• Gaia Sabando

Saying “I Love You” in Different Asian Languages As You Mean It



With how things are spoken, words are bound to have different meanings and are expressed in different levels of depth in other cultures. Words are powerful. Words inspire, stir, challenge, move, touch, and intrigue us. Every language we speak has beauty that we need to celebrate and accept the diversity it encourages. You’d be surprised to know how the precious phrase “I love you” can be said in different languages in Asia.


我爱你 (Wo ai ni)

This is the Chinese translation for the phrase “I love you.” Saying these three romantic words can be pretty shocking or too powerful for people in China since it’s rare in their culture. You can hardly find family saying it to each other, and couples may say it, but not so often. The phrase “I like you” has equal depth with “I love you,” yet more appropriate to them.

愛してる (Aishiteru)

This is “I love you” in Japanese. In Japanese culture, these three words are not to be taken lightly. Such words are only meant to be spoken when you are genuinely and deeply committed to the person you will say it to. “Love” for them is a powerful word and is not precisely expressed quite often in reality. They’d much prefer “I like you” or “大好き” (daisuki).


사랑해 (Saranghae)

You may often hear this phrase when you are watching K-Dramas. However, you better be careful when saying it casually! In Korean culture, there are informal and formal ways to say such phrases. There is a much respectful way to say it, and that is saying “사랑해요 (saranghaeyo).” This way, you are expressing more feelings than love.


मैं तुमसे प्यार करता हुँ (Main tumse pyar kartha hoon)

In Indian culture, there are many ways to say “I love you.” In the Hindi language, it differs when you are a man or a woman. When you are a man, verbs that you use should end with “a”. And if you are a woman, it should end with “ee.” So when saying this phrase as a man, you say, “Main tumse pyar kartha hoon.” But as a woman, you say, “main tumse pyar karti hoon.”


Anh yêu em

When it comes to saying “I Love You” in Vietnamese, there’s not a single way to say it. You must be careful when using pronouns. The pronouns you use would depend on your gender and age gap between you and the person you are telling it to. As a girl, you say, “Em yêu anh.” As a man, you say, “Anh yêu em.”


Saya Sayang Awak

In Malaysia, there are two ways you can say, “I love you.” It is either “saya cintakan awak” or “saya sayang awak.” The latter uses the word “Sayang,” which signifies one’s emotion or feelings of attachment, infatuation, and love. However, the term “cinta” can also be as powerful. Both phrases can be used, just that they have different emphases but the same meaning!


ผมรักคุณ (P̄hm rạk khuṇ)

When speaking in Thai, it is essential to remember that pronouns play a big part in the language. Pronouns like ‘I’ and ‘you’ in English are not being used. Instead, Thai people use “ฉัน” (chan) for female speakers, so “Chan rak khun” for them, and “คุณ” (khun) for male speakers, making it “Phom rak khun.” There are two ways to saying it, depending on your gender.


Aku cinta kamu

In Indonesia, it’s usually started off with the phrase “Aku suka kamu,” which means “I have a crush on you.” When you have started to develop bigger feelings for them, you then say “Aku cinta kamu” or “I love you.” There is something much deeper than that, actually, and it’s “Aku sayang kamu.” There is no English translation for a word that is deeper than love itself.


Seni Seviyorum

This phrase is generally used in Turkish to say “I love you” to someone. However, there is a much powerful way of saying it. In Turkey, you can sound more creative and poetic to native speakers by saying “Aşığım sana" which has the same meaning, but because of the change in order of the elements, there is more impact in how it is being expressed.


Mahal Kita

When you say “Mahal” in the Philippines, it means “love”, “pricely”, or “affection.” The word “Kita” would mean “I.” So when you combine it together, it becomes “I love you” in Tagalog. The best part is that this phrase can be used by any gender. This phrase can be intensified by saying it again and again like “Mahal na mahal na mahal kita.” It’d sound that you love the person veeeryyy much.


Saying “I love you” is one of the best things you can say to someone you cherish. Learning how it is being said in other countries gives you an insight on how rare and powerful these words are. Always remember: When you are going to say it, you must also mean it by heart!


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