How to Say I Love You" in Japanese?"
What is love?
“Love is a many-splendored thing,” as the popular old film goes.
There are so many definitions of love.
I bet you know more than three.
I consider it a universal language of the soul; the core of humanity; the essence of existence.
Whoever you are, wherever you are from, we all feel and express love.
But, how do you express it?
There are so many ways to convey it, and one of them is by basically saying the magic words “I love you.”
Or abused words?
In some countries, the words “I love you” are often used.
Not only couples and family members use it, even friends do, too.
It is always flowing, always abundant.
Sometimes, it can change a woman’s bad mood into a good mood in a snap like magic.
It is not unusual to use these words upon waking up, leaving for work, and as an ending to a couple’s phone conversation, or on other random occasions such as expressing gratitude to a favor granted by a friend.
“Oh, I love you!
You are a very generous friend!
I can always lean on your shoulder when times get rough,” with matching hugs and kisses.
But if used too often, these magic words might become abused words.
Saying “I love you” in Japan
In Japan, saying “I love you” is quite different.
The literal translation of “I love you” in Japanese is “ai shiteru.”
However, “ai shiteru” is rarely used.
Love in Japan is expressed in varying degrees.
“Suki” literally means liking or fondness.
It is used to express your fondness of something (things, food, hobbies, etc.).
For instance, “Ringo ga suki (I like apples),” “Sakka ga suki (I like soccer),” “Nihon ga suki (I like Japan).”
If you meet someone and you think you like him or her, you may say “Kare ga suki (I like him),” or “Kanojo ga suki (I like her).”
This is a very casual expression of liking and may be used during the first stage of dating.
“Dai” means big and “suki” means like, therefore the literal meaning of “daisuki” is to like very much.
In English, we may say “I’m crazy about anime,” while in Japanese that is “Anime ga daisuki.”
It is a step higher than the more casual “suki.”
It is important to point out that “daisuki” also has a close meaning to “I love you.”
In actuality, it is more often used by couples to express love rather than “ai shiteru.”
3. Ai shiteru
“Ai” (love) is considered a very special word in Japan.
Thus, “ai shiteru” is rarely used, like how wearing kimono is only during a rite of passage.
Many Japanese use it with great caution so as not to ruin its authenticity.
So when Japanese say “ai shiteru,” it means that they’re very serious, very sincere, and it is often said in private rather than in public.
Now that you know how to say “I love you” in Japanese, go ahead and feel free to declare your love for someone or something.
Love may be expressed in different ways around the world and in varying degrees in Japan, but at the end of it all, love is love.
Don’t let words limit how you feel.