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19 January 2001 @ 03:10 am
It's a word for "love" the Japanese practically never use. Do you know why? It's too strong. Typically, the words suki (like) and daisuki (love) suffice. You only hear aishiteru in songs and anime, for the most part. I use it with my friends, but only because more of them understand that, being exposed to the Japanese language through the afore mentioned forms of Japanese media.

I was discussing this with a friend today, and we were both really impressed by the idea. There truly is no equivilent in the English language. We have words we feel are too strong for disliking something, but no word too strong for loving. People often say the word love is insufficient, and I think it is for that very reason. There is no higher power word for it. To us, the word love has less power, even if it is still a powerful word. Perhaps it is because we've cheapened it to an extent. As Gabe of Penny Arcade once said:

"It is not enough for me to say that I love her. I have used this same word to describe my relationship with milk, my television, and those little bagel things with the pizza inside. So, to use it to describe the immense feelings and emotions that she elicits in me seems wrong...the word love is a mere shadow of the feeling I have...that which casts the shadow is more brilliant and colorful than you can possibly imagine." (P.A. Kara)

Perhaps it is for reasons like this that I am so drawn to the Japanese language. Words that we have to use other words to explain are one word in Japanese. A word for love that is too strong...what a concept...
Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Music: Do As Infinity - Yesterday and Today
char-ka  : shock_rawhavva on January 19th, 2001 05:33 am (UTC)
archmage45archmage45 on January 19th, 2001 07:19 am (UTC)
I have to agree... wow...
Kaysylverice2 on January 20th, 2001 09:33 pm (UTC)
I see and understand your words, but I can also honestly say that I use the word Aishiteru with you and my other friends because that's how I feel. You know me well enough to understand...That's one of the reasons why my feelings for all of my friends are so strong. There is nothing more important than you guys, so I don't feel that there is a need to use suki or daisuki.
Mellenabsentmammoth on January 21st, 2001 07:58 am (UTC)
I know, but...
I totally agree with you m'dear, but still, even then, aishiteru isn't really the right word. It implies a "romantic love". As much as I love you, it's not that kind of love...unless you ask my mother. Then, we're Judeo-Wiccan lesbian lovers ^_~ Thank you for all your love, Katie-chan, it's completely mutual.
Kaysylverice2 on January 21st, 2001 05:14 pm (UTC)
Mepk, that is SO true. Romantic love it usually isn't with you guys. ::grin:: But I still meant what I said, just not in the "romantic love" kind of way.
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on June 19th, 2002 11:07 pm (UTC)
I avoid the English word "love" because I was raised with the concept of a love too strong to be given or spoken of lightly. That would be the Japanese word for it.

The "love" I say to him is as nothing compared to the love I feel for the other one...
ryebread on June 20th, 2002 06:16 am (UTC)

Can also be shortened to ai with a similar meaning, according to my old Japanese teacher (I only took 1 year and it's been quite a while, unfortunately I remember almost nothing of it).

I have a tattoo of it on my chest, inside a tribal sun (signifies a rebirth of sorts, when I came to the realization that a life based on love was the only kind worth living) slightly above my solar plexus, below where the heart chakra is traditionally described as being but in the place I felt was the center of my being.

I've always used ai when describing the love for my fiance, the English language is just completely lacking in that regard.
Mellenabsentmammoth on June 20th, 2002 04:25 pm (UTC)
I use aishiteru with my boyfriend. The only difference, if I recall properly, is that ai is a nominal and aishiteru is a verbal. In Chinese, though, it's just ai (they don't conjugate the same way the Japanese do), and you can say "wo ai ni" which is really a lot of fun to say ^_^
neural network: Aashliana on June 20th, 2002 06:30 am (UTC)
this is awesome. i mean, that the japanese language can be so cool...

i've had the same thoughts with english, though. that's why my bf and i have vowed that we only will say "i lov eyou" when we are really feeling it. if it's over-used it's going to become too common a saying, you know? so if i'm feeling like i REALLY love him and say it, but he's in a quiet mood and knows he loves me but it's not really pushing himn to say it, it's fine and best that i doesn't return the crappy "i love you too" bit. i'm gonna talk to him about this word tho (the japanese one).
Plinko Plonkplinko on June 20th, 2002 06:51 am (UTC)
Perhaps you should invent a new, stronger, taboo word for love. For the English-speaking world.
:: regarder of the cries of the world ::xaotica on June 20th, 2002 05:52 pm (UTC)
totally feelin' ya... i try never to express my emotions for people in terms that the general society uses or terms that i've used before... it just feels so empty.