Purple Solle (purple_solle) wrote in linguaphiles,
Purple Solle

"To love" without love

In Flemish, a common phrase for "I love you" is "ik zie je graag" or "ik zie u graag" - literally, "I enjoy seeing you".

It actually took me a while to realize that the Dutch version, "ik hou van je" (or to be grammatically correct "ik houd van jou"), does not include the word for "love" either. "Houden van [something]" means "to love something", but the Dutch word for "love" is "liefde". "Houden" means "to hold", "van" means "of" or "from".

There is the phrase "ik heb je lief", but it translates better to "I hold you dear"; used almost exclusively in poetry and lyrics (though this may depend on which variant of Dutch you speak). I suppose this is a clear link for the use of the verb "to hold"... but it's definitely not the most commonly used phrase to express the feeling. "Ik vind je lief" just translates to "I think you're sweet". (lit. "I find you sweet".)

In which languages do you say "I love you" without using a word for "love"?

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