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An American Language Guide to Valentine’s Day Around the World

Traditions and festivals

An American Language Guide to Valentine’s Day Around the World

Equipo de Marketing February 10, 2017

This language guide helps you get your point across in various languages!

The most crucial part of Valentine’s Day is communicating your feelings to your valentine. It is important to note that Valentine’s Day is not the same everywhere.

Although this language guide provides translations to some common American Valentine’s Day phrases, there may be a more culturally appropriate expression depending on the country. You should try to become aware of the cultural and linguistic differences of a country in order to appropriately communicate with your date. This language guide, however, does provide a verbatim translation that your Valentine’s Day date will surely understand despite the language barrier.


Language guide

The most frequently used phrase on this day dedicated to celebrating love is “I love you.” Let your significant other in on your feelings no matter what language he or she speaks.

  • Te quiero” or “Te amo”- Spanish
  • Je t’aime” – French
  • Ti amo” – Italian
  • Wǒ ài nǐ” – Chinese
  • Watashi wa, anata o aishiteimasu –  Japanese


Following “I love you,” the most crucial Valentine’s Day phrase has to be “Will you be my valentine?” Although it can be asked in many different ways, this language guide provides a literal American translation. This question is a must to kick off your Valentine’s Day the right way.

  • ¿Serías mi Valentín?” – Spanish
  • Veux tu etre ma Valentine?” – French
  • Vuoi essere il mio Valentino?” – Italian
  • Nǐ huì chéngwéi wǒ de qíngrén ma?” – Chinese
  • Anata ga watashi no Barentain ni narimasu?” – Japanese


However, if you are not quite at the “I love you” stage yet with your Valentine’s Day date, you can always compliment your companion at the end of your date by saying “I had a great time with you.” This will surely lead to a future date.Language guide

  • Me divertí mucho contigo” – Spanish
  • J’ai passé un bon moment avec vous” – French
  • Ho avuto un grande momento con voi” – Italian
  • Wǒ yǒu yīgè w
    ěidà de shíjiān yǔ nǐ
    ” – Chinese
  • Watashi wa anata to subarashī jikan o sugoshimashita” – Japanese


Language guide


This language guide has given you some basic yet necessary tools to communicate with your valentine. The next step is to understand your valentine’s culture.

1. Spain

Language guideLike in many countries, Valentine’s Day was not always a tradition in Spain but was adapted with time. It is celebrated
with the typical chocolate, flowers, or dinner traditions. Throughout Spain, this holiday is can be celebrated in different ways varying by region. Some
Spaniards believe that Valentine’s Day was created as a commercialized holiday in which consumers spend money on gifts and dates. For this reason, some Spaniards have come to call the holiday “Día de El Corte Inglés.” This name refersto El Corte Inglés, the biggest department store group in Europe. In Spain, it is not typical to ask someone to be your valentine. Rather, plans are made and agreed upon to take place on this holiday. Another day celebrated by Spaniards on April 23 is “El Día del Libro y la Rosa,” a day during which a man will give his love interest a rose and she will in return give him a book.

2. France

Language GuideLike Spain, France also celebrates Valentine’s Day with chocolates, flowers and other typical activities for this holiday. Having a reputation as one of the most romantic countries in the world, it is expected that the French go all out to celebrate this special holiday. Unlike in the
United States, however, gifts are given in France among romantic couples as opposed to friends and family as well. Those who make up the French community tend to make Valentine’s Day plans months in advance and both genders contribute equal participation to the events taking place.

3. Italy

MuchLanguage Guide like in France, Italians celebrate Valentine’s Day only with their lover. This day is more commonly referred to as “La Festa Degli Innamorati,” the Feast of Lovers. A very popular tradition in this country is to attach a padlock to a bridge and throw away the key to represent an unbreakable love. Like Spain, Italians do not typically ask someone to be their valentine. Instead, they make plans to take place on Valentine’s Day.

4. China

Language guideUnlike in many countries, China’s Valentine’s Day isnot a set calendar day. Rather, it lands of the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the Chinese calendar. This is referred to as “Qixi,” the Double Seven Festival. “Qi” means seven while “Xi” means night. In 2016 Valentine’s Day landed on August 9; however, this year it lands on August 28, 2017. This day can also be called “The Daughter’s Festival” in accordance to young unmarried girls in search for love. Chinese Valentine’s Day is also made up of the conventional chocolates, gifts and dates that have been adopted in other parts of the world. Unless you are married to your valentine, do not gift umbrellas or shoes. The Chinese term for umbrella, “san,” sounds the same as “breaking up.” Shoes, on the other hand, signify packing off your love. It is said that if your lover gives you one Chinese yuan, equivalent to 0.15 U.S. cents, the “curse” brought about by the shoes will be undone.

5. Japan

Language guideValentine’s Day in Japan lands on February 14. On this day, the tradition is for women to give men chocolates. A woman can gift two kinds of chocolate: “Giri-choco,” which is the obligation chocolate, or “Honmei-choco.” Giri-choco is given to men who are friends, family or coworkers while Honmei-choco is given to lovers. Japanese women tend to make the Honmei-choco themselves as many believe buying it from the store does not signify true love. Japan also has “White Day,” which happens on March 14. On this day, men who received chocolates return the gift to the women in the form of flowers or other gifts.

This American language guide to Valentine’s Day will surely facilitate your communication with your valentine if he or she is from another culture while also helping you understand Valentine’s Day in cultures around the world.



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