Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

“I love you man!”

Former model Paulina Porizkova, one of the most beautiful women that ever existed, wrote this delightful post about Valentines Day and the meaning  of saying “I love you”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/03/plus-size-male-models-haw_n_599175.html

I related to this post because when I came to America, I was often surprised at how the sentence “I love you” was used freely and in different contexts: among good friends, between parent and child and even between male buddies: “I love you, man!”.

In Brazil, “I love you”  is solely reserved for romantic love. It is used sparingly like pepper and only between two lovers. When it is pronounced, it means the world to the recipient.

For Brazilians living in the USA, it might sound very strange to hear it from their friends. And when they hear parents saying it to their children in every conversation, they think: “isn’t it a given that you love your children? Why do you need to say it all the time”? It sounds a bit corny. 

After reading Paulina’s post, I see that in other countries is also a romantic expression. In America, “I love you” was democratized and is an equal opportunity exclamation of affection.

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June 3, 2010 - Posted by | Difference between cultures

3 Comments »

  1. It’s true that here in Brazil we usually say “I love you” in a purelly romantic way, but there was this one man I knew who was an exception. Everytime he’s talk with his son over the phone he’d end the conversation exclaming “Te amo,filho!” (I love you, son!) Needless to say we all thought his attitude was very funny, to say the least. 😀

    Comment by Rita | July 5, 2010 | Reply

  2. I recall one relationship I had with a South American woman and when I said ‘te amo’, she replied with ‘si, te quiero tambien’ and I thought, “….huh? that’s it?’ I’m sure she undertood my meaning and I did my best to understand hers, culturally-speaking.

    Comment by Adam | December 6, 2010 | Reply

  3. I recall one brazil women on internet dating she was so nice but for wording only not by actuality

    Comment by garg dav | February 14, 2011 | Reply


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