If you’ve ever felt like words just aren’t enough, maybe it’s just time to try them in another language! Whether you’re in search of some foreign romance to spice up a Valentine’s Day DIY gift for your sweetie or packing for an intercontinental solo travel adventure, you’ll appreciate these multilingual expressions of that most universal language of all. We’ve turned to the experts at language-learning app Babbel to get the lowdown on what pickup lines are most popular and culturally resonant around the globe. Read on for their top picks!
1. “Est-ce que tu crois au coup de foudre ou dois-je repasser?” (French: Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?) The French language is nothing if not romantic, and if this phrase is any indication, its pickup lines do a great job of staying on-brand. “Pickup lines are direct and full of confidence,” Babbel’s French expert Pauline says of the language. “Think romantic, sophisticated and cool.”
2. “Vy minya prisleduyete? Net? Kak zhal`!” (Russian: Are you chasing me? No? What a pity!) Babbel’s Russian expert Lars says that “the chase” is a key component to this culture’s flirting technique. Can’t get much clearer about it than with an intro like this!
3. “Ve por la sombra… Que los bombones al sol se derriten!” (Spanish: Walk in the shadow… Chocolates melt in the sun!) Giving someone a box of chocolates may be a romantic tradition no matter where you are — but isn’t it even sweeter to compare them to one?
4. “Hast du dir weh getan? … Na, als du vom Himmel gefallen bist.” (German: Did it hurt? … Well, when you fell from heaven.) This pickup line may sound familiar, but Germans are actually known for their shy approach to flirting. “We Germans are all about the practicality,” Babbel expert Achim points out. “One thing to remember before you go on a date with a German: We really value punctuality, and ‘fashionably’ late is just late to us.”
5. “Eu gostei de você. Se você também gostou de mim, dê um sorriso. Se não, dê um duplo mortal para trás.” (Portuguese: I like you a lot. If you like me too, smile. If not, please do a double backflip.) This Portuguese pickup line may sound a little like an invitation to get interested or get lost, but it actually speaks to the culture’s signature sense of humor. “Being funny, even if in a childish way, is a way of gaining attention that’s typically used by Brazilians,” Babbel expert Pedro says.
6. “Tuo padre è un ladro? … Ha rubato due stelle e le ha messe al posto dei tuoi occhi?” (Italian: Is your father a thief? … I think he stole two stars and put them in place of your eyes.) You may recognize this classic from a black-and-white film, but according to Babbel’s Alessandra, it would still be effective in the old-fashioned world of Italian romance.
7. “Kan jag få en vägbeskrivning till ditt hjärta?” (Swedish: Can you give me directions to your heart?) Asking for directions (of any kind) might feel like an overly practical way to flirt. But when you consider the straightforward and direct nature of Swedish culture, it makes sense! After this simple and endearing line, we’d be happy to share a map.
8. “Hey, kom jij hier vaker?” (Dutch: Do you come here often?) This is considered a cheesy line in English, but if someone happens to approach you with it in Dutch, experts suggest that you show off your confidence — and language skills — as much as possible. “We are always impressed when a foreigner starts speaking to us in our native language,” confides Carlien, another Babbel expert.
9. “Hvor har du vaeret hele mit liv?” (Danish: Where have you been all my life?) This is another familiar pickup line, and while it may seem a little aggressive, dating in Denmark is actually characterized by an unhurried pace. “We are quite relaxed, often taking our time before making a relationship ‘official,'” explains Babbel expert Birte. “This comes from our laid-back lifestyle, which is why we are the happiest people in the world.”
What’s the craziest pickup line you’ve ever heard or used — in any language? Tweet it to us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)