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In English we describe the affection you have for your parents and siblings as "love", however this is vary different from the feelings of romantic love, things like limerence and sexual arousal, which (unless something's gone horribly wrong) you most definitely do not feel for your parents and siblings.

Thus I must ask; how is this expressed in Japanese? Not only in terms of whether they equate this affection with love or not, but also in terms of the terminology and set phrases most commonly used to express it.

You know, in English we equate this affection with romantic love, and use generic phrases like "I love you mommy!", with any more complex or poetic way of expressing it being incredibly rare, unlike with romantic love, where such poetic confessions are quite common.

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How do you tell your parents and siblings you love them?

I've never heard that someone especially tells their own parents and siblings they love them in my country and culture, which is Japanese.

In English we describe the affection you have for your parents and siblings as "love", however this is vary different from the feelings of romantic love, things like limerence and sexual arousal, which (unless something's gone horribly wrong) you most definitely do not feel for your parents and siblings.

Thus I must ask; how is this expressed in Japanese?

The translation of English 'love' is 愛{あい} and I think I've never noticed any difference in the definition between Japanese and English.

Not only in terms of whether they equate this affection with love or not, but also in terms of the terminology and set phrases most commonly used to express it.
You know, in English we equate this affection with romantic love, and use generic phrases like "I love you mommy!", with any more complex or poetic way of expressing it being incredibly rare, unlike with romantic love, where such poetic confessions are quite common.  

We don't have that tradition. We would choose to express gratitude to our parents. A young parents might teach their small children to tell them おかあさん、すき、おとうさん、すき, but ...well, I don't know, but I don't think many people successfully keep them saying that to them for so long. Rather, I think we teach them to thank them; おとうさん、おかあさん、ありがとう. To our siblings... I think we don't have any fixed expression that is commonly used.

  • So you basically don't? Cool, thx m8! – Tirous Aug 15 '17 at 22:39
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    It must suck to be a parent in Japan. :D – Tommy Aug 16 '17 at 0:35
  • Note: the above comment is meant to be just a joke from a different cultural perspective of course... In these days where everything has to be politically correct better make it clear. Seriously speaking I think this is a great answer to a good question that points out one key difference that says actually so much about the Japanese culture and gives great insights into much more than simply telling your parents that you love them. – Tommy Aug 16 '17 at 0:38
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    I've heard younger kids say things like おねえさん、すき! – landonepps Aug 16 '17 at 1:31
  • In Japanese dubbed (or subbed) netflix shows I notice aishiteiru being used as a translation of ,'I love you.' Perhaps the point is to carry across this cultural practice into Japanese rather than using a phrase authentically Japanese (I.e. foreignising rather than nativising). The same thing seems to happen with casual, off-hand greetings being kept in the same manner in the translation, even though this seems odd for Japanese speakers and doesn't accord with my experience. – Robert Aug 16 '17 at 3:07

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