The time of year is upon us when hearts and roses and all things red appear in our shops and in our vocabulary, especially here in the UK. We spoke to members of our international team to find out how love is expressed in other languages around the world.
English has no shortage of love-filled phrases and the language is littered with idioms to help people express how they feel:
Around February 14th, you may be head over heels for someone because they have caught your eye and you have completely fallen in love with them. In Spanish, it can be love at first sight (Ser un flechazo) and if so, in French, living on love and fresh water (Vivre d'amour et d'eau fraîche) would be enough for you to survive. In Flemish, you might get butterflies in your tummy (Vlinders in de buik hebben) when you encounter the person that you are in love with and if it all gets too much, in German, you may be thinking Love! Love! Let me go! (Liebe! Liebe! Lass mich los!)
In the end, you might have to surrender yourself to your fate as, in Czech, every fight with love is lost before it starts (Kažný boj s láskou je předem prohraný).
Once you have accepted that your heart belongs to someone, you may not want to look twice at anyone else. In Chinese, you won’t be interested in the rivers and hills after you have seen the magnificent ocean and mountain (曾经沧海难为水，除却巫山不是云 ).
Happily secluded in lover’s paradise, you’ll only have eyes for each other and daily concerns will melt away. In Brazilian Portuguese, you’ll love one another as if tomorrow doesn’t exist (É preciso amar as pessoas como se não houvesse amanhã).
Butterflies and water alone may be the flutters of the young but, in Dutch, falling in love at an older age is often more intense because when an old barn catches fire, there’s no putting out the flames (Als een oude schuur brandt, is er geen blussen aan). However, the course of true love never did run smooth and in European Portuguese you would be advised not to throw rockets before the party has started (Não attires foguetes antes da festa).
We should also spare a thought for those who have not been struck by Cupid's arrow. In French, some people are lucky at cards, but unlucky in love (Heureux au jeu, malheureux en amour) while the Italians are more cautious as they know that love may be blind but bad luck can see very well (L'amore è cieco ma la sfiga ci vede benissimo). That caution in Czech is all the more guarded because often love is like the moon, it starts to wane once it has been full (Láska je jako měsíc. Když doroste, zmenšuje se).
The optimism of the Irish is a relief and comfort as sometimes an ill wind blows fair.
From everyone at GlobaLexicon we hope your St Valentine’s Day is full of love whoever you spend it with and we will be on hand to help with any of your own love language requests.
“A heart to love, and in that heart, Courage to make’s love known”