According to one popular magazine, there are seven types of love. Agape is universal, unselfish love that is concerned for the welfare of others. Ludus is playful or uncommitted love. Eros is romantic love. Pragma is practical love founded on reason or duty. Philautia is self-love, emotional appraisal of ones worth relative to others. Philia is a love of a friend founded on goodness and shared goodwill. Storge is love between parents and their children. For all of these different categories, the English language uses one word, love.
In the ancient Indo-European language of India, Sanskrit, 96 words are used for the one American word love. Ancient Persian has 80 words to express the emotions the English language lumps into one word, love.
In Spanish there are a number of expressions for emotions ranging from casual to binding affection. The word for romantic love would not be used to describe how much you like a taco.
The German language has a variety of romantic expressions for the word love; one is serious and another is casual.
In Filipino Tagalog mahal when used with kita means ”I love you” and can be said to extended family members, friends, and romantic partners. Mahal used alone can express feelings for expensive gifts, etc.
Japanese culture rarely uses their word that expresses formal love. The casual word for love is used often to express feelings for food, music, etc.
Even the Bible when translated or revised to English used the word love where in Hebrew and Greek there were several words used to describe the feelings. The Hebrew Testament used three verbs (ahev, ahav, ahavah) to denote various emotions English expresses with the word love. The Greek Testament used two words (agape and phileo) to distinguish very different feeling. Again, the English language uses the word love.
When compared to other languages, English might overuse the word love, but it is a word that makes us feel good when we hear it. Sometimes, we just can’t get enough of a good thing!
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