UNLIKE many, if not most, other languages, how do you say I love you in Japanese is not an easy question to answer. Culturally, the Japanese are less inclined to say I love you than Westerners. The preference is to show love rather than to verbally express it. Although that is becoming less true of the younger generation, it still would not be surprising to a Japanese person if another Japanese person confessed that they had never uttered the phrase in their entire life!
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But you and me, we are not Japanese, presumably, since we want to learn how to say I love you in Japanese. However, keeping this cultural difference in mind, once you do learn how to say those three little words in this magnificent Eastern tongue do not be surprised if the object of your affection doesn’t reciprocate!
So if you still want to chance it, here goes. One way to say I love you in Japanese, the way with the strongest sentiment attached to it, is aishiteru (pronounced ah-ee-shee-teh-ee-roo). Another way is daisuki desu (pronounced dah-ee-soo-kee-deh-soo), which pretty much translates into I like you a lot. (Note that there is no ‘r’ sound in Japanese, it is pronounced almost like a soft ‘d’. And the syllables ‘ru’ and ‘su’ at the end of the word are hardly pronounced at all. With ‘su’ you sort of have to cut off the sound of the ‘u’ as soon as you pronounce the ‘s’.)
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