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04-08-2005, 09:19 AM
I was sitting around the other day and it occurred to me...

Does the word Love (ai) have, in Japanese, many deeper meanings than at the surface? You know, like the Greek meanings of love seem more...powerful, than the English derivatives.

I was just wondering if this was the case or whatnot. As for what love means to different people...what does it mean to you?


04-08-2005, 12:00 PM
For me, Love is our capacity for sacrifice.

04-08-2005, 12:11 PM
Although I cannot comment on the meaning of "ai" to Japanese, I will say that there are four Greek words for "love": "eros", "stergo", "philo", and "agape". Each of those words have a distinct connotation, and all four of their connotations are encompassed by the English word "love". In addition, all four of those words are still in use in the English language. Since the evolution of our language has infused the word "love" with such broad scope, it is often one of the most misinterpreted words in the English language. Being specific about the type of love you intend by using non-generic terminology gives you the ability to avoid such misunderstanding, but limits your ability to convey deeper meaning through subtext, intonation, and other subtleties.

04-08-2005, 02:27 PM
When I first went to Japan to study language in a language school, I met a executive from Ikea - one that was slotted for their international business/trade, etc. The gentleman new something like seven languages (fluent in at least six). Somewhere after our friendship developed, we had a conversation on the nature of language - which came up after he shared with me that he was also a poet. I asked him which language did he feel he was more able to express his poetry, etc., in - which language was more capable of expressing the deeper elements of Man, existence, and creation, etc. For some reason, I thought he would say Japanese (with the capacity for punning, and since we were in Japan to refine our language skills), or French (for similar reasons), or even his native language (due to familiarity). To my surprise, he said English. His reasoning sounded very much like what Benjamin was saying in his last line.

Just thought I would share that,

04-11-2005, 08:44 AM
Interesting and thanks a million fellas.