January 19th, 2001

i'm good!


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...
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