In a world where inhabitants speak nearly 7,000 different native tongues, just about 60%, or about 4 billion people, speak at least one of the top 30 languages. People often use online resources for translation, but they do not realize that there is a huge difference between a mechanic translator and a human one.
The nuances of mechanical translation
One thing that automatic translators tend to miss is semantics, or contextual meaning. This means that it is hard to put one term or phrase into proper perspective and point of view using a pre-programmed application. Another issue is syntax, or word order. In many languages, the adjective-noun pairing is switched around to noun-adjective. These are often, literally, lost in translation when translation software gets involved. One final issue is cultural sensitivity. In some countries, some words are harsher than others, no matter what their meanings are. Often, the word selection is swapped because of the energy some words convey in regular conversation. For example, a Spanish speaker may prefer to use the term “te amo,” instead of “te quiero” to express love for someone that they are willing to commit to. The term “te quiero” tends to be less binding and is perceived as less dramatic, making “amor,” or love, a major term that is not to be used loosely, or interchangeably.
Love languages? Choose the human factor as your main translation resource. Language is for humans, not for machines. It is what sets us apart from everything else.
So, what is love in different languages?
This list compiles the way in which the word “love” is spoken these top vernaculars. Mandarin Chinese, with 1,051 billion native and Mandarin as a second language speakers, tops the list. This is followed by Hindi, with 490 million, Spanish, with 420 million, and then English and Arabic with well over 300 million users respectively.
1. Mandarin Chinese -爱, or Ài
2. Hindi- मोहब्बत, or mohabbat
3. Spanish- amor
4. English- love
5. Arabic- حب
6. Portuguese- amor
7. Bengali- ভালবাসা, or Bhālabāsā
8. Russian- люблю, or lyublyu
9. Japanese-愛, or Ai
10. German- liebe
11. Punjabi-ਪਸੰਦ ਹੈ, or Pasada hai
12. Javanese- tresna
13. Korean-애정, or aejeong
14. Vietnamese- yêu
15. Telugu - ప్రేమ, or prēma
16. Marathi-प्रेम, or prēma
17. Tamil- அன்பு, or Anpu
18. French- amour
19. Urdu - محبت
20. Italian- amore
21. Turkish- Aşk
22. Persian- عشق
23. Guajarati- પ્રેમ, or prēma
24. Polish- miłość
25. Ukrainian- любов, or lyubov
26. Malayalam- സ്നേഹം, or snēhaṁ
27. Kannada- ಪ್ರೀತಿ, or Prīti
28. Oriya- ପ୍ରେମ , or prēma
29. Burmese- ချစ်ခြင်းမေတ္တာ, or hkyithkyinnmayttar
30. Thai- ความรัก, or Khwām rạk
This list is compiled based on the number of inhabitants of the country that are native communicators in the language. It is also based on the number of people who use these languages as their second, official ones. No further need to ask what is love in different languages anymore, especially in the most popular ones.
Notice that, in the Oriya, Guajarati, Marathi, and Telugu languages, the word “prēma” is the term use for “love.” However, the writing system is different in each of the languages, so the symbols differ from one to another. These are the things that humans can catch up on, and machines cannot. Definitely, there is a benefit to human translations!
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