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原谅我,我的爱。
Forgive me, my love.

Tatoeba has the above sentence. The English "my love", in the context of this sentence, is almost certainly a person, most probably a romantic partner. Tatoeba says the Chinese was originally translated from the Spanish: "Perdóname amor mío".

A while back (when I was less familiar with Tatoeba), I suggested changing the 我的爱 to 亲爱的, which I consider to be far more equivalent to the English (which I still think is a fairly reasonable assessment). Someone replied to my comment suggesting that 我的爱 might now be used in Chinese to mean 亲爱的, perhaps because of English's influence. It seems that perhaps they're right; e.g. I found a webnovel 原谅我,我的爱 (published 2022).

Now I'm a bit more familiar with Tatoeba, I know: they don't collect a bunch of sentences together with their translations, but rather collect sentences and link together the ones that are translations. So there are two options:

  • Edit the sentence 原谅我,我的爱 to 原谅我,亲爱的. This would be appropriate if and only if nobody would ever say 原谅我,我的爱.

  • Add a new sentence 原谅我,亲爱的, and link it to "Forgive me, my love."

Hence...

Question: Can 我的爱 be used to mean 亲爱的?

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  • 我的爱人(my lover) cannot be reduced to 我的爱 (my love); 亲爱的 = darling/ my dear
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jan 7 at 11:56
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    Traditionally, at least perhaps before the Internet revolution, nobody uses 我的爱 to mean 我的爱人, ("my lover"), because frankly, 我的爱 has no meaning per se. If given 我的爱 to translate into English, I would translate it as "That which I love", which may not necessarily refers to "a person loved / a lover" In any case, using 我的爱 to mean "my lover" just sounds weird to my traditional ears as it just seems to "hang" in the air. Perhaps the Internet generation, having so used to abbreviations, acronyms, that it sounds "cool" to them. My view is 我的爱 is bad Chinese if it is meant to say "my lover" Commented Jan 11 at 10:10

4 Answers 4

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Online novels are not rigorous in the use of language. Translate 我的爱 into "my love" isn't wrong. Because 我的=my,爱=love. This is the result of literal translation.

According to common daily usage, this sentence should be said by one person to another person. "my love" in the sentence should mean someone you loved, it means a person. And only a "person" can forgive something. So it would be more appropriate to use words that refer to people. Here use 我的爱人would be more appropriate. 亲爱的 is okay too.

Only use 爱 is more about describing the feeling of love, your emotion, not the person.

Unless this person said 原谅我,我的爱 to himself, he is sorry for his own emotion of love. 原谅我,我的爱 is somewhat appropriate to use in this situation. ( this is a forced interpretation XD)

I prefer to edit the sentence 原谅我,我的爱 to 原谅我,我的爱人. Agreed with Tang Ho, 亲爱的 = darling/ my dear, it's different to "my love".

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If you are asking whether in China mainland we translate my love into '我的爱', my answer would absolutely be it's kinda nonsense.

Normally we use 我的爱人 or 我的挚爱 for translating ‘my love’. Sometimes you may see some expressions like ‘我爱’, and actually it should be understood as ‘my lover’ rather than ‘my love’.

Thus I suggest it’s more natural if you replace 我的爱 by 亲爱的 or 我的挚爱

If I got something wrong please correct me.

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Don't think you should use 我的爱 for 亲爱的.

You can say:

吾爱似一朵红红的玫瑰,
My love is like a red red rose

or

我的爱人是个胖子.
My love is a fatty!

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On the internet, people used "我的。。。" literally as "my..." as slang. It originates from the phrase “厉害了,我的哥”, which is also internet slang. It literally means "Very impressive, my brother".

So people who know the phrase will get the reference, and people who don't just see the literal meaning, which is still the intended meaning. Pretty sure nobody will use this irl though, as it is basically an internet/web novel/web comic thing.

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