Feeling romantic? Learn to say I love you in Japanese so that you can express your feelings in a better way. Love is all about expressing your feelings with the right choice of words and with the right expressions.

They say ‘love has no language’ but expressing your love surely requires a language. Suppose you are dating a Japanese person, how would you express your love to him or her? Seems complicated, right?

In reality, saying I love you in Japanese is not as simple as it is in English. So, you need to understand the need to look up options to express your love in Japanese. Expressing your love verbally is not common in Japanese society. In this guide, we will explore some of the best ways to express your love in Japanese.

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The cultural background of the Japanese

It is important to understand the cultural background before learning the ways to say I love you in Japanese. It is not so common to say I love in Japanese, the way it is common in English.

The English phrase “I love you” is used much more frequently and casually than the closest Japanese phrase. For instance, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “I love you” to your partner on a daily basis in English, and saying “love you” to end a phone call is uncommon in Japan.

Japanese culture is indirect as compared to western culture. Japanese people prefer to show their love instead of expressing it. In Japan, it is much more common for friends, families, and couples to show one another their love through actions rather than words. This behavior is particularly common among Japanese men, who more frequently shy away from explicit displays of affection.

Many people believe that the concept of love is quite abstract. They believe expressing love is far from actual feelings. It is like a poetic ideal rather than expressing what one actually feels.

Ways to express I love you in Japanese

Ai shiteru 愛してる = I Love You (Deeply)

The word ai shiteru 愛してる is the alternate phrase of the common ‘I love you’ phrase in English. . The literal translation of the character  ai is “love,” which typically has a romantic connotation.

Ai shiteru is unquestionably the heaviest, most intensely felt way to express your love in Japanese of all the different ways you can do so. In fact, the more accurate translation would be “I am deeply in love with you” or “I love you deeply.” That is how expressive one word can be.

This phrase is typically only used when serious, long-term relationships are being expressed or when first confessing your love. However, even in these circumstances, you should exercise caution to avoid overusing the word. In fact, it’s not unusual for married couples to remain silent throughout their union.

How to pronounce Ai shiteru

Ai shiteru is pronounced AYE-shee-teh-roo.

Keep in mind that the second syllable, shee, is much shorter than it appears and sounds more like a single, quick “sh” sound. As a result, the word as a whole sounds more like three syllables.

Additionally, avoid pronouncing the “roo” sound like the English “r.” Similar to how we pronounce the “d” sound in the word “ladder,” the Japanese “r” sound is more of a fusion of the English “d,” “r,” and “l” sounds.

Suki da 好きだ = I like You

This phrase suki da 好きだ is a lot more common than ai shiteru. The literal translation of this phrase is “I like you,” but depending on the situation, the speaker, and the way it’s said, it may have more serious connotations. As a result, a sentence as straightforward as suki da could mean “I love you” or something similar in meaning.

Suki da is typically used to confess your feelings for someone (and want to date them). For instance, to express your interest in a friend you’d really like to date, you might say, “Suki da yo.”

You shouldn’t use the phrase “Suki da” to address a friend or acquaintance who is purely platonic because it has romantic overtones and could suggest that you want to advance your friendship or acquaintanceship.

 Although “Suki da” is literally translated as “I like you,” if you were to say it to your romantic partner in a more serious, heartfelt manner, it could very well mean “I love you.”

How to pronounce Suki da?

Suki da is pronounced soo-KEE-dah, just like how it appears. The “u” sound following the initial “s” is, however, incredibly faint—so faint that it is frequently dropped completely, giving the word a sound more akin to the English word “ski” with a “dah” added to the end.

Daisuki da 大好きだ = I Really like You

This is another way to say I love you in Japanese. It is pretty much similar to the one mentioned above. The only difference is the addition of the character dai 大, meaning “big” or, in this case, “really (like).” Because of the presence of dai, daisuki da is a little stronger and more direct than suki da.

However, depending on the context and the individual, daisuki da may also mean something deeper than simply “like” and may even be taken to mean something more akin to the English phrase “I love you.”

How to pronounce Daisuki da?

Daisuki da is pronounced similarly to suki da above, with the addition of the syllable dai, which is similar to the English words “die” and “dye.” In essence, the pronunciation is DYE-ski-dah. Make sure to emphasize the first syllable, dai, more.

Make sure, you remain patient while learning the pronunciation of Japanese words. For instance, there are several phrases to say thank you in Japanese and you will learn them gradually.

Suki yanen 好きやねん = I like Ya

It is a fun and slang way. The phrase suki yanen 好きやねん, which translates into something like “I like ya!” is from the Kansai, or Osakan, the dialect in Japanese, which is famous for being jolly.

When speaking to someone you want to date or are romantically interested in, you should only use the phrases suki da and daisuki da. However, “Suki yanen” is much less serious and is therefore a much more playful way to express your feelings.

Pronunciation of Suki yanen 好きやねん

Suki Yanen is pronounced similarly to how it appears, with the exception that the suki portion sounds more like the English letter “ski while yanen’s pronunciation is yah-nen.

These were some of the most commonly used ways to say I love you in Japanese. Now, we will give you some tips to use the right phrase according to your situation.

  • If you are in doubt, always go for the phrase Suki da. If you are looking to express your love interest to someone, you must go for this phrase.
  • Silence is not always a bad thing. You must learn to embrace it. If you are shy, use silence to express your feelings. In fact, it is the ‘Japanese way’ to express your feelings and emotions.

You need to keep these things in mind while expressing your love to someone and saying ‘I love you’ in Japanese. Remember, there are several ways to ask for things in any language. For instance, there are several ways to say why in Japanese. You are required to assess your situation before coming up with the selection of words.

If you are looking for professional help, you can get in touch with italki. Here, you will learn the right phrases to express your feelings, Japanese numbers, vocabulary, kanji characters, and a lot more. Book your lessons today and get started!

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