my love in different languages

Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. ?

“My Love” in Different Languages – 77 Weird and Wonderful Romantic Names


Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. ?

Have you ever tried calling your significant other “my love” in other languages? There is no better way to impress them than by giving them a special name from another part of the world.

Around the world and across languages, people express their love in different ways. The ways to say “my love” in other countries can be very imaginative. Sometimes even strange to non-native speakers.

You may be surprised to learn that some terms of endearment in English don't translate well into other languages. Or that some languages use creative terms that outshine our own in romance (at least in their own way).

If you want to surprise your partner, this is the post for you! You can jump to the section of the post that you’re most interested in:

Now let’s learn how to say “my love” in different parts of the world.

How to Say “My Love” in 8 Different Languages

Here’s how you say “my love” in:

  • Spanish – mi amor
  • French – mon amour
  • Italian – amore mio
  • Portuguese – meu amor
  • Chinese (Mandarin) – 我的爱人 (wǒ de àirén)
  • German – meine Geliebte
  • Korean – 내 사랑 (nae sarang)
  • Russian – моя любовь (moya lyubov')

Keep them all at hand with this romantic infographic:

However, these terms are not always the most popular in these languages. Many languages actually prefer (literal) pet names for significant others!

Keep reading to discover even more romantic nicknames coming from all over the world. Including the weirdest ones!

How to Translate “My Love” in Different Languages With Body Part Endearments

In Irish we say mo chuisle, which means “my pulse”. This phrase was famously used in the movie Million Dollar Baby, and is the shortened form of a chuisle mo chroí (“pulse of my heart”).

You can't get more romantic than telling your significant other that they're the life force keeping you on this earth. You can also use mo chroí (“my heart”).

Translations of “my heart” are popular in other languages, like mi corazón in Spanish and mon cœur in French. And the French know what they do when they talk about love.

But there are many other “lovely” body parts that people use to express their feelings. In English we might say sweet cheeks, angel eyes, or baby face. The Spanish also use “angel eyes”: ojos de Ángel.

In Greek they say Μάτια μου (matia mou) or ματάκια μου (matakia mou) for “my little eyes”. This makes sense from an English perspective, since eyes are said to be the windows to the soul.

That said, there are other terms of endearment based on body parts that seem weird when you think about them. Even in English. Is baby face really appropriate for a gorgeous grown-up woman?

Perhaps the most unusual body part pet name of all, to English speakers, is the Swedish sötnos, meaning “sweet nose”.

Common Synonyms of “My Love” in Different Languages: The “Pet” Names

Humans (and their body parts) aren't the only ones who get attention in international terms of endearment. Animals also feature strongly.

Doves are a symbol of peace, so it makes sense that in Russian lovers call each other golubchik (masculine) or golubushka (femenine).

You'll find عيون غزال (ywn ghzal) for “eyes of a gazelle” in Arabic, since their eyes are said to be so hypnotic.

In Brazil a gato or gata (“cat”) is slang for a handsome or pretty person.

Germans also use animal names with their lovers. In German, you'll find Häschen (“little hare”), Bärchen (“little bear”), Mäuschen (“little mouse”), Rehlein (“little deer”), and Spätzchen (“little sparrow”). Animal-related names are so common in German that you'll even see them used as the basis of swear words. My personal favourite pet-name, though, is the hybrid Mausbär (“mouse bear”) which combines the cuteness of both a mouse and a bear for exponential snuggle-factor!

While it may seem weird to call a human a bird, hare, or mouse, the reasoning is of course that each of these are cute little things. You'll notice that the diminutive term “little” comes up a lot (as -lein or -chen in German, and more to come in other languages).

The closest we have to this in English would probably be in British English, where long established partners – or family members – use my duck, duckie or hen as terms of endearment. And of course there's hunny bunny.

The French outdo everyone though by calling their special one ma puce (“my flea”). Similarly, you have Bogárkám (“my little bug”) in Hungarian.

You can't get much smaller than that!

Some Weird Versions of “My Love” in Different Languages

In Persian, people can be so cute that they're smaller than a mouse. So small that you can lovingly say moosh bokhoradet (“may a mouse eat you”).

The Flemish are somewhat more vague: Mijn Bolleke (“my little round thing”). I'm sure it's romantic in its own way. There are other countries that emphasize roundness in their affections, like in Ecuador where you would call your girlfriend gorda (“fat girl”) and boyfriend gordo (“fat boy”).

But can you imagine the meaning behind mijn poepie? It’s a quirky Dutch term meaning “my little poopsie”! There’s also the (hopefully ironic) Polish brzydalu… “Ugly one”! Or even better, in Tibetan you can be nyingdu-la (“most honoured poison of my heart”)!

In Thai, men over 40 may call their wives แม่ยอดชู้ (mae-yod-choo), which literally means “mother with the most paramours”, or แม่เนื้ออุ่น (mae-nua-oun), “mother with warm meat”. Um… thanks hubby, I guess…

The cultural aspect of language is always fascinating, which is why I like that in Japanese, men call the woman they love tamago gata no kao or an “egg with eyes”. While this may not sound appealing, it's a great compliment. In Japan, having an oval, egg-shaped face is seen as very attractive.

Psst… Love is a delicate topic in Japanese culture, so check out this post if you want to get it right.

The Chinese can be much less romantic on the surface, with women calling their men a 笨蛋 (bèndàn) or “dumb egg”. It's said like an insult, but everyone knows that it's in jest.

For women, use 沉鱼落雁 (chényú luòyàn), which literally means “diving fish, swooping geese'. It may sound nonsensical, but it's based on the stories of the most beautiful women in Chinese history, Xi Shi and Wang Zhaojun. They were so beautiful that they made fishes and geese forget to function. That's quite a feat!

Try calling your loved one diving fish, swooping geese, and don’t forget to explain the concept!

English: Sweet Pea – and More Names from the Kitchen and Garden

Saying “my love” sometimes isn’t enough. Many languages spice it up with names inspired by food. The theme makes sense to me: you can't live without food.

In English we say sweet pea, peaches, pumpkin, muffin, cupcake, sugar and of course sweetie-pie_ and cutie-pie_…

The French like mon chou or mon petit chou. It’s not sure where the expression comes from, but it has two possible explanations. Chou is literally “cabbage” in French, but a chou a la creme is a “cream puff”. So it’s your choice: would you use it as a fun “my little cabbage” or a sweet “my little cream puff”? “My little cabbage” seems almost romantic.

Indonesians say buah hatiku (“fruit of my heart”), while Italians can be a fragolina (“little strawberry”). In Polish, you can be a kruszynko (“breadcrumb”).

Brazilians say chuchuzinho. It is actually a rather bland “chayote squash”, but it sounds similar to the French word for cabbage, so they rolled with it.

In Taiwan you may hear lovers calling one another 小蜜糖 (xiǎo mì táng), which means “little honey”. 小甜心 (xiǎo tiánxīn), or “little sugar”, is also popular. How sweet!

In Spain a media naranja is your “other half”. It literally means “half of an orange”! Spanish-speaking people outdo themselves when they talk about love.

Spanish: My little heaven, mi cielito – Inspirations from the Natural World

The wonders of the world around us are another big inspiration for the stuff love poems are made of.

You'll hear mi cielito in Spanish, for “my little sky” or “my little heaven”, as well as mi sol (my sun).

In Danish they have min guldklump, meaning “my gold nugget”. Meanwhile, “treasure” is skat *in Danish and *tesoro in Spanish and Italian. Tesoro is one of Italy’s favourite terms to express love.

In English, we have my sunshine, my star, my flower, and *_my petal_ *. The last one is used mainly in the UK and Ireland.

The amusing sounding German Schnuckiputzi is related to the adjectives “schnuckelig” and “putzig”, which both mean “cute” and “sweet”.

Cariad *is Welsh for “sweetheart” or “love”, and *คนดี (kon-dee) is a heartfelt “good person” in Thai. Hungarians use drágám (“precious”).

Spanish has a whole host of cutesy love-terms, like mi vida (“my life”), mi rey (“my king”) and mi reina (“my queen”), cariño (“darling”, or literally “affection”), querido/a (loved one), and corazoncito (“little heart”).

What’s Your Favourite Way to Express Your Love From Around the World?

This post offers a lot of options, but…

If you want to learn even more terms of endearment from around the globe, head to this article! It’s one of our readers' favourites.

You could even discover more by asking native speakers on italki what terms are used in their country.

Your possibilities to be romantic in several languages are endless!

author headshot

Benny Lewis

Founder, Fluent in 3 Months

Fun-loving Irish guy, full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author. Benny believes the best approach to language learning is to speak from day one.

Speaks: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch, Irish

Fluent in 3 Months Challenge Logo

Have a 15-minute conversation in your new language after 90 days

JOIN THE CHALLENGE