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I love you, ich liebe dich, te quiero, je t‘ aime! The feeling is the same, however each language uses different words to express love.

Travel changes the world. We are more and more interconnected and cross-border love has been no rare phenomenon for a while now. Often enough, the new love paves the way for a new language, since what could be more beautiful than to be able to tell your partner ‘I love you’ in his or her native language? 

Interested in learning how to say ‘I love you’ in different languages? 

How different does ‘I love you’ sound in other languages?

In Hollywood movies, they like to refer to it as ‘the three magical words’: I love you. However, depending on which national language we are looking at, sometimes one expresses their love in one single ‘magical word’, so that in Zulu, for example, ‘I love you’ would be ‘Ngiyakuthanda’.

‘I love you’ in many languages – a lot of languages, a lot of confusion

‘I love you’ is not the same as ‘I love you’! While in some languages there is only one way to say ‘I love you’, no matter to whom or under which circumstances, in others things may get much more complicated. There are certain languages in which the way we say ‘I love you’ varies, depending on whether the context is a romantic one or whether it implies family, friends or a sexual dimension. Let us take German, for example: for family members and close friends one would use ‘ich hab dich lieb’, while ‘Ich liebe dich’ is almost exclusively used for partners.

Things can be different in many languages also depending on whether a man is expressing his love to a woman or a woman is the one expressing her love to a man or whether one expresses love to people of the same sex. For example, in Arabic, a woman would say ‘Ana behebak’, a man would say ‘Ana behebik’ and one would say ‘Benhibik’ when saying ‘I love you’ to someone of the same sex as themselves.

Indeed, saying ‘I love you’ in various languages can be pretty complicated! Things are different from one country to another not only with regards to how we say ‘I love you’, but also to when we say it. While for some cultures it is easier to verbalise it, in others it seems to take an eternity until love is being expressed for the very first time.

And then there are also languages like Luxembourgish, in which there exists such a noun as ‘love’ (Léift) and one can also be ‘in love’,  however, there is no such verb as ‘to love’! So that the Luxembourgish language is being denied the chance to say ‘I love you’ word-for-word. One would rather declare his love along the lines of ‘Ech hunn dech gär’, which means something like ‘I care about you’ or ‘I like you’.

love languages
Love in different languages around the world

‘I love you’ in 60 languages


Afrikaans:       Ek is lief vir jou  oder  Ek het you lief

Albanian:        Te dua

Arabic:            Ana behebak (said by a female)

Ana behebik (said by a male)

Benhibik (said to someone of the same sex)

Armenian:      Yes kez sirumen


Bengali:          Aamee tuma ke bhalo aashi

Bosnian:         Volim te

Bulgarian:       Obicham te


Chinese (Mandarin): Wo ai ni

Corsican:         Ti tengu caru (said by a female)

Ti tengu cara (said by a male)

Croatian:        Volim te

Czech            Miluji tě


Danish:           Jeg elsker dig

Dutch            Ik hou van jou


English:           I love you

Esperanto:      Mi amas vin

Estonian:        Ma armastan sind

Ethiopian:       Afgreki’


Farsi:               Doost dâram

Filipino:          Mahal kita

Finnish:           Minä rakastan sinua

French:            Je t’aime

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Gaelic:           Tá grá agam ort

Georgian:       Mikvarhar

German:         Ich liebe Dich

Greek:            S’agapo


Hawaiin:         Aloha wau ia oe

Hebrew:          Ani ohev otach (said by a female)

Ani ohevet otcha (said by a male)

Hindi:              Mai tumase pyar karata hun (said by a male to a female)

Mai tumase pyar karati hun (said by a male to a female)

Hungarian:     Szeretlek


Icelandic:        Eg elska þig

Indonesian:    Saya cinta padamu

Inuit:               Negligevapse

Italian:             Ti amo


Japanese:       Aishiteru


Katalan:          T’estimo

Korean:           Saranghee yo


Latin:               Te amo

Latvian:           Es tevi mīlu

Lithuanian:     Tave myliu

Luxembourgish: Ech hun dech gär


Malay:             Saya cinta padamu

Maltese:         Jien inhobbok


Norwegian:    Jeg elsker deg


Philippines:     Mahal kita

Polish            Kocham cię

Portugese:      Eu te amo


Romanian:      Te iubesc

Russian:          Ja ljubljù tibjá


Serbian:          Volim te

Slovakian:       Ľúbim ťa

Slovenian:      Ljubim te

Spanish:          Te quiero oder te amo (te amo ist bedeutungsvoller als te quiero)

Swahili:           Nakupenda

Swedish:         Jag älskar dig


Tamil:              Naan unnai kathalikaraen

Thai:                Ch’an rak khun (said by a female)

Phom rak khun (said by a male)

Turkish:          Seni seviyorum


Vietnamese:   Em yeû anh (said by a female)

Anh yeû em (said by a male)


Yiddish:           Ikh hob dikh lib


Zulu:               Ngiyakuthanda

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