月が綺麗ですね | tsuki ga kirei desu ne (The moon is beautiful, isn’t it?)

 

The phrase above doesn’t literally mean “the moon is beautiful, isn’t it?” in Japanese. It actually means “I love you”.

 

When the novelist Souseki Natsume (1867-1916) was an English teacher, one of his students translated the English phrase “I love you” as 我君を愛す | ware kimi o aisu. Soseki pointed out that Japanese people don’t say 愛す | aisu (to love), and that the best translation would actually be 月が綺麗ですね | tsuki ga kirei desune (the moon is beautiful, isn’t is?).

 

At the time, Japanese people were more reserved than they are at present day. They hesitated to express feelings of love directly. I, for one, like this expression 月が綺麗ですね | tsuki ga kirei desune (the moon is beautiful, isn’t is?) -- it sounds literary and intelligent.

 

You can use this phrase with someone you like, while you’re under the moon. An appropriately literary response to this would be 死んでもいいわ | shindemo iiwa (I can die happy). This is the translated from the works of novelist Shimei Futabatei (1864-1909).

 

Nowadays, Japanese people are starting to change in a positive way. Young people say 愛してる | aishiteru (I love you) at times and some couples even hold each other’s hands, hug, or kiss in public. In this article, I’ll give you some passionate expressions to level up your romantic game while speaking Japanese.

 

 

1) Ask them out for lunch

 

First, you should get closer to the person you like. How about asking them out for lunch?

 

I have read a few books about psychology, and I’ve learned a psychological technique to get people to say yes. Give a person two choices and let them choose one. When faced with a choice, people tend to feel that they should pick one of them rather than nothing at all. If you want to use this technique, the examples below sentences will help you.

 

Casual:

 

  • 土曜か日曜ランチ行かない? | Doyou ka nichiyou lunch ikanai? (You want to have lunch on Saturday or Sunday?)

 

Polite:

 

  • もし良かったら、土曜日か日曜日にランチ行きませんか? | Moshi yokattara, doyoubi ka nichiyoubi ni lunch ikimasen ka? (Is there any chance you’d like to have lunch with me on Saturday or Sunday?)

 

Also according to one book that I read, if your sentence contains a reason then people will accept your offer more easily.

 

A psychologist demonstrated this in an experiment. People refused someone’s offer when the person said “Excuse me, I only need to copy five pages, may I use the copy machine first?”. However, most people accepted her request when she instead said “Excuse me, but I’m in a hurry. I’d like to copy just five pages, may I use the copy machine first?”. I believe this knowledge will help you in a romantic situation as well, with sentences like the following examples.

 

Casual:

 

  • あそこの新しいレストラン流行ってるね。行ってみようよ! | Asoko no atarashii restaurant hayatteru ne. Itte miyou yo! (That new restaurant is really popular. Let’s go try it out!)

 

Polite:

 

  • あそこの新しいレストラン流行ってますね。行ってみませんか?| Asoko no atarashii restaurant hayatte masu ne. itte mimasen ka? (That new restaurant is really popular. Would you like to go?)

 

You can research in advance his or her favorite food and take him or her to a good place of it. You can use these sentences in such a situation.

 

Casual:

 

  • ○○が好きって言ってたよね?超おいしい店知ってるよ | ○○ ga sukitte itteta yone? Chou oishii mise shitteru yo (You said you like ○○ right? I know a restaurant that has awesome ○○)

 

Polite:

 

  • ○○が好きだって言ってましたよね?とてもおいしいお店知ってますよ | ○○ ga sukidatte ittemashita yone? Totemo oishii omise shittemasu yo (You said you like ○○ right? I know a restaurant that has really good ○○)

 

 

2) Learning about your date

 

After getting the yes, you’ll want to get to know more about him or herself during the date...

 

You are probably wondering whether the person you like already has a partner or not, or what his or her ideal person is. In Japan, the below phrases are very commonly used between single men and women to get to the answers to these questions.

 

Casual:

 

  • 好きな人いる? | Suki na hito iru? (You like anyone?)

 

Polite:

 

  • 好きな人いますか? | Sukina hito imasu ka? (Do you like anyone?)

 

Casual:

 

  • どういう人がタイプ? | Douiu hito ga taipu? (What kinda person is your type?)

 

Polite:

 

  • どういう人がタイプですか? | Douiu hito ga taipu desu ka? (What kind of person is your type?)

 

Below is another phrase that we use at goukon (a type of matchmaking party). It’s seen as a little clichéd, but fun. When you want to touch a person's hand, try this:

 

Casual:

 

  • 俺/ あたし手相見れるよ | Ore/Atashi tesou mireru yo (I can read palms)

 

Polite:

 

  • 僕/ 私手相見れるんですよ | Boku/Watashi tesou mirerundesu yo (I can read palms)

 

 

3) Confess your love

 

Finally, it’s time to be passionate and to say you like them. how to confess in japanese? Here are some phrases which can be helpful:

 

  • めちゃめちゃ大好き | Mecha mecha dai suki. (I really really like you)
  • 付き合ってください | Tsukiatte kudasai. (Will you go out with me?)
  • 好きです | Suki desu. (I like you)
  • 毎日声が聞きたい | Mainichi koe ga kikitai. (I want to hear your voice every day)
  • いつも手料理食べたいな | Itsumo teryouri tabetai na. (I want to eat your home cooking all the time)
  • 彼氏/ 彼女になってください | Kareshi/ Kanojo ni natte kudasai. (Will you be my boyfriend / girlfriend?)

 

I have heard that in some countries people don’t really say 付き合ってください | tsukiatte kudasai (please go out with me). But, in Japan, we like to make things clear -- so say it!

 

愛してる | aishiteru (I love you) is far too strong to use with someone before going out with them. So it’s better to avoid saying this for now and to save it for later. Instead, I recommend saying めちゃめちゃ大好きだから、付き合ってください | mecha mecha daisuki dakara, tsukiatte kudasai (I really really like you, will you go out with me?). Now that you’re equipped with some phrases, go out and try to woo that special someone in Japanese.

 

Hero image by Ta-Ching Chen (CC0 1.0)