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How do you say "I love you" in Japanese...?

Discussion in 'Learning Japanese' started by Kagenshichan, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Kagenshichan

    Kagenshichan New Member

    May 1, 2003
    :note: Okay. I wanted to know how to say "I love you" and "I love you too" in Japanese... not like, "I love you Mommy," but for if you were saying it to a spouse or something... I've heard one way to say "I love you" is "aishiteru", but something I read in one of my Kanji books told me that for boy-girl love it's supposed to be more like "koishiteru"... but I don't know. Is there a typical romantic-ish phrase that's used commonly in Japan for people who are in love, and/or husbands/wives? Also, how do you say "I love you too"? I mean, it's hard to just have your significant other say "aishiteru / koishiteru / whatever it is" and then just go... "Aishiteru... too? -_-;;;..." :oops: That happens to me a lot. So, please, can somebody help me out here? Thank you!!
  2. Musashi

    Musashi New Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Depends on whether you're a boy or a girl. Basically the thing to say is 'aishiteru' and as a reply 'me (depending on your sex) mo aishiteru'. 'Kimi ga suki' is another option...
  3. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth 先輩

    Apr 22, 2003
    I've wondered recently about the different ways to say 'fell in love' as well.

    And so far just know three:

    1). Ga suki ni natta
    2). To koi ni ochita
    3). (To/ni?) aitaku natta

    It seems like these could be expressing a range from least (1) to most (3) intense or romantic -- but exactly what are the shades of meaning before I can try it out on someone myself?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2003
  4. Kagenshichan

    Kagenshichan New Member

    May 1, 2003
    Well, if it makes any difference, I'm a girl... but I also posted this thread at my boyfriend's suggestion, because he wants to know, too. So, for "I love you", we just say "aishiteru" like we've been doing, right? And for "I love you too", what is he supposed to say and what am I supposed to say? And what IS "koishiteru" used for? We've sorta been wonderin' for over a year, now...
  5. NANGI

    NANGI 先輩

    Jan 8, 2003
    Konnichiwa Kagenshi-chan!

    If you say "I love you" face to face with your boyfriend, it is "Anata wo Aishiteiru" in Japanese. And "I love you too" is "Watashi mo Anata wo Aishiteiru".

    "I" is "Watashi".
    "love" is "Aishiteiru".
    "you" is "Anata wo".
    "too" is "mo".

    But usually Japanese say only "Aishiteiru" and "Watashi mo". The Japanese omit the subject word and an object word frequently. And it is more natural to say "Suki dayo" but not "Aishiteiru". "Suki dayo" is "I like you" in literal translation but means "I love you" in Japanese. The Japanese usually say "Suki dayo" but not "Aishiteiru".

    "Koishiteiru" is "I am deeply in love". I think you don't say "I am deeply in love with you" to your boyfriend, and you will say only "I love you". It is same as the Japanese. The Japanese don't say "Watashi ha Anata ni Koishiteru" face to face with boyfriend.

    But if you say to your friends about your boyfriend, "I am deeply in love with him" or "I love him", when you say "Watashi ha Kare ni Koishiteru".

    "I am" is "Watashi ha".
    "deeply in love" is "Koishiteru".
    "with him" is "Kare ni".

    Of course you can say "Watashi ha Kare wo Aishiteiru" or "Watashi ha Kare ga Suki".:note:

  6. tasuki

    tasuki 先輩

    Apr 22, 2003
    If I may pitch my two cents... Hello all.

    In Japanese, love is as multifaceted as the language. There are different degrees to it and different ways of expressing it according to the situation.

    "suki" is used both as like or love and the meaning has to be interpreted from the context. Therefore if one says:

    "ramen ga suki"

    It would be interpreted as meaning "I like ramen". But if one says:

    "ramen ga dai suki", the use of the "dai" which means big compunds like into love, thus making the example above "I love ramen" in English.

    When talking about people, suki can also be used to express filial love, special friendships, or childish love. So you could say "anata ga suki" to your mother, siblings, good friends, etc. When used towards boyfriends and girlfriends by adults, it has a childish and not too serious flavour to it.

    Now "ai" is more laden with commitment and permanence. It is very rarely used in anything but the romantic sense. So, "anata wo aishiteiru" is usually used by adult lovers, husbands and wives, in declaring ones "serious" love to another, etc. However, when admitting feelings for someone, you would not use "ai" but rather something along "anata ga suki ni natteiru" (I'm beginning to love you).

    "koi ni ochita" is more often used in a litterary sense, but when used in daily conversation, it is often used to talk about a third party falling in love as this is exactly what the expression means, "ochita" being the past tense of "ochiru", meaning to fall.

    As for "koi wo suru", it usually means that you are flirting or active on the dating scene. For example, as a married man, if I said of myself that "koi wo shiteiru" I would be implying that I'm sleeping around or have one or several girlfriends. As a single person, it would mean that I'm dating, but not commited to anyone.

    Does this clear things up some? I hope so. (I posted at the same time as Nangi made his post, so sorry if they overlap).
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2003
  7. Kagenshichan

    Kagenshichan New Member

    May 1, 2003
    First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for all your help!! You guys are great. :) But... I still have a few more "in-depth" questions...

    How does the entire word "aishiteru" just mean "love"...? I mean, doesn't ヒ?、 ("ai") by itself mean "love"? What does "aishiteru" mean literally? Also, what are the Kanji for "aishiteru"? Is it just the Kanji "ai" then Hiragana "shiteru"? Please post a picture (or I guess just type it if ya can) of the Kanji and/or Hiragana for that.

    Thanks again for your help! ^^;
  8. tasuki

    tasuki 先輩

    Apr 22, 2003
    ヒ?、 (ai) means love.
    窶堋キ窶堙ゥ (suru) means do. 窶堋オ窶堙??堋「窶堙ゥツ (shiteiru) is the present continuous of 窶堋キ窶堙ゥ.

    Thus, ヒ?、窶堋オ窶堙??堋「窶堙ゥ, translated litteraly means "I am loving you". But remember that time is viewed differently in English and in Japanese. In English, regular actions are expressed in the present tense (I take the bus to school), whereas only actions currently underway are expressed in the continuous (I'm typing). In Japanese, it doesn't quite work like that, thus love being a continuous emotion, it's expressed in the continuous tense. It's as simple as that. Does that clear things up?
  9. Arashi

    Arashi 先輩

    Nov 4, 2003
    More often said as ヒ?、窶堋オ窶堙??堙ゥ.Pretty serious. So serious, in fact, that to Japanese ears it often sounds fake and/or insincere. Basically, the train of thought on this is that if you have a relationship deep and committed enough to warrant using the term, there's no need to use it: it's intuitively understood.
  10. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth 先輩

    Apr 22, 2003
    It may be understood by the couple themselves (for those that truly do), but they aren't the only members of the household and I've often had Japanese friends express some unease and discomfort about growing up in a family with parents whom they never heard speak intimately or lovingly to each other.
  11. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank SECURITY-you SPAM/we BAN
    Staff Member Admin

    May 21, 2003
    If only I could hear...

    Yoshiko whisper those magic words in my ear again

    "I rub you Frank"
  12. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth 先輩

    Apr 22, 2003
    Count yourself fortunate, though, Frank, to have ever had a woman so couragous. I offhandedly asked my boyfriend about saying it once in Chinese while we were thinking of "good morning" in various languages and even then as I repeated it for practice and he just walked away in disgust....;).
  13. In teh Okinawan Dialect, Both usually say the name of thier spouse and then Daisuki. If They mean it in a serious relation ship way then it is Aishiteru.


    Akemi wa daisuki.

    or just say Aishiteru.

    Of course this is Okinawan sooo.... :happy:

    Cheers S!
  14. linguarum

    linguarum 後輩

    Jan 2, 2004
    There's a very helpful writeup on the everything2 encyclopedia on this subject.

  15. Golgo_13

    Golgo_13 先輩

    Nov 27, 2003
    There's really no way to say it in Japanese without sounding corny. Simply because the Japanese have no tradition of saying such phrase. I read in the book "Strawberry Road" that after WWII Japanese women wanted to date U.S. GIs because that was the first time in their lives they were told "I love you."

    If you want to say it to a Japanese person, my suggestion is to just say it in English. The meaning is understood by any Japanese of any age anyway, and it's probably more romantic for them to hear it in English since they got to know the phrase by watching Western love story films or hearing in Carpenters songs.

    Even then, Japanese would only say it in terms of romantic love between two lovers, unlike in the west where a parent might say that to a child.
  16. cicatriz esp

    cicatriz esp Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Yeah, the Japanese generally just dont say it to each other.
  17. Jimm

    Jimm 後輩

    Aug 1, 2004
    How do you actually pronounce を? 'Wo' or 'O'?
  18. PaulTB

    PaulTB Manga Psychic

    Jan 22, 2004
    98.7% of the time, same as お.
  19. Jimm

    Jimm 後輩

    Aug 1, 2004
    And the other 1.3% of the time?
  20. PaulTB

    PaulTB Manga Psychic

    Jan 22, 2004
    As something rather like 'wo'. Most often encountered in song lyrics.
  21. NQT

    NQT 先輩

    Aug 27, 2004
    As stated above, Japanese generally don't say "I love you".
  22. kamuizero

    kamuizero 先輩

    Aug 25, 2004
    Why is it that japanese generally don't say " I love you " (in japanese or english) ?? :S
  23. Scrivener

    Scrivener 先輩

    Sep 8, 2004
    You would almost never stick "Anata wo" in front of "ai shite iru" because of the limited way that pronouns like "you" are used in Japanese.

    If you were doing "kokuhaku" (declaration of love) to someone you weren't going out with, you would tend to use a phrase with "suki", which would differ according to whether you were a girl or boy, and how politely you tended to speak.

    A husband would say to his wife "ai shiteru zo, Misae" (or whatever her name was), and the wife would answer "atashi mo". The wife would be less likely to initiate the exchange, though it isn't impossible. (Of course a woman wouldn't use "zo", they would tend to just say "ai shiteru" or "ai shiteru, a-na-ta" using anata meaning "husband" rather than "you")

    Because Japanese are kind of reserved, this kind of declaration would be more for newly married couples, or on a special occasion, etc. That's just Japanese culture.

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