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AMOR in two languages



It will soon be February and everywhere you turn there are hearts and chocolates for Valentine’s Day. The phrase “Will you be my Valentine?” is EVERYWHERE and as a bicultural person, I find this super interesting because in Mexico, Valentine's Day is not just a day for love, it's a day for friendship. The day is known as "Día del Amor y la Amistad" (Day of Love and Friendship). It is a day to recognize not just love, but also the importance of friendship. It doesn’t focus on just having that “Special someone”; rather it focuses on the importance of having love around you and this includes celebrating friends and friendship! I think that is beautiful.  


Each language offers a unique way to convey affection.

This also got me thinking about how we express love in different languages. As a parent raising trilingual kids, it is fascinating to me how the expression of love can take on a very special nuance depending on the language. Each language offers a unique way to convey affection, warmth, and care, and sometimes includes very specific cultural aspects in the expression of love. 




For example, Spanish is known for its poetic and affectionate nature, it infuses a warmth into expressions of love that is deeply rooted in culture. One notable feature is the extensive use of endearments, or "apodos cariñosos," which go beyond the typical terms of endearment found in English. I have found that parents in Spanish-speaking households often find creative and charming ways to use these endearments and express their love to their child.


Te quiero vs te amo

For example, "mi cielo" (my sky), "mi vida" (my life), or my favourite “mi amor” (my love) convey a profound depth of emotion. These endearments end up painting a vivid picture of the cherished place a child holds in their parent's heart. I think that is hermoso


Spanish verb conjugation is another area where you can sometimes see how the expression of love can be shown in different levels. In Spanish, saying "te quiero" (I love you) carries a different weight than "te amo." While both express love, the latter is often reserved for deeper, more profound emotions. 




English, on the other hand, often leans towards straightforward expressions of love. "I love you" is a powerful and universal phrase, encapsulating a vast range of emotions. English-speaking parents may find comfort in the directness of this declaration, fostering a sense of clarity in communication.


However, English also has its poetic side, with phrases like "you mean the world to me" or "you're the apple of my eye." These expressions add a touch of metaphorical beauty to convey the depth of parental love. English may lack the extensive use of endearments found in Spanish, but it compensates with vivid imagery that paints a picture of affection. I think that’s beautiful.


A Beautiful Symphony of Love in Two Languages


I love how bilingual parenting offers a unique opportunity to explore the diverse ways love is expressed in different languages. Spanish and English, each with its own set of endearments, verb conjugations, and cultural nuances, create a beautiful symphony of love in bilingual households. As parents we seamlessly weave these linguistic threads together, crafting a narrative of affection that is both universal and deeply rooted in our personal cultural richness. Whether it's the poetic charm of Spanish or the straightforward clarity of English, the love expressed in both languages contributes to a harmonious and loving environment for children growing up in bilingual homes. And I think that is incredible! 


If you liked this article, make sure to check out this article:14 things I love about you

And this freebie I made for Valentine’s day! 


Don’t miss the latest tips and tricks in bilingual parenting including free resources and activities in my newsletter “Alegría Bilingüe”. You can sign up here below! 


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