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The Language of Love

The language of love

Translation is not only for business, it is an important part of all communication. With that in mind and Valentine’s Day on the horizon, Word Geek is looking at the language of love across the world.


A festival of romance


Valentine’s Day, as the celebration of love that we recognise today, dates back to the Middle Ages and is based on the story of Saint Valentine, a 3rd century Roman saint. Across the world, Valentine’s Day events and activities showcase the power of love.

In the Philippines, for example, thousands of couples participate in mass weddings with everything – including the food, the venue and sometimes even the gifts – provided by the local government.

In the USA, the National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $27.4 billion on gifts and cards for their significant other, including the traditional red roses and chocolates.

As the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, Ghana has declared February 14th to be National Chocolate Day to increase sales, tourism and, more unusually, to dissuade young people from having sex, by suggesting chocolate gifts as an alternative.

If you were to be in South Africa on Valentine’s Day, you would see women with the names of their romantic crush pinned to the sleeve of their shirt. It’s a tradition that is believed to be a modern adaptation of the ancient Roman rite of Lupercalia, which involved naked men chasing women in the street.

And in Denmark, lovers and friends exchange snowdrops. Men also write gaekkebrev, elaborate notes on cut-out paper with a humorous message, signed only by a series of anonymous dots. If his love figures out who sent the card they will receive an Easter egg later in the Spring.


Saying I love you


Three simple words can still mean so much. Here’s our quick guide to getting it right whatever the language:


   • Arabic: أنا أحبك (Ana uhibbuka)

   • Chinese (Mandarin): 我爱你 (Wo ai ni)

   • Danish: Jeg elsker dig

   • Dutch: Ik hou van jou

Finnish: Minä rakastan sinua

   • French: Je t’aime

   • German: Ich liebe dich

   • Turkish: Seni seviyorum

Punjabi: ਮੈਨੂੰ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਲ ਪਿਆਰ ਹੈ (Mainu tere naal piyar hai)

 Japanese: 愛してる (Aishiteru)

   • Slovakian: Ľúbim ťa

   • Spanish: Te amo

   • Norwegian: Jeg elsker deg


Love may be the same across the world, but how it is expressed can definitely be different. At The Language Factory we understand the value of cultural and regional norms to communicate properly In both a business and personal context.

Localisation is an important tool to make sure a service or product offering resonates in different international markets whatever the industry sector, from market research to healthcare, marketing to travel and HR.

Contact us today to find out more about our localisation service.


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