Saying “I Love You” in Arab Culture

love you in Arabic

Saying “I Love You” in Arab Culture

While Arabs may not be known for romance as much as, say the French, it doesn’t mean they are without passion.  In fact, if want to learn to read Arabic, you will find that Arabs have expressed their love through music, poetry, and literature since at least the 6th century and the rich history of the Arabic language is ripe with a wide variety of similes and metaphors for expressing their deepest affections. Thus, in the earliest of forms of their poetry, Arabic poets had to mention love,  along with both its joys and pains, in order to be taken seriously as a poet. This eventually led to the words being set to music that, even today, entails the joys and pains that love brings with it.


Due to the conservative nature of the culture of Arabic speaking countries that doesn’t condone modern dating behavior, Arabs have to find other ways to express their love for another through affectionate phrases. In other words, if a man falls in love with a woman upon first seeing her, he has little choice but to try to woo her through his words in a usually limited time. Thus, their rhetoric has to be powerful enough  to conquer his beloved’s heart.


In Arab culture, when a man confesses his love to a woman, he is reminded of the status of his mother and sisters within family, community, and culture. As he has seen his father’s love for his mother, and as he wishes his sister to have the same kind of love, so he must love and respect his beloved the same or more. It is with this in his mind that he must approach his intended and speak Arabic words that remind the female of her standing in family and society, as well as her standing in his heart.


Indeed,  in any language, love is shared most powerfully through words.  Arabs have continued to profess their love through each phrase, poem, and song that best describes their deepest emotions. With that in mind, if you are learning Arabic for beginners, below you can learn basic Arabic words and phrases to express your love for another:



English Arabic Transliteration
I love you أَنا بَحِبَكْ Ana bahibak (m.)
I love you أَنا بَحِبِكْ Ana bahibik (f.)
You are my life إِنْتِ عُمْري Inti umri (to f.)
You are my life إِنْتَ عُمْري Inta umri (to m.)
You are my soul إِنْتِ روحي Inti roohi (to f.)
You are my soul إِنْتَ روحي Inta roohi (to m.)
You are my heart إِنْتِ قَلْبي Inti albee (to f.)
You are my heart إِنْتَ قَلْبي Inta albee(to m.
You are my love إِنْتَ حَبيبي Inta habeebi (to m.)
You are my love إِنْتِ حَبيبتي Inti habeebti (to f.)


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