The debate that swirls around languages and which really is the most romantic in the world continues to be a matter of contention between linguists throughout the world. Central to the issue may be that it’s incredibly difficult to pin down just what it is that makes a language romantic. So here we explore this heated debate to search for a final answer as to which language, truly is the language of love.
Defining the language of love
It’s an age old question with no apparent answer that keeps everyone happy: just how can we define the ‘language of love’? In a bid to find an answer for which most would agree here we take somewhat of an innovative, and decidedly modern, approach.
Google: Key to overcoming convoluted, elusive ways of defining ‘the language of love’
Google is the Go-To search engine with an answer for everything; and it seems that its knowledge knows no bounds, as the Google translate tool may well have the answer when it comes to the language of love.
Taking the six European languages that the service provides for English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian translations Google have reported that for every 1,000 French translations, 34 where related to love; Spanish then came in a close second with 33 love related translations. Russian, Italian and German then followed in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
What’s more it appears that these results are backed up by a recent study by Rosetta Stone that waded into the love language debate, where 60% of those surveyed agreed that French was indeed the language of love (Forbes 2013).
Heart breaking news for the English language
Sadly very few ever suggest that English is the language of love, and certainly Google Translate would back this up, with only 17 out of every 1,000 expressions being of a romantic nature.
What’s more with plenty of romantic words within other languages lacking any literal English equivalent it appears that in some countries English Casanovas could truly be stuck for words.
This includes the French word ‘Retrouvailles’, which has a dictionary definition of “the joy of reuniting with someone after a long separation”; as well as the Japanese term ‘Koi No Yokan’, which has a dictionary definition of “upon meeting someone, the feeling that the two of you may soon fall in love”.
Perhaps the final nail in the coffin however comes from the Arabic word of ‘Tuqburni’, which in Arabic means “a love so deep, you can’t imagine life without your partner”; as for the nearest English equivalent to this, well that means “You bury me”; smooth, right?
So it seems that the English must admit defeat when it comes to the language of love, yet commercially there is no other language as important, nor as widely spoken, as English (with this even being confirmed by the clever and respected professors over at Harvard [Harvard Business Review 2015]).
photo credit: paper heart via photopin (license)