Address Your Sweetheart in 5 Languages (Audio Included!) - Multilingual Connections

Address Your Sweetheart in 5 Languages (Audio Included!)

image of two people embracing with a sun flare just behind them
Want to stay connected?

We periodically share news and updates around translation, language and culture. Rest assured we’ll never share your contact information with anyone!


In English, we might call someone “the apple of my eye,” “my soulmate,” “my ride or die,” or “bae.” What about in other languages? On the occasion of Valentine’s Day in the United States, we asked our Multilingual team members to share words used to describe one’s sweetheart in Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Turkish (and record their voices pronouncing the words!).  

Arabic

In Arabic, we might say حبيبي (“habibi”), حبيب قلبي – my heart’s love (“habib gelbi”), عمري or حياتي—meaning “my life.” Another phrase is  “يا بعد شبدي”. The word “shabdi” comes from “kabdi” which means “my liver.” Here’s my best explanation: the liver is an important organ and you don’t want to live without it…so people will call their lover “shabdi” (my liver) or say “ya ba’ad shabdi” to mean something like “I can’t live without you/I hope to die before you because you are so essential in my life.”

They also say طوايفي. In colloquial Arabic, it means “my family/ancestors/tribe”–again, people say “ya ba’ad To-why-a-fee” to mean “I hope to die before you.” This is definitely not an exhaustive list (we love our sweethearts so much that there are too many names to list here!)

 

Japanese

In short, the Japanese language doesn’t have a word for “sweetheart” or “my [anything]”. The word “恋人” (koibito = lover) is a term to express intimate/romantic role of the other person. However, this word is not used to address someone verbally. If people choose to, they might make up their own monikers for their special someone. Those monikers may be the closest way to display their affection. They may say “ソールメイト” (sooru meito = soulmate) but it’s just reading the word (soulmate) in Japanese from the Katakana form which is often used to conveniently manifest non-Japanese words/concepts.

 

Korean

Too many variations to name them all! That said, Koreans have been adopting English words into everyday Korean lexicon to convey these meanings. So, 

  1. Soulmate would be “소울메이트” (literal transliteration of the English word)
  2. Darling would be “달링”
  3. We also say “자기야”—the colloquial expression for both genders that means something like “honey” (I laugh because this word is really hard to pin down the meaning for!).
 

Spanish

Here are a few Spanish words and phrases:

“Mi cielo” (my sky), “Mi osito de peluche” (my teddy bear), “Mi amor” (my love), “Mi corazón” (my heart), “Mi vida” (my life).

 

Turkish

In Turkish, we could say:

hayatım (my life), ömrüm (also to mean “my life”—ömür is the total duration of time a person has on earth), canım (my dear), bir tanem / bitanem (my only one), sevgilim (my sweetheart), aşkım (my love), iki gözümün çiçeği (the flower of my two eyes).

At Multilingual Connections, we love what we do. By offering our clients professional translation and transcription services, we are able to help hospitals, educational institutions, large companies, and more bridge culture and language gaps. We also offer key insights to market researchers by conducting in-depth interviews, survey translation, and bilingual moderation.

Our global network of language and culture experts and innovative technology solutions will ensure that your message resonates with your audiences around the world. What’s not to love?


Want to stay connected?

We periodically share news and updates around translation, language and culture. Rest assured we’ll never share your contact information with anyone!