Kazakh: мен сені жақсы көремін (men seni jaqsı köremin)
54. Khmer: ខ្ញុំស្រលាញ់អ្នក (khnhom sralanh anak)
55. Kurdish: Ez hej te dikim
56. Kyrgyz: Сени сүйөм (Seni süyöm)
57. Laotian: ຂ້ອຍຮັກເຈົ້າ (khony hak chao)
58. Mongolian: Би чамд хайртай (Bi chamd khairtai)
59. Nepali: म तिमीलाई माया गर्छु (Ma timīlā’ī māyā garchu)
60. Sinhala: මම ඔයාට ආදරෙයි (mama oyāṭa ādareyi)
61. Thai: ฉันรักคุณ (C̄hạn rạk khuṇ)
62. Turkmen: men seni söýýärin
63. Uzbek: Men sizni sevaman
I Love You in European Languages
64. Albanian: Unë të dua
65. Basque: maite zaitut
66. Bosnian: volim te
67. Bulgarian: Обичам те (Obicham te)
68. Catalan: T’estimo
69. Corsican: Ti tengu caru
70. Croatian: Volim te
71. Czech: Miluji tě
72. Danish: Jeg elsker dig
73. Dutch: ik houd van je
74. Estonian: Ma armastan sind
75. Finnish: Minä rakastan sinua
76. Galician: Quérote
77. Greek: Σ’αγαπώ (S’agapó)
78. Hungarian: Szeretlek
79. Icelandic: ég elska þig
80. Irish: Is breá liom tú
81. Latin: Te amo
82. Lithuanian: Aš tave myliu
83. Luxembourgish: Ech hunn dech gär
84. Macedonian: Те сакам (Te sakam)
85. Maltese: inħobbok
86. Norwegian: Jeg elsker deg
87. Polish: Kocham cię
88. Scottish Gaelic: Tha gaol agam ort
89. Swedish: jag älskar dig
90. Ukranian: я тебе люблю (ya tebe lyublyu)
91. Western Frisian: Ik hâld fan dy
92. Welsh: Rwy’n dy garu di
I Love You in North American Languages
93. Hatian Creole: vwayaj la
94. Nahuatl: Nimitznequi
I Love You in Oceanic Languages
95. Hawaiian: Aloha wau iā ʻoe
96. Maori: aroha ahau ki a koe
97. Samoan: oute alofa ia oe
I Love You in South American Languages
98. Aymara: munsmawa
99. Guarani: Rohayhu
100. Southern Quechua: Kuyaykim
The Best Apps and Resources for Language Learning
If you are interested in learning a new language, here are a few apps and resources I think may be the most helpful to you:
As I mentioned in my post on Spanish phrases, practicing is really key to feeling comfortable using a new language. You can practice with native speakers by using my favorite language resource, iTalki. On this site you can practice with a tutor, formal teacher, or others just seeking to do a language exchange (for free!). It is hands down the best way to expand your language skills.
This app is best for improving your reading comprehension. And believe it or not, improving your reading comprehension is maybe the best way to consistently expand your vocabulary. (Consider how babies learn languages). On this app, you are provided with videos that come with captions to help you pick up on the vocabulary that you hear. Try Lingopie today!
While I can’t recommend Duolingo alone for learning a langauge, I recommend using this free app to expand and practice your vocabulary in a new language. Note, there is a paid option, but I think the free version is all that you need with this one.
Even better for building vocabulary is Drops, in my opinion. It has a variety of more real-life categories that you can opt for yourself to learn from. You do have to pay an annual fee, but it is absolutely worth it.
If you don’t have time to learn a language before you travel. I recommend using one of the best translation apps out there – Google Translate. This app does wanders for picking up live conversations so you can chat with people like taxi drivers or other new friends in the local language. Even if it is a little indirect.
FAQs About I Love You in Different Languages
What can I say instead of “my love”?
Other affectionate phrases that can be used instead of “my love” include “my dear”, “my darling”, or “my sweetheart”. These expressions also convey deep affection and can serve as a tender alternative in intimate conversations. They are often used interchangeably and are universally understood expressions of love.
What is stronger than I love you?
A phrase stronger than “I love you” could be “I’m in love with you.” This phrase goes beyond merely loving someone by expressing the depth of one’s emotional connection. It signifies an enduring passion, a deep emotional bond, and a commitment to the person that transcends the transient nature of simple affection.
What is the most romantic saying?
The most romantic saying can vary based on personal preference and cultural context. However, one universally touching statement may be, “My life is better because you’re in it.” This phrase indicates that the presence of the person not only enriches life but also makes it more meaningful.
In Summary | I Love You in 100 Different Languages
I hope that this post has inspired you to explore languages more, or at the very least, given you information on how to express your feelings in a new way. Learning how to say words like I love you in different languages can be a delightful surprise for your loved ones, especially if you can say it to them in their mother tongue. You’ll now be prepared for any Valentine’s Day or romantic evening with your partner.
More Words in Different Languages
More Travel Language Guides:
- Spanish for travel
- Portuguese for travel
- Japanese for travel
- Greek for travel
- French for travel
- Italian for travel
- Thai for travel
- Languages and travel