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Hi I was planning on getting tattooed 'love yourself' in Chinese. Should I use '爱你自己' or '爱自己'? Is there any difference and if so what are they?

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If I have to pick between the two I would pick 爱你自己. It’s the more natural one that people might actually say. 爱自己 sounds like a slogan to me, like Nike’s Just Do It.

However, as a Chinese person, I have to say they both sound unnatural, or "translated". It’s a cultural thing that traditionally we don’t express love straight forward in explicit words. So both expressions sound étrangé.

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Why not use “自爱”?It is considered as a good quality of a person, similar things like 自尊 自强 自信 自觉。It's weird to tattoo 自爱 tho, since it’s sometimes used in propaganda.

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"爱" is the most artistic word for the purpose of exhibition/bragging. If you insist to display the phrase - love yourself, I would choose '爱自己' to shorten the painful suffering/experience :)

There is a slight difference between '爱自己' and '爱你自己' though:

'爱自己' simply states "love oneself"; '爱你自己' is telling the viewer(s): "be love themselves".

I guess this post will be closed eventually, as the answer is inevitably opinionated.

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  • Thank you I appreciate it !
    – Joseph
    Nov 30 '21 at 21:17
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Not necessarily answering the question directly, but somewhat of a 'fancier' version, which hopefully achieve the same intent could be 自立自强 which somewhat means 'self-reliance'->? 'love yourself?'

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中文的口语里一般将爱自己说为自爱,举个例子,我们一般会说你要自爱,但不会说你要爱自己 In spoken Chinese, ‘爱自己’ is generally referred to as ‘自爱’.For example, we generally say '你要自爱', but we don't say '你要爱自己'。

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