Love it or loathe it, romance is the best way to show those you love just how much they mean to you. What better way to celebrate romance and love than by ranking nationalities based on their romantic prowess? We teamed up with international translation agency Morningside Translations to find out which languages are the most romantic around the world. So if you happen to find yourself in any of these countries, you’ll know exactly what to say and do if you stumble upon the man or woman of your dreams!
Indian – ‘Main tumase pyaar karata hoon’ ( मैं तुमसे प्यार करता हूँ )
If you’ve ever seen Slumdog Millionaire, you get the idea. With a rich history of romance, from epic Bollywood films to lavishly exuberant weddings, Indians certainly know how to show their undying love for one another! According to recent reports, 90% of Indians celebrate Valentine’s Day, making them easily the most romantic of all Asian countries. Add to this the Taj Mahal, itself a symbol for enduring love and one of the seven wonders of the world, and it’s easy to see how India made our list.
Tradition runs deep in India, so be sure to abide by their rules when attempting the language of love. Though the idea of dating is typically seen as somewhat unusual, if you do manage to woo a potential partner, be sure to get your hands on plenty of floral decoration. In India, it is common to decorate a newlywed couple’s bedroom with heavily fragrant flowers, particularly tuberose, which are believed to have an aphrodisiac effect.
Romantic expression: “Mera junoon ek lau kee tarah jalata hai” (my passion burns like a flame).
Swedish – ‘Jag älskar dig’
Though you might be disappointed upon discovering that not everyone has blonde hair and blue eyes in Sweden, don’t let that put you off! The Swedes are renowned the world over for their charm, wit and generosity. In part due to their more progressive outlook on life, Swedish couples share responsibilities more equally than many of their counterparts, and the men in particular are keen to demonstrate this, often by cleaning incessantly!
As such, in the name of all things equal, the onus is not always on the man to make the first move. In fact, gender doesn’t particularly matter in the realm of Swedish romance; women are just as likely to approach men as vice-versa.
If all things go according to plan and you find yourself in what could be considered a romantic situation, do not mention the word ‘date’ to the other person! In Sweden, you should only refer to the meeting based on the activity you’re doing; in other words, if you’re going to the movies, you’re going to the movies! You’re not going on a date.
Romantic expression: “Det snöar inte så mycket. Jag kommer till dig” (It’s not snowing that much. I’ll come to you).
American – I love you
As a general rule, any nation that loves its film is bound to be a romantic at heart. From Bogart, Bergman, and Henreid in the classic Casablanca, to the recent success story of La La Land, which takes inspiration from the Hollywood romance of yore, Americans are obsessed with the idea of love, whether they realise it or not. Couple this with crooners such as Frank Sinatra and the awe-inspiring urban beauty of New York, and you’d need a heart of stone not to get swept up in the passion that only the States can offer.
With its romantic influence being so far-reaching, dating in America should be a piece of cake; however, a truly unique experience might be harder to find. So why not embrace all things relating to the Stars and Stripes and indulge in pastimes only the Americans can pull off properly? Start by watching a B movie at the drive-thru (make sure to order a burger, fries, and a milkshake), before heading to the bowling alley, and then a retro-themed rock’n’roll bar. If you’re having difficulty imagining this, just picture a scene from American Graffiti, and you shouldn’t be too far off!
Classic American love quote: “I wish I’d done everything on Earth with you” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby).
Lebanese – Ana bahibik
With their sultry looks, smouldering eyes and passionate zest for life, the Lebanese may come across as daunting at first, but take the time to get to know them, and it soon becomes apparent that their bark is worse than their bite! With its dazzling boulevards and elegant nightclubs, Beirut is the place where romance is most likely to occur, and is by far one of the most liberal cities in the region.
Unlike the Swedes and perhaps confusingly, neither gender is likely to approach a potential partner at a nightclub or bar, no matter how attracted to the other person they may be. Instead, a Lebanese singleton will either wait to be introduced by a friend in common, or hold off until the next day when they can add them on Facebook. This might seem slightly counterintuitive but it’s very common; going home with someone you met at a nightclub is basically unheard of in Lebanon!
Romantic expression: “Ya rouhi” (you are my soul).
British – I love you
From Shakespeare to Keats, Woodsworth to Blake, England has a long literary lineage of true romantics, so be sure to embrace the sophisticated elegance this country has to offer! Although most people envision London, cups of tea, and the Queen when thinking of England, be sure to expand your horizons; there is much more to see and do! Who wouldn’t want to re-enact their own version of Wuthering Heights on the windswept moors of the Peak District? Or snuggle up in a cosy pub along the coast in Cornwall? You could even explore the previously industrial cities of Sheffield, Manchester, and Liverpool, pounding the cobbled streets whilst humming an old war song – how quaintly romantic!
Traditionally speaking, the English are quite reserved. Though this has changed in recent years, it might still require a bit of time to coax your potential love interest out of his or her shell. So remember: a cup of tea is not exclusively reserved for 5 O’clock! Be prepared to ‘stick the kettle on’ at any given moment; it will be most appreciated!
Classic English love quote: “If music be the food of love, play on” (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night).
Spanish – Te amo
The Spanish go out very late, and get home even later; if the sun isn’t in full blaze when you leave the nightclub, you’re doing it wrong! And such unsociable hours only prove how sociable the Spanish really are, where their passionate lust for life permeates everything (and everyone) they come into contact with. From the deeply sensual sound of the Spanish flamenco guitar, to the mind-boggling array of tasty tapas and traditional cuisine, Spaniards are famous for pouring their heart and soul into all aspects of their life, including romance.
Despite their exuberant front, the Spanish are quite traditional when it comes to romance. Sundays are typically spent eating with the family, and it usually takes a Spanish couple a long time to commit to marriage. Communication is also very important, and the constant need to verbalise exactly what you’re thinking and feeling might come across as somewhat clingy to the untrained eye. Just bear in mind that this is typical, and be flattered that someone is making the effort to ensure that you’re happy.
Romantic expression: “Tu amor vale mas que millones de estrellas” (your love is worth more than a million stars).
Irish – Is breá liom tú
The luck of the Irish doesn’t only apply to their legendary ability to drink and sing; a 2009 poll by Mills & Boon revealed that the Irish are the third most romantic folk in the world. This shouldn’t come as a shock. The Irish are known for wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and one only needs to look at the vast number of gushing Irish love songs to get an idea of how much the Emerald Isle is in love with love! My Lovely Irish Rose Of Clare is a particular favourite, and one that gets fully grown men weeping across the land.
The Claddagh ring is a traditional symbol of love and romance in Ireland. The story harks back to Galway, when Irish fisherman Richard Joyce was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Being forced to work in a goldsmith, he learnt how to craft exquisite jewellery. During this time, his love for his sweetheart back home, Margaret, never wavered, and when he was finally released, he presented her with the Chladdagh ring. It is now common for young Irish couples to present such rings to one another as representation of their undying love.
Classic Irish love quote: “If you do not love me I shall not be loved, if I do not love you I shall not love” (Samuel Beckett, Cascando).
Brazilian – Eu te amo
It’s difficult to determine what takes precedence in Brazil: football or love. In many ways, the two often merge into one, so if you want to see just how romantic the Brazilians truly are, take a look at their football fans! In Brazil, the word ‘saudade’ roughly translates to describe an emotion of deep nostalgic longing, which gives some idea of how the Brazilian heart beats. In fact, the sense of rhythm permeates much of Brazil’s way of life, from the carnival drums to the pulse of the football crowd, it would be difficult not to feel truly immersed in the deep unbridled passion on show!
Due to the carnival being around February or March depending on the year, Brazilians don’t actually celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th. Instead, Dia dos Namorados, or ‘Lovers’ Day’, is held on June 12th. In addition to the usual chocolates and flowers, music festivals are held across the country, and gifts are typically shared amongst family members, too. The day after is Saint Anthony’s Day, which commemorates the sanctity of marriage, where single women will perform the ritual of simpatias in the hope of finding love.
Romantic expression: “Eu vou te amar por toda a minha vida” (I’m going to love you for the rest of my life).
French – Je t’aime
Often considered the capital of love, Paris is a city that encompasses all things romantic. From evening walks along the Seine, to stunning views from Montmartre, Paris is the perfect romantic getaway. And that’s not even mentioning the food! Famous the world over, French cuisine is a physical manifestation of ‘la langue de l’amour’.
The first Valentine’s Day card was reputedly invented in France, when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent his wife love letters whilst imprisoned in the Tower of London. Though not the most romantic of conditions, such a tradition has been preserved to this very day. In fact, the French have a number of traditions regarding love; the ‘loterie d’amour’ (or the drawing of love) occurred when men and women would congregate in a house, and call one another’s name to see which couple would pair off. Men ultimately held the power in this scenario, being able to change their partner whenever they wanted, and any women left without a match would meet around a bonfire afterwards (presumably to lick their wounds and offer one another comfort).
Romantic expression: “Tes yeux, j’en rêve jour et nuit” (I dream about your eyes day and night).
Italian – Ti amo
At this point, it may not come as much of a shock to find that the Italians take the top spot as the most romantic nationality. And where do we start? From the beginning – the word ‘romance’ actually comes from ancient Rome. Given such a lineage of love, it’s unsurprising to find that much of it still holds true today. The Italians are obsessed with beauty, describing people, views, objects and everything in between as ‘bella’ at any given opportunity. Such an obsession with all things beautiful may seem incongruous to a foreigner, but rest assured the Italians know what they’re doing! You only need to find yourself strolling through a winding Tuscan village to understand what romance means.
Interestingly, Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a Spring Festival in Italy, where young lovers would read one another poetry and play romantic songs outside in the garden, before taking a ‘passeggiata’ (or walk). An even older tradition was for an unmarried woman to wake before dawn on the day of Valentine’s Day and look out the window; the first man she saw would either be her next husband, or at least strongly resemble the man she was destined to marry. Nowadays, a popular gift for San Valentino is Baci Perugina (Perugina kisses) – little chocolates with romantic expressions in different languages underneath.
Romantic expression: “Senza di te la mia vita non ha senso”(without you my life has no meaning).
So there you have it – the 10 most romantic countries in the world! Do you agree with our list? Feel we missed something? Let us know!