Is there any phrase more powerful than a simple “I love you”? Whether you are looking for new and creative ways to express your emotions, or if you are just linguistically curious, here is how to say this phrase in languages from around the world:
20. Afrikaans: ek het jou lief
ek het yo leaf
Afrikaans is one of the many languages spoken in South Africa, as well as some parts of neighboring states Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. It was born out of the Dutch language, but also borrows attributes of Malay, Bantu, and Khoisan languages.
19. Arabic: أحبك
There is more than one way to say “I love you” in Arabic, depending on the gender of the person who is being addressed. When addressing a female, the pronouncation is “oo-heh-boo-kee”. When the subject is a male, “oo-heh-boo-kah” is reserved. Arabic is one of the world’s most commonly spoken language, and is mostly used in the Middle East as well as North Africa.
18. Bulgarian: обичам те
Don’t let the Cyrillic alphabet scare you: saying “I love you” in Bulgarian isn’t so hard. You may need this phrase if you find yourself in the southeastern European country of Bulgaria, where its 7 million residents speak the Slavic language of Bulgarian.
17. Chinese: 我爱你
Chinese is one of the world’s most spoken languages, and actually ranks as the most popular language in the world in terms of native speakers. To say “I love you” in Chinese, say “wo-ai-ni”. Chinese may be considered one of the hardest languages to learn for native English speakers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t master this one phrase.
16. Czech: Miluji tě
Prague is considered to be one of the most romantic cities in the world, so it’s a good idea to brush up on your Czech before visiting. Over 10 million people in the Czech Republic speak the Czech language.
15. Danish: Jeg elsker dig
yay els-ka dah
The Scandinavian country of Denmark has its own language, Danish. They are often considered to be some of the happiest people on Earth, so you might need this phrase.
14. Esperanto: mi amas vin
mi a-moss vin
Esperanto was invented with the goal of becoming the world’s global language. Today, around 2 million people speak it, all over the world.
Ah, French – the language of love! Or at least, as one of the world’s romance languages, it can hold on to that claim of fame. Saying “I love you’ in French may seem overwhelming on paper, but it’s not as hard as it seems, pronunciation. French is one of the world’s most-spoken languages and is spoken not only in France but also in Canada, multiple countries of Africa, the Caribbean, and more. Collectively, these countries make up the Francophonie.
12. German: ich liebe dich
Germany is one of the most populated countries in Europe, and its residents speak German. To say “I love you” in German, it’s “ich liebe dich”.
11. Haitian creole: Mwen renmen ou
Haitian creole is the most spoken language in Haiti. It comes from a mixture of French, Taino, and West African languages. There are different dialogues of Haitian creole within the country.
10. Hebrew: אני אוהב אותך
Hebrew is native to Israel, and is spoken by nearly 10 million people. Like Arabic, saying “I love you in Hebrew” can be a bit complicated. This time, it depends on not only the gender being address but also the gender of the person uttering the phrase.
Male to female: ani-ohev-otah
Male to male: ani-ohev-at’h’a
Female to male: ani ohevet ot’h’a
Female to female: ani hevet otah’
9. Igbo: a hụrụ m gị n'anya
Though there are several different dialects of the Igbo language, standardized Igbo remains one of the most spoken languages in Nigeria, which is itself one of the most populated countries in the world with nearly 200 million people.
8. Indonesian: Aku cinta kamu
Almost 1,000 languages are spoken in Indonesia, but Indonesian is the official language of the country. Saying “I love you” in Indonesian is relatively simple.
7. Japanese: わたしは、あなたを愛しています
Hold on to your hats for this one, folks. Nobody ever claimed that Japanese was an easy language to learn, but that doesn’t stop millions of people from attempting it every year. To say “I love you” in Japanese, first take a deep breath, and the say, watashi wa anata o aishiteimasu.
6. Russian: Я люблю тебя
Also a language written in the Cyrillic alphabet, learning to say “I love you” in the Russian language can be complicated. Though Russia remains one of the world’s most populated country today, it is one of the few countries in the world that is actually experiencing a population decline.
5. Spanish: te amo
This may be one of the more popular ones on this list, but it is worth reminding yourself on how to say “I love you’ in Spanish. After all, it’s a language that is spoken all over the globe.
4. Swahili: nakupenda
Luckily for English speakers, saying “I love you” in Swahili is relatively easy. Swahili is one of the official languages of Kenya, and is spoken in other countries including Rwanda.
3. Thai: ผมรักคุณ
Thailand is one of the most exciting tourist destinations on the planet, but getting the hang of the Thai language can be tough. To tell somebody that you love them while you’re in Thailand, you can say “ผมรักคุณ”, or, “phm-rak-khun”.
2. Urdu: میں تم سے پیار کرتا ہوں
Urdu is not only the official language of Pakistan, but is also widely spoken in some regions of India. Unlike in English, there are actually several different ways to express love in Urdu, depending on the level of love. For males, it’s “mein ap say muhabat karta hoon”. For females, it’s “mein ap say muhabat karti hoon”.
1. Welsh: Rwy'n dy garu di
The Welsh language is notoriously difficult, but here is one phrase that you can master. “I love you” in Welsh is “ruin-duh-garry-dee”. Not so hard when it’s broken down into syllables!