We have many options to create artwork with the Chinese characters / Asian symbols / Japanese Kanji for I Love You on a wall scroll or portrait.
This directly translates as "I love you" from English to Chinese characters.
This "I love you" phrase is very commonly used between lovers in China.
Note: While the Japanese language uses the same characters, this phrase would not be spoken - it's kind of taboo in Japan. A man might tell a woman that he likes her with the phrase "Watashi wa anata ga suki-desu" (I regarding you have liking). If your audience is Japanese, avoid this "I love you" phrase.
愛 is a very universal character. It means love in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, old Korean Hanja, and old Vietnamese.
愛 is one of the most recognized Asian symbols in the west, and is often seen on tee-shirts, coffee mugs, tattoos, and more.
愛 can also be defined as affection, to be fond of, to like, or to be keen on. It often refers to romantic love, and is found in phrases like, "I love you." But in Chinese, one can say, "I love that movie" using this character as well.
This can also be a pet-name or part of a pet-name in the way we say "dear" or "honey" in English.
It's very common for couples to say "I love you" in Chinese. However, in Japanese, "love" is not a term used very often. In fact, a person is more likely to say "I like you" rather than "I love you" in Japanese. So this word is well-known but seldom spoken.
More about this character:
This may be hard to imagine as a westerner but the strokes at the top of this love character symbolize family & marriage.
The symbol in the middle is a little easier to identify. It is the character for "heart" (it can also mean "mind" or "soul"). I guess you can say that no matter if you are from the East or the West, you must put your heart into your love.
The strokes at the bottom create a modified character that means "friend" or "friendship."
I suppose you could say that the full meaning of this love character is to love your family, spouse, and friends with all of your heart, since all three elements exist in this character.
It's very uncommon (some will say taboo) to say, "I love you" in Japanese culture. It's especially awkward for a man to tell a woman this in Japanese. Everyone is more likely to say "Watashi wa anata ga suki desu" or "I like you" (literally, "I regarding you, have like."
If you have to say, "I love you" in Japanese, this selection of Kanji and Hiragana shown to the left is the way.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
Some people like to say, "I love you" but others might want to say "I need you." 貴方が必要 is "I need you" in Japanese.
The first two characters mean "You."
The middle character is a connecting particle. In this case, it more or less means "are."
The last two characters mean necessary, needed, essential, indispensable, or necessity.
The "I" in the title is implied. Effectively this means "I need you."
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|I Love You||我愛你|
|wǒ ài nǐ|
wo3 ai4 ni3
wo ai ni
|ai||ài / ai4 / ai|
|I Miss You||我想你||wǒ xiǎng nǐ|
wo3 xiang3 ni3
wo xiang ni
|wo hsiang ni
|I Need You||我需要你||wǒ xū yào nǐ|
wo3 xu1 yao4 ni3
wo xu yao ni
|wo hsü yao ni
|I Love You||愛してる||ai shi te ru|
|I Need You||貴方が必要||ana ta ga hitsu you|
ana ta ga hitsu yo
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.