March 25, 2008 / 12:25
like and love in Japanese
Yesterday I had a lesson, the subject was preferences, «I like», «I don’t like», «I’m good in» etc.
So I asked Yukiko, how to say «I love you» in Japanese. I asked it before, but didn’t remember what she said, and that’s why:
— We don’t say «I love you», — she said, — we use only «I like you». «I love you» is old-fashion. Nobody uses it, except of old people. Or soap-operas on TV. It’s an exaggeration.
I was puzzled.
— But if you want to tell somebody that you love him, what do you say?
— «I like you». Or «I like you a lot».
— Using the same verb as you say «I like this book»?
— Hm, but, Yukiko… How do you distinguish in Japanese someone you only like and someone you really love?
— You can tell him: «I want to take care of you, please, come to live with me».
— Hehe! And what happened to all the vocabulary for relationship between «I like you» and «Come to live with me»? And if you don’t have a place to live together? How you express love?
— Lena, — said Yukiko, — in Japan we don’t talk about love, because it’s something expressed with actions. The other side has to feel it from you. If he needs words from you, you’re doing something wrong.
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