How to Say 'I Love You' in More Than 200 Philippine Languages and Dialects
We can map out our collective and personal identities by following the richness of our linguistics. Depending on the mode of classification, the Philippines has, more or less, 180 languages and 110 dialects, spoken across our different islands and communities. Most are often unrecognized, others dying out, and some unfortunately exoticized by our fellow countrymen.
Our local linguistic anthropologists have long had the tall task of studying and promoting our languages and dialects to save them from exclusion in the modern world. Their work tells us the history of our interactions and expressions; and how these factor in the development, understanding, and preservation of our own heritage. From what we say before we eat and drink to the words we use when we pray and say goodbye, their research shows us the beauty of our communication. These include studies on how we convey our romantic feelings for one another, as well.
In 1967, Professor Ernesto Constantino and other members of the University of the Philippines Department of Linguistics, for instance, would do just that. The group compiled a list of 204 ways to say "I love you" or "Iniibig kita" in our various Philippine languages and dialects. It might be a good idea to bookmark this for future reference (or for Valentine's Day, of course).
Professors Tuting Hernandez, Jay-ar Igno, and Madilene Landicho also discussed the concept of love in the context of linguistics here:
Here's "I Love You" in 204 Philippine Languages and Dialects: