Say ‘I love you' all around the world

Say ‘I love you' all around the world

Whether you’re declaring it for the first time or renewing the vow, master the language of love with these seven ways to say ‘I love you…’

If you're jetting off on a romantic break, or on the honeymoon of a lifetime, make sure you're armed with the linguistic essentials to make the most of your journey. Get proficient in the language of love before you embark and set your partner swooning, whether you're enjoying a timeless romantic retreat, or a more off-piste amorous adventure.

Here's a quick lesson in how to say 'I love you' in seven different languages.
(Words Morwenna Evans; Main image Michael L Baird)


1. French: "Je t'aime"

Let's start with the archetypal language of love: French. Whisper sweet nothings into your lover's ear with a simple "Je t'aime". If you're feeling particularly loved up, pop a 'darling' at the end of your romantic declaration. Say "mon chéri" to the man in your life or "ma chérie" to the woman you adore.

Love on location: Once you've mastered your French phrase, head to Paris, one of the most romantic cities in the world, to put your new skills to good use. Check out our 10 Romantic things to do in Paris for inspiration, and let those honeyed phrases flow.

2. Italian: 'Ti Amo'

Follow the example of Romeo and Juliet and declare your love in Italian. To keep it simple, "Ti Amo" is the phrase you're after. But if you can't fight the urge to say, "My darling, I love you!" try "Cara mia, ti voglio bene!"

Love on location: Once you have mastered your artful adulations, Italy has many romantic hideaways. Take a trip to Venice and wile away the afternoon on a gondola, visit the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed pair in Verona, soak up the magic of the Eternal City Rome, or for something more unusual try historic Siena or Tuscany's hill towns.

3. Spanish - "Te amo" (Catalan - "T'estimo")

To impress that special someone in Spanish, get to grips with the phrase "Te amo". "Te quiero" also implies love, care and affection, but for a declaration reserved exclusively to your lover, it's "Te amo" all the way. If you find yourself in a Catalan speaking area of Spain (in the north), then practice the phrase "T'estimo" to tell your partner how you feel.

Love on location: Having acquired some Spanish sweet talk, take a trip to the fiery country for a passionate escape. Practice your Spanish accent in the enticing city Seville. Embrace the fairytale atmosphere in the Royal Palace of Seville, or unwind on the golden beaches of the Costa de la Luz.

See how your grasp of Catalan goes down and head to the vibrant city of Barcelona. We've found plenty of romantic things to do in Barcelona - perhaps the perfect spot take in the entire city, and say those magic words, is from La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi's unfinished cathedral).


4. Thailand "pom/chan rak khun"

Thailand is the perfect place to say I love you, and this could be the icing on your romantic Thai escape! Saying that key phrase is a little easier than reading the written form but what you say depends onyour gender. "I love you" is "pom/chan rak khun"; for men 'I' = pom, for women 'I' = chan.

Love on location: Practice your Thai on the beautiful island of Koh Chang. Glittering azure seas, a kaleidoscopic array of wildlife and a slow tranquil pace of life, makes this Thai island a peerless paradisiacal retreat.

5. Swahili - "Naku Penda"

Swahili is spoken in all over East Africa, so to let romance blossom in the verdant grasslands and smouldering savannah while you're on safari, "Naku Penda" are the words your need.

We couldn't find a video for this one, but have a great series of mp3 podcasts and iPhone apps - there are over 25 languages, including a Swahili edition so you can get practising.

Love on location: Romantic enough for a royal proposal (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got engaged while on safari in Kenya in 2010), there's no-where quite like Kenya. Spot Africa's Big Five while on safari in land, hike the trails of Mount Kenya, relax on pristine beaches and sip sundowners watching the sunset wherever you are.

6. Norwegian - "Jeg elkser deg"

Say "I love you" under the sparkle of the Northern Lights in Norway this year. Create your own magic moment in Norwegian by saying "Jeg elsker deg."

Love on location: For one of the best chances to see the finest light show in the world, head up to the Lofoten Islands. Watch the night sky come alive as you practice your Norwegian. If you're feeling energetic embark, depending on the season (the aurora can be seen from mid-autumn to late spring, so it doesn't have to be snowy…), there are some spectacular hiking and ski trails, or explore by bikes or snowmobile.

For other places to marvel at the Northern Lights, check out our guide.

7. Mandarin - "wǒ ài nǐ"

For an oriental slice of romance, learn how to tell your other half you love them in Mandarin. "Wǒ ài nǐ" is the way to convey your affection. Mandarin is a tonal language, so listen carefully.

Love on location: Once you are accomplished in the idiosyncrasies of Mandarin endearment, why not put your new lingo to use by visiting the captivating capital Beijing. Visit in late spring or early autumn to avoid the worst of the heat, cold and smog. Here are 8 romantic things to do in Beijing; our favourites are exploring Ritan Park at sunrise to discover for a taste of Beijing's bustle, and taking in the tranquillity of Kunming Lake (crossing the picturesque 17 arc bridge) at The Summer Palace in Beijing's north-east Haidan district.

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