#2 Inflation of the Word “Love?”—「愛」を言葉にする国としない国



As I grew up watching American TV shows, I have always wondered, “Why American people always say ‘I love you’ before ending their phone calls??” It is just something we never do in Japan. “I love you” in Japanese (Aishiteru) sounds too serious and embarrassing to say on a daily basis. Girls in Japan say “I really like you!” (Daisuki) occasionally, and I would say that can be the equivalent to saying “I love you” in the US.


Spending my years in an American college, I realized the word Love here has a larger range of meaning than the word Love (愛 ai) used in Japan. Among friends, we say “I love you” to each other on daily basis. This is one way to show our appreciation. The feeling that “I am so thankful for having you in my life.” or “Your existence brightens up my days, and I am grateful for that.” is, I think, definitely included to the word Love we use in the states. No wonder people in America say “I love you” often since almost everybody has that feeling of appreciation towards their family, pets, and friends.


In Japan, we do not say those expressions on a daily basis, but we do show our appreciation to people by giving small gifts. For example, if you go on a vacation, it is a social norm to buy nice snacks there and hand them out to your co-workers once you come back to your workplace. (It is called Omiyage, meaning souvenir in Japanese.) You will also see this phenomenon in schools on Valentines’ day. Girls in secondary schools in Japan bake tons of cookies and cupcakes to give those to their friends, classmates, club members, and teachers. Giving small gift is another way of saying “Thank you for being a part of my life.” or “Thank you for supporting me every day.” in Japanese culture. Thus, I think that act is almost equivalent to saying “I love you” to the people around you in the US.


In any case, it is nice to have a day that reminds us of appreciating people you have in your life. And it means, at the same time, there are always people who feel thankful for having met you. :)



日本で普通に生活していて「愛してる」と言い合う光景は滅多に見ないことですし。日本の女の子たちが言う「大好き!」がアメリカの「I love you」にあたるのかなあ…。なんて思ったり。


アメリカの大学で何年か生活して、友達同士で「I love you」と言い合うのは全然普通のことになりました。











Thank you for reading! See you soon.❤️

にほんブログ村 海外生活ブログ 海外留学(アメリカ・カナダ)へ

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