Feeling romantic? Then possibly you"re all set to speak those three little words. But if you"re date a Japanese person, expressing your love in Japanese can gain prettycomplicated. The truth is that there’s no simple method to say, "I love you," in Japanese as there is in English.

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therefore what room your options?

In this article, we’ll define why expressing your love verbally isn’t specifically common in Japanese society. We"ll climate introduce four ways you can say, "I love you," in Japanese and also give friend four an essential tipsfor accordingly expressing your love in Japanese.

Saying "I Love You" in Japanese: cultural Background

Before we introduce the various methods to say, "I love you," in Japanese, it’s essential to recognize the social background once it comes to expressing love in Japanese.

In truth,it’s not practically as common to say, "I love you," in Japanese as it is in English and the West an ext broadly. The English sentence "I love you" is thrown roughly a lot an ext often and also a lot much more casually 보다 the identical Japanese phrase (if you have the right to say over there truly is one!). For example, in English, the perfectly common to tell your partner that you love them every day, or to finish aphone speak to with a quick but heartfelt "love ya"—but this is rarely done in Japanese.

In general, Japanese—and by expansion Japanese culture—is much much more subtle andindirect 보다 English and Western culture.In various other words,Japanese human being tend come abide bythe "show, don’t tell" preeminence when it involves expressing your love.

It’s far much more common because that couples, families, and friends in Japan to show their love because that one another through actions, rather than come verbally affirm it.This habit is especially true for Japanese men, who more often often tend to prevent extremely straight expressions of love.

There is likewise speculation that part (perhaps most) Japanese human being feel that using the phrase "I love you" too much will render it meaningless, which is why it’s far much more important to present your love than it is to directly state it.

Finally, numerous people think that the concept of love (particularly ai 愛) in Japanese is simply too abstractfor ordinary civilization to be able to grasp. In this sense, love is almost like a poetic best instead ofan actual emotion one can experience.

Nevertheless, Japanese civilization do periodically say, "I love you," in Japanese, so that is possible to straight express your love in Japanese, even if doing for this reason is a lot less common.

4 distinctive Ways come Express your Love in Japanese

In this section, we take a look at four various ways you have the right to say "I love you" in Japanese.


#1: Ai shiteru 愛してる = ns Love you (Deeply)

The word ai shiteru 愛してる is basically the default expression for "I love you" in Japanese. The is additionally the one that arguably come closest in meaning to the English expression "I love you."The character愛ai literally translates to "love," commonly with the connotation the romantic love.

Of every the methods you can express her love in Japanese, ai shiteru isby farthe heaviest, many deeply felt way of law so. In fact, ns would also translate the wordmore closely to something choose "I love friend deeply" or "I am deeply in love v you."That’s how expressive this one indigenous is!

Because that its heartfelt connotations—and because Japanese culture dictates the love should be expressed through actions and gestures rather than verbally with words—ai shiteru is hardly ever said aloud.

Normally, the word is provided only in between serious lifelong lovers or once confessing your love because that someone for the first time. Even in these cases, however, you"ll want to be cautious not come overuse the word. It’s important not uncommon for married couples to never say, "Ai shiteru,"throughout their whole marriage!

Despite its weighty implications, you"ll regularly seeai shiteruused in media, such together TV dramas and also pop songs, for dramatic effect.


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

Note that the second syllable (shee) is a lot shorter than the looks and also sounds much much more like just a rapid "sh" sound. This method that the entire word sounds much more like three syllables.

In addition, perform not pronounce the "roo" sound together you would an English "r." The Japanese "r" sound is more of a mix of the English "d," "r," and "l" sounds, comparable to the method we pronounce the "d" sound in the word"ladder."

The adhering to YouTube video explains how to pronounceai shiteru:

UsageMost human being simply say, "Ai shiteru," but you could likewise say, "Ai shiteru yo愛してるよ," which converts to something an ext along the lines of "I love you, friend know." The yo finishing adds emphasis and also makes it a little much more casual.Ai shiteru is a casual, to reduce form of the word ai shiteiru 愛している (or ai shiteimasu 愛しています), yet neither the these creates is offered often due to the fact that they’re both more formal and sound less organic when expressing her love in Japanese.

#2: Suki da 好きだ = I prefer You

The gender-neutral expression suki da 好きだ is supplied a lot more commonly thanai shiteru. This expression literally equates to"I like you," however it can have more heavier implications depending upon the context, the person, and the way it’s said. As a result,it’s feasible for a expression as an easy as suki da to typical "I love you" or something closer to the English expression (though not as deep together ai shiteru).

Generally speaking, suki da (or the much more formal sport suki desu 好きです) is used to confess to somebody that you prefer them (and desire to date them). because that example, if you have a friend you’d really choose to date, you might say, "Suki da yo," come let them know you"re interested in lock (I explain the use of yo below in detail below).

Because of the romantic connotations the saying, "Suki da," come someone, youshouldn"t to speak this to a completely platonic friend or acquaintance,as it could imply you’d prefer to take your partnership to the next level. However, if you were to say, "Suki da," to your romantic partner, this could very well be translated as "I love you," regardless of the fact it literally means "I choose you," particularly if it"s offered in a an ext serious,heartfelt way.

Ultimately, it’s up to the two world in the instance in whichsuki da is being stated to analyze its meaning.


Suki da is pronounced much like exactly how it looks: soo-KEE-dah. However, keep in mind that the "u" sound ~ the initial "s" is very, an extremely subtle—so lot so that it’s often dropped completely, making the word sound much more like the English word"ski" through a "dah" tagged top top the end.

UsageAs stated above, there space a couple of variations of suki da, consisting of suki da yo 好きだよ and also suki yo 好きよ. The previous is a much more masculine and much more casual method of expressing your love because that or interest in someone, vice versa, the last one (without the "da") is a very feminine expression.You could also use the phrase, "Suki desu 好きです," i m sorry is merely a more officially way of saying you prefer someone (when command at them).It’s perfectly herbal to use the adjectivesuki(like)to define your basic likes (and dislikes). for instance, you can say to someone, "Neko ga sukiネコが好き," meaning, "I favor cats." There"s no implication here that you"re in love v cats or desire to date animals (which would certainly be cause for concern!).


#3: Daisuki da 大好きだ = ns Really like You

This next means to say, "I love you," in Japanese is pretty comparable to the one we looked at above; the only difference is the enhancement of the character dai 大, meaning "big" or, in this case, "really (like)." since of the existence ofdai,daisuki daisa tiny stronger and more direct thansuki da.

By speak the phrase,"Daisuki da (yo)," come someone,you"re essentially saying, "I really choose you," "I choose you a lot," or "I really like being v you."

But, as we discussed over with the adjective suki, daisuki dacan likewise mean something deeper than simply "like"andcould it is in implied to typical something closer to the English expression "I love you" depending upon both the context and person.


Daisuki da is pronounced the exact same as suki da above, only this time you will do it be adding the syllable dai prior to it, i beg your pardon sounds virtually identical come the English indigenous "die" / "dye." for this reason the together is essentially DYE-ski-dah. Be certain to put much more emphasis on the initial rate dai.

UsageLike suki da, there room some sports ofdaisuki da:daisuki da yo 大好きだよ and daisuki yo 大好きよ.The former is a an ext masculine and more casual means of saying the you (really) favor and/or love someone, conversely, the latter (without the "da") is an ext feminine.The expression daisuki da or daisuki is not limited to romantic understanding or people and also can be provided to refer your enthusiasm for points such as food, objects, animals, activities, sports, etc. Because that instance, you can say, "Ryokō daisuki 旅行大好き," an interpretation "I really favor traveling" or "I love traveling."

#4: Suki yanen 好きやねん = I like Ya

This final means you have the right to say, "Ilike you/I love you," in Japanese is fun and slangy. The expression suki yanen 好きやねん, which translates approximately into something like "I favor ya!" isfrom the Kansai, or Osakan, dialect in Japanese, i beg your pardon is well-known for being bubbly, direct, and a tiny goofy.

Like the phrases suki da and daisuki dawe defined above, you should only say, "Suki yanen," to who you’re romantically interested in or want to date; however, this expression is definitely less serious and also therefore makes because that a much more lighthearted means of expressing your feelings for someone.


The joint of suki yanen is nice much exactly how it looks, other than with the suki component sounding more like the English "ski" (as explained above). Yanen is express yah-nen.

UsageIf the person you’re interested in is indigenous Osaka or the Kansai region in general, the a safe bet to use the phrase suki yanen, particularly if you’d quite express her feelings in a less serious way.Suki yanen is likewise the brand name of a renowned ramen in Japan, for this reason be mindful that if who is using this phrase, they might be talking about a type of noodle—not confessing their love for you!


4 necessary Tips because that Saying, "I Love You," in Japanese

Now the we’ve gone end the four main ways you have the right to say, "I love you," in Japanese, that time to give yousome vital tips on just how to naturally express her love inthis impressive language.

#1: once in Doubt, usage Suki da

Even though ai shiteru is arguably the word that is most comparable to the English phrase "I love you," that rarely, if ever, stated in Japanese come someone and isn’t used on a casual, daily basis.

This is why, in general, if you’re hope to express your love or romantic interest in someone, it’s finest to go v either suki da or daisuki da,since this phrases are used a lot more often and entail a selection of emotions, native a tiny crush to a big, passionate love for someone.

So if you’re ever in doubt, usage a sports of suki da—and usage ai shiteru sparinglyor no at all.

#2: Err ~ above Casual

Japanesediffers from English in that it has several levels of formality you can use depending on the situation, the speaker, and also the listener.

When saying, "I love you," in Japanese, you’ll most likely be saying it to who you understand pretty well, so it provides sense come stick v the casual forms of the words above (all words space written in their casual forms already).

You’ll usually want to stop using verbs in your masu ます form.It’s far an ext natural come say, "Ai shiteru," 보다 it is tosay, "Ai shiteimasu," orthe slightly much more formal variation of "I love you." The just time you might use this type would be as soon as you’reasking someone to get married you.

#3: nothing Worry about Pronouns

If you’re brand-new to Japanese, you might be confused by the paragraph above, i m sorry don"t contain any type of subjects, objects, or pronouns in them. The reason for this is that subjects and also often objects are generally implied in the Japanese language.As a result, you don’t commonly need to specify whom you love. As lengthy as you looking in ~ the person and saying the phrase directly, your intentions will be clear.

Even despite Google interpret would literally analyze the English phrase, "I love you" together "Watashi wa anata o ai shiteimasu私はあなたを愛しています," inside watashi method "I" and also anata way "you," this is a very stiff, cluttered means of expressing her love in Japanese.

When the comes down to it, just emphasis on the verbs/adjectives, as these are what matter the most!

#4: learn to embrace Silence

As a final tip, remember the in Japanese culture—specifically as soon as it comes to expressing feelings of love in Japanese—silence isn’t always bad. Often, it’s much more natural than saying, "I love you."

If you’re the shy type and don’t like the idea of heralding your love so directly, you mightbe more successfulat reflecting your emotions through charitable, romantic, and also thoughtful actions. This is a nice "Japanese" way of to express love, for this reason it’s definitely not abnormal.

On a similar note, if girlfriend tell her Japanese partner you love them and also they nothing respond at every or merely say, "Thank you," don’t take the lack of an "I love you, too" personally. quiet doesn"t necessarily typical they nothing love you back—just that saying "I love you" could not actually be the most natural actionfor them to take.

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