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28 Synonyms for Love from Across the World (+ Literal Translations into English)

There are such a lot of alternative ways to say “I like you” and to share the love world wide!

At Fluent in 3 Months, we’re fairly keen on this facet of languages. In truth, this isn’t the primary article we write on the subject. Wanting for phrases of endearment or cute nicknames? Or perhaps you’re questioning the way to say “my love” in several languages. Attempt wanting up “I like you” in our search bar!

The world wants extra love anyway, so we would as nicely unfold it. Ought to we soar into it?

Let’s get this mission began!

Right here’s the companion movies to this text:

1. Spanish Phrases for Love

Whereas Spanish actually solely has one noun for love (amor), in terms of the verb “to like”, there are three totally different Spanish phrases to select from. These rely on context, after all.


The phrase querer is the overall time period to make use of whenever you love an individual, together with associates, household or romantic companions. It additionally interprets into English as “to need”, however don’t let that confuse you. “Te quiero” is not the equal of the decidedly un-romantic English sentence “I would like you”.

It makes extra sense to take a look at the phrase querer as a homonym having two distinct meanings in Spanish: “love” and “need”. Similar to the phrase “love” in English may seek advice from a rating of zero in tennis, which has nothing to do with the sensation of affection.


Amar is a a lot stronger model of querer, and is barely utilized in a romantic approach.


You would possibly acknowledge the origin of the English phrase “enchant” within the Spanish verb encantar. This phrase is most just like the English phrase “love” when referring to actions. It signifies a powerful like.

When you’d say “I like finding out Spanish” in English, then use encantar for the Spanish translation: “Me encanta estudiar el español.”

2. Japanese Phrases for Love

Japanese is a extremely nuanced language. This goes for an idea like “love” as nicely. Although fortunately there aren’t as many phrases for love as there are for “you”!

There are two predominant phrases for the idea of affection, however the usages of every are extremely depending on quite a lot of cultural components.

愛 (Ai)

Relying on the context, 愛 can be utilized to seek advice from a number of varieties of love, together with friendships, household, and love of issues or actions.

It’s used as the bottom for developing many various love-related phrases, similar to 愛犬家 (aikenka; “a canine lover”), 母性愛 (boseiai; “maternal love”) or 博愛 (hakuai; “philanthropy”).

恋 (Koi)

This phrase often implies bodily or romantic love, although in sure contexts, it will probably suggest a extra “egocentric” sort of affection. It’s used within the building of such romance-related phrases as 恋人 (koibito; “a boyfriend/girlfriend”), 恋敵 (koigataki; “a rival in love”) or 初恋 (hatsukoi; “old flame”).

3. Arabic Phrases for Love

One other profoundly wealthy and assorted language, Arabic has no less than eleven totally different phrases for love.

These vary from basic phrases just like English, to very particular phrases for sure phases of affection that you simply would possibly undergo whereas falling deeply in love with somebody.

Listed below are a number of key phrases from that spectrum:

حب (Habb)

That is the overall phrase for “love”. It might probably describe romantic love, or love for household, actions or objects. You would possibly acknowledge it as the foundation of the Arabic phrases of endearment habib (for males) and habibi (for girls).

عشق (‘Ishq)

Whenever you’re within the “honeymoon section” of affection and are feeling a passionate love in your accomplice, ’ishq is the phrase to make use of. It’s the sensation you may have when the preliminary love you felt for somebody has now taken root.

In truth, the origin of this phrase comes from the Arabic phrase for “vine”. This conveys the impression of the love having been planted in your coronary heart so it will probably develop into ardour.

شغف (Shaghaf)

This phrase is reserved for an intensely burning love or lust. You should use it to explain being head over heels in love with somebody.

حنان (Hanaan)

Hanaan has a number of meanings, together with compassion, tenderness, and loving care. It’s a standard Arabic first identify for ladies.

4. Greek Phrases for Love

Greek famously has 4 predominant phrases for love:

Έρωτας (Erotas) (Often called Έρως (Eros) in Historical Greek)

This refers solely to romantic love or courtship. You’ll acknowledge it as the foundation of the English phrase erotic.

Aγάπη (Agape)

In Historical Greek, this phrase described a religious or charitable love, such because the love that God has for man. This phrase is used usually within the Greek translation of the Bible.

In fashionable Greek, its definition is extra broad, and can be utilized to precise love for household or a romantic accomplice.

Φιλία (Philia)

The overall phrase for non-romantic love between equals, similar to between family and friends, or love for actions.

You’ll acknowledge this phrase as a suffix of a number of English phrases, similar to “cinephile” (movie lover) or “francophile” (French language lover). This phrase isn’t used as usually in the present day because it was in Historical Greek.

Στοργή (Storgé)

That is the phrase used to explain the pure affection that exists between mother and father and kids. This phrase can also be extra uncommon in the present day than it was in historical instances

5. Love in American Signal Language

ASL is a language unto itself. It doesn’t simply translate phrases instantly from English into indicators, as many individuals assume. ASL grammar can also be very totally different from English grammar.

ASL has two methods to say the English phrase “love” (video credit: Signing Savvy: ASL movies and studying sources):

1. Love for actions or objects (e.g. “I like studying languages”). This phrase is signed by kissing the again of your fist:

2. Love for residing beings (e.g. “I like my mom/partner/canine”). This phrase is signed by crossing your arms over your chest and “hugging” your self:

6. Tamil Phrases for Love

Tamil is the language of Sri Lanka and two states in India. It’s additionally one of many 4 official languages of Singapore. Its roots return hundreds of years, giving it a wealthy historical past in literature and poetry.

In keeping with some sources, there are dozens of various phrases in Tamil to precise the idea of affection. Listed below are a number of phrases:

அன்பு (Anpu)

That is the overall time period for love. It might probably describe romantic love, affection, friendship or devotion.

காதல் (Katl)

Katl is reserved for expressing romantic love.

ஆசை (Achai)

That is the love you’re feeling whenever you lengthy for somebody.

பாசம் (Pachm)

The sensation of deeply related love. You should use this phrase to explain parental love, for instance.

கைக்கிளை (Kaikkilai)

This phrase most likely doesn’t have an equal in very many languages. It’s used to precise a romantic love that isn’t reciprocated by the opposite individual. It’s an incredible instance of what a wealthy, nuanced language Tamil is.

7. Irish Phrases for Love

Irish is the primary official language of my residence nation. Persons are usually stunned to be taught that it’s fairly totally different from English, being a Celtic language fairly than Germanic.

Listed below are a number of of the quite a few Irish phrases to precise love:


That is the all-purpose phrase for love, which can be utilized in typically the identical approach because the English phrase “love” (for loving individuals, locations, romantic companions, and so forth.).


Cion roughly interprets as “affection”, such because the love you may need for a kid.


That is used for describing romantic love or “real love”.


Use cumann whenever you wish to categorical the love and companionship that exists between associates.

8. Sanskrit Phrases for Love

Sanskrit is a classical language that has influenced fashionable South and Southeast Asian languages no less than as a lot as Greek and Latin have influenced fashionable European languages. This language has an astounding 96 phrases for love.

Right here is only a small sampling of the huge spectrum of Sanskrit phrases for love.

स्नेह (Sneha)

Maternal love or affection.

काम (Kama)

Erotic or amorous love. You would possibly acknowledge this phrase from the title of the well-known historical textual content, the Kama Sutra.

अनुरक्ति (Anurakti)

Passionate love or attachment.

रति (Rati)

This phrase initially meant to take pleasure in or enjoyment of one thing or somebody. The that means has developed to suggest a bodily need or love.

प्रिय (Priya)

That means “darling” or “beloved”, Priya is a standard given identify for ladies in India and Nepal.

9. Love within the Klingon Language

There’s not a lot to be mentioned right here. The fictional Klingon language, from the Star Trek universe, reportedly has no phrases for love. Shut translations embody “unhate” and “honour”. What do you suppose this says about that tradition?

Bonus: Enjoyable Reality About Love Worldwide

There are extra phrases for “love” than there are languages on the earth. Let me clarify with an instance:

The Japanese language has dozens of how to say “you”. There are well mannered types, very well mannered types, rude types and downright impolite types.

Do all these totally different phrases for “you” exist simply to harass foreigners studying Japanese? After all not. They’re integral to Japanese tradition, and so they give foreigners useful perception into an intangible facet of that tradition, particularly that standing and relationships are essential in Japan.

Likewise, there are numerous languages which have a number of alternative ways to precise the idea of affection. What do you suppose this says about these cultures?

English has a number of totally different phrases for various sorts of affection, together with “fondness”, “affection”, and “infatuation”. However in terms of the phrase “love” itself, this one phrase can categorical all of those ideas and extra.

Take into account the next English sentences:

  • I like my husband/spouse
  • I like my mom
  • I like my finest pal
  • I like studying languages
  • I like Mondays

It doesn’t matter what form of love we’re speaking about in English, we are able to use one single phrase for it: “love”. That is as baffling to some college students of English as all of the totally different types of “you” are to individuals studying Japanese.

Why ought to the idea of romantic love (“I like my husband/spouse”) use the identical phrase as parental love (“I like my mom”), or love of an object?

In English, the phrase “love” has develop into diluted in order that it may be used rather than “like”. In some languages, the distinction is essential. Is the English language restricted by not placing a lot worth on this distinction? Monolingual English audio system would most likely say no, however that’s as a result of they don’t have something to match it to.

The reality is, the extra languages you be taught, the extra you see the advantage of having numerous methods to seek advice from “love”.

Let’s check out how some languages categorical the thought of affection. Some languages have only one or two phrases, like English. Others have many extra, and so they’re as integral to the tradition as all of the totally different Japanese phrases for “you” are to Japanese tradition.

Time to Unfold the Love

That is only a tiny sampling of all of the alternative ways there are on the earth to precise the advanced feelings related to love.

If you recognize of different languages which have a number of methods to explain totally different sorts of affection, or languages whose nuances for love can’t be instantly translated into English, I’d love to listen to about them 😉

Let me know on Instagram (@irishpolyglot), TikTok (@irishpolyglot), or Twitter (@irishpolyglot) what phrases you’ll use!

28 Beautiful Words for Love from Around the World - and Their Literal Translations into English
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Benny Lewis

Founder, Fluent in 3 Months

Enjoyable-loving Irish man, full-time globe trotter and worldwide bestselling creator. Benny believes the perfect strategy to language studying is to converse from day one.

Speaks: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese language, American Signal Language, Dutch, Irish

View all posts by Benny Lewis



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