WHILE the German language may not flow off your tongue like, say, Spanish or French might, you can nevertheless delight your fraulein by whispering sweet nothings into her ear. And what better phrase to start with than those three little words?

How do you say I love you in German?

Ich liebe dich.


Ich (pronounced ikh or ish; it varies by region) means I. Liebe (pronounced leeb-uh) means love. Dich (pronounced dikh or dish) means you.

The pronunciation ‘ikh’ is difficult to transcribe. It’s not like a hard ‘k’ sound at all, but more like a harsh exhalation with the slightest hint of ‘k’. It is similar to the way the ‘loch’ is said by someone from Scotland. Or say the English word ‘here’ or ‘huge’ – the sound of the ‘h’ when you pronounce those words is very close to the way ‘ch’ is pronounced in German.

I love you in German
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Pet names are commonly used by the majority of Germans. Now that you have learned how to say I love you in German, you can easily add a term of endearment to the foreign phrase. The one that is perhaps the most widely used is Schatz, the German word for treasure. Also popular is Mausi, which means little mouse. Others you can try are Engel (angel), Liebling (darling or beloved), Hasi (bunny), Kuschelbär (huggy bear), Süße (sweetie), Spatzi (little sparrow) and Schneckchen (little snail).

Little snail?

On second thought, maybe it’s best to keep it simple, after all! You can’t go wrong with Ich liebe dich.

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