Are you familiar with Gary Chapman’s words of affirmation love language work? Chapman explains that there are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts and touch. From a translation perspective, words of affirmation obviously interest me, so let’s take a quick look at what they are and then enjoy some examples from around the world.
Words of affirmation are words that affirm your love and appreciation for another person, whether your significant other, child or anyone else. They are positive words that you use to uplift the listener and show how much you value them.
It’s not quite as simple as picking a few nice words and using them. Words of affirmation need to be spoken with sincerity. They need to reflect genuine love, respect and empathy. You can write them down or say them aloud, either in private or in front of others.
Before we delve into different languages, let me provide a few examples of words of affirmation in English.
“I love you”
“I appreciate you”
“I am proud of you for xxx”
“I value that you do xxx”
“I’m listening to you”
“I believe in you”
“I trust you”
These are some obvious words of affirmation examples, but affirmation takes many forms, so if you’re looking to uplift those you love, it’s worth taking the time to think why you value and appreciate them so dearly, and then how best to express that.
Even a single word of affirmation can provide a boost but when it comes to using love language words of affirmation effectively, it’s all about communicating positively consistently. It’s also a good idea to vary your approach, to really demonstrate how much you care and that you’re putting thought into it.
And this is where words of affirmation from around the world come into play. Using affirmation love language doesn’t have to mean sticking solely to your native tongue. What about learning to say “I love you” in 10 languages or “You’re so special to me” in the language of a country where you enjoyed a romantic holiday together? Whether you choose to use the words of affirmation love language in spoken or written form, bringing other languages into play can be a lovely gesture.
According to Gary Chapman words of affirmation can take many forms, so let’s look at a few that are used around the globe.
“Je t’aime” is a phrase that many people know from the movies or the media, or from the famous song by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. It’s the perfect way to step up your word of affirmation and love language efforts if you plan to express yourself in French.
Note that you can also say “je t’adore” to express your love for someone in French, but this would more commonly be used with a close friend rather than a partner.
Italian and French tend to vie for the title of the world’s most romantic language (if you want to know what the world’s sexiest language is, click the link below). If you want to deliver your affirming words in the language of opera and art, you could try saying “Sei così speciale per me” (“You’re so special to me”) to the love of your life.
Read more: What Is the World’s Sexiest Language?
While we’re touring Europe with our love language words of affirmation examples, why not say “Te aprecio”? Similar to the Italian (“ti apprezzo”) as they’re both Romance languages, this Spanish phrase for “I appreciate you” will let your loved one know that you care in style.
If you want to affirm your love in Danish by telling someone you trust them, you’ll need to say “jeg stoler på dig”. Why not tie the verbal affirmation in with the gift love language too and surprise your partner with a Danish pastry when you say it?
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, why not try wrapping your mouth around “Mam szczęście, że jestem z tobą” – the Polish expression for “I’m so lucky to be with you”? And for an added bonus, why not say “Jesteś śliczna” (“You are lovely”) as well?
Let’s venture beyond Europe for a moment. South Africa is many people’s dream holiday destination. If Covid has stopped you from travelling there, you can still delight your partner with words of affirmation meaning “You make my heart sing” from one of the country’s 11 official languages. In Afrikaans, it is “Jy laat my hart sing”.
“Unë të dua” or simply “Të dua” in Albanian is a phrase that conveys plenty of meaning. If you have “I want you” and “I need you” on your mental list of words of affirmation, as well as “I love you”, then this single phrase can cover the lot.
If you’re planning on writing down your affirmation word rather than saying it out loud, perhaps designing a pretty card that contains a heartfelt message, then the beautiful “ባንተ እተማመናለሁ” (“I believe in you” in Amharic) is absolutely perfect.
While we’re on the subject of written words of affirmation, “আমি একসাথে আমাদের জীবন ভালোবাসি” (“Āmi ēkasāthē āmādēra jībana bhālōbāsi”) is how to say “I love our life together” in Bengali. Put some time into recreating the beautiful script and you’re bound to give your loved one a warm glow inside.
If you would rather affirm your love out loud, then why not practice saying “You’re the best” in Igbo? Saying “Ị bụ ọkachamma” might feel like a mouthful at first, but after a couple of attempts it should trip off the tongue easily.
Would you like your words of affirmation to bring to mind paradise-like beaches, sunshine and the sound of the gently lapping ocean? If so, Samoan is the language you need: “Ou te matua mitamita lava ia te oe” is the way to say “I’m so proud of you” in Samoa.
On the subject of beautiful places, perhaps you could choose to deliver your words of affirmation in Māori. If so, the phrase you need is “He tino atawhai koe” (“You’re so kind”).
Are you looking to impress as well as affirm? If so, why not learn to say “Менің өмірімде болғаныңыз үшін рахмет” (“Meniñ ömirimde bolğanıñız üşin raxmet” - “Thank you for being in my life”) in Kazakh?
In fact, if you’re looking for a real challenge, why not check out our list of the world’s hardest languages to learn and see if you can learn to say a few words of affirmation in each of them?
If you were wondering how to love someone with words of affirmation in multiple languages, the above should get you started. Of course, this word of affirmation list is far from exhaustive. There are around 6,500 languages in existence today, so learning to say something to affirm your love in each of them would be quite the undertaking. But hopefully this article has given you plenty of ideas to work with.
Are you looking to say more than just a few words of affirmation in a particular language? If so, Tomedes is here to help. Our translators speak 120 languages, so why not rely on our linguistic expertise to deliver the message that’s in your heart and make your loved one feel cherished?