I Love You

What phrase comes before two people feel this or want to say it? Does "I like you" suffice, or is there something more meaningful that can express pre-love?

Fair Finley is not in love at the end of "Redwoodian." But it's as if love is calling, on some distant phone, down a long hallway, on another floor, and the hotel heiress can hear the faintest ffring-ffring, ffring-ffring, ffring-ffring.  

wealhtheow: Know where this photo was taken?


bess said...

This photo is terrific!

In Italian there's a phrase "ti voglio bene" which means, literally, something like, "I wish you well" but is used like "I love you". "Ti amo", the literal "I love you", has very strong, binding connotations and is used sparingly. Our protective Italian teacher in college told our all-female class that we should most definitely not say "ti amo" to any boys we met in Italy.

The idea of different levels of "I love you" really appeals to me. Sometimes you're not ready for the big one or don't take it lightly but you more than "like" a person. There's always the middle school standby of telling someone that you like, like them.

bess said...

Also, my knowledge of Italian is a little dusty so if I got that wrong, please correct me!

Chiara said...

Jumping in here to say yes, "Ti voglio bene" is a lesser version of "Ti amo". And yes, it would literally mean "I wish you well" though it's never used in that sense but rather used as "I love you" with a not so strong connotation and it's also a bit sweeter, as "I like you" I guess but maybe with a bit more to it?
Friends often use it among each other as well, as do family members but it can also be used among lovers substituting "Ti amo", simply making it a bit sweeter. "Ti amo" is normally only used between lovers, you wouldn't see friends use it among each other.

It's funny, I just realized how I say "I love you" to my English speaking friends but would never say "Ti amo" to my Italian friends because that would just be weird. Funny how things can be so different between different languages and cultures. I'm a sucker for these kind of things :)

Random but Bess, did you take Italian in college?

And to make my comment more related to the actual blog post, that photo is lovely!

bess said...

Chiara, I did take it in college, just two years but one of them was spent in Florence so I got a pretty quick immersion into the language. How about you? I noticed that your name is Italian.

Chiara said...

Yes my name is Italian but that's just a funny coincidence. I'm only Italian in my heart ;) One of my minors was Italian and my boyfriend is Italian. I also studied there for half a year and generally spend a lot of time in Italy. Being there is the best way to learn huh? I learned so much more actually being there than in class. Awesome you spent a year in Florence, it's not my absolute favorite Italian city but it sure is beautiful and Tuscany is so beautiful, one of my favorite regions in Italy. I can imagine though that if you're not constantly exposed to the language anymore that it gets a bit dusty. Do you visit Italy regularly still?

Chiara said...

I was just wondering about other languages as well and I realized that in German there is also the "Ich liebe dich" which is "I love you" and has a quite strong notation but there's also "Ich habe dich lieb" or "Hab dich lieb" in short, which is more in the line of "Ti voglio bene" (using the Italian phrase here because there's not really an equivalent one in English because "I like you" just doesn't work in the same way). "Ich habe dich lieb" is something friends also use among each other but it can also be used between lovers.

In Dutch there's the normal "I love you", which would be "Ik hou van jou" but again it's not something friends would say to each other (however, family members would maybe use it but not so often either) en then there's "Ik heb je lief" which is literally like the German "Ich habe dich lieb" but it's not something friends would ever say to each other. It's just a less strong "I love you". At the moment I can't think of any other phrase that would be the same like "Ti voglio tanto bene" or "Ich habe dich lieb", which is quite funny because Dutch and German are so heavily related.

I find it insanely interesting that in English "I love you" can be such a heavy expression when it's used among a couple but how friends also use it to express their feelings for each other whereas in German and Italian there exists phrases for that purpose.

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded tangent I went on here. Languages are a passion of mine and I can get a bit too excited over these things, haha. I'm quite tempted to go around asking various people about other languages and these kind of phrases now.

Erika said...

Chiara I think this is terribly interesting and I am going to share it with my friends for a conversation topic. It is strange that in english the phrase 'I love you' can be used so very broadly!

bess said...

Being Italian at heart counts in my book! Living there definitely forced me to learn a million times faster. I agree that it's the best way to learn though I'm sure having an italian boyfriend isn't too shabby either. I envy your frequent visits, I just made my first trip back after many years this summer. It was my boyfriend's first visit there so it was great to show him all the places I used to go. What are your favorite cities and towns? I've traveled the country a little bit but there are still so many places I want to see.

wealhtheow said...

I told my husband I loved him maybe ten days after I first met him. I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with him within 2.5 weeks. That was 15 years ago.

Chiara said...

Erika: Glad you think so :

I continued my investigation and so far I found out that in Swedish there's only one phrase "Jag älskar dig" which means "I love you" and it's definitely only used among lovers. I'll try to ask as many people as possible about different languages.

Bess: I'd like to think it counts in my book as well, hehe! Nope, a boyfriend really helps as well but it was actually spending more time there that taught me the most :) Aaaw, great that you finally got to go back! I can imagine how much fun it must have been showing him everything. I sometimes tend to forget that not everybody can travel there (or other European countries) so easily but as I live in The Netherlands it's obviously not that far of a distance for me. I love Milan because it's so underratedly beautiful in a way and I really like the vibe of the city and the mix of old and modern. Rome is another favorite of mine, I fell in love with it at 17 when we went on a school trip and I never fell out of love with it. The whole of Tuscany is beautiful and I love all those small towns and Siena! My boyfriend is from Puglia, which is a wonderful region, so beautiful and different from the north. Umbria and Emiligia-Romagna are great as well, Bologna is beautiful! Genova as well and the region surrounding it. So many wonderful places everywhere ;) What are your favorite places?

Wealhtheow: If the heart knows, the heart knows huh? :)

Wilfair Book said...

I might pull this conversation out for its own post, to make sure people are seeing it. It's that fascinating and I've learned a lot. Anyone object?

wealhtheow: I love this story! Did you meet in LA, btw? Isn't your husband from here or the OC?

bess said...

Chiara- my favorite places are Florence, Bologna, Verona, San Gimingiano and Vulcano. I also really loved Venice on this last trip, it's just such a strange place.

Chiara said...

Bess, Verona is lovely as well yes! Been there twice for concerts at the Arena, quite the experience because it's such a magical place. Venice is one of the few major cities/places I haven't been to yet, someday I will :) Speaking of Italy, I saw To Rome With Love tonight and while I'm not sure what to make of the movie it was great to see all these images of Rome and some of its surroundings.

I got more information about the "I love you" thing. I asked my Spanish friend and she told me that in Spanish there are two phrases to say "I love you": "Te amo" and "Te quiero" She said that both have the same meaning and can be used for both friends, family and lovers but it is more common with family and lovers than with friends. She happens to be Catalan so I asked her about that as well. Catalan only has one phrase "T'estimo" which is also used between lover, family and friends but it's not really common to use the phrase with family or friends. I find the latter really interesting because Catalonia is a part of Spain. Side note, "T'estimo" reminds of the Italian "Ti simo" which basically means "I appreciate/respect you".

I'm coming to the conclusion that there is probably no rule or connection to be found between various languages but I'll keep on asking people when I get the chance and in the meantime I remain amazed about the fact that "I love you" can be used so loosely in English with friends while it seems different in other languages so far.

Wilfair Book said...

T'estimo is so pretty; again, there's not really an equivalent in English, is there? I actually like when people reach out and say things that could be come across a little awkwardly, like "I appreciate you"; but people tend to keep the endearments for those they know well. That's too bad, I think; I like when acquaintances are less formal with each other.

I can't tell you how interesting this all was, Chiara -- I'm glad you were able to speak so thoroughly to the topic! So if I said to you, "Ti simo," for enlightening me, would that work? :)

Chiara said...

Romance languages are so pretty! Some a bit more than others.

I'm glad you enjoyed it all! When it comes to languages I can get a bit crazy sometimes...

I just realized I wrote "simo"! It's actually "stimo", oops! Yes, it would work indeed if you'd say that :)

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