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It's absolutely infuriating how this course treats the word "love"

In the example,

Я люблю смотреть мужской футбол

"Love" is rejected in favour of "like" in the translation. But this is not an isolated incident, I have seen half a dozen to a dozen cases where it always rejects "love" in favour of "like" if you're talking about an object and not a person.

This is absolutely absurd. I've got in arguments with mods over it, and essentially been told the equivalent of "you can't love cookies, that would mean cookies are your favourite thing in the world, but you can любишь them".

Absolute nonsense. Some people seem to think that "love" is some super strong powerful 8th level power word in English, or that "love" means "are addicted to".

You can "love" football. And not just "you are a complete crazy fan of", I mean, probably half the UK population would claim to love football. You can love talking, you can love paprika, you can love McDonalds fries, you can love the sound of rain when you're inside, you can love arguing on forums, you can love your bed.

Maybe there is some absolutely tiny distinction in the cutoff point between "любить" and "love", but in absolutely every sentence I have seen, it is not only "that is a physically possible translation", but "I would expect to hear someone say that sentence semi regularly".

To reject "I love football", is absolutely absurd, and the comments agree, and someone has to scry through this entire course and get rid of every. single. instance. of "love" being rejected in favour of "like". If you wanted us to translate to "like", you should've used нравиться.

To reject absolutely normal sentences because in your hypothetical example of your own division, you don't think a non-existent someone "loved" football, and YOU meant that this imaginary entity only "mildly liked it", is beyond the realms of stupidity.

May 7, 2018



Woah. I'm gonna paste information below... I hope this helps. I apologise that it made you so angry, but languages have a different mannerism/meaning in their words too, and different cultures... the list goes on. Peace and love. <3

QUESTION "Does the verb "любить" mean to love or to like? I know it can be used for both, but which is more common and acceptable?"

ANSWERS "Both. When it refers to the people who are dear to you, e. g. your girl, wife, you parents, then it means 'love'. This can even be said about your pet:

Я люблю тебя! - I love you!

Я люблю своего кота. - I love my cat. When it refers to different animals, which are not your pets, or to non-living things, then it means 'like', but can also be translated as 'love' if you like that very much:

Я люблю кошек. - I like cats. (I love cats.)

Я люблю шоколад. - I like chocolate. (I love chocolate.) There is another common verb, нравиться, which is used in this second meaning, but it can also refer to the people you like:

Мне нравится шоколад. - I like chocolate.

Мне нравится Сергей. - I like Sergej."

"It depends on the context.

used for a specific person (animal), it means "love" used with generic groups of people (animals), it means "like" used with generic things or activities, it means "like" "не любить" is extremely common to express "not liking" some type of activity/ things/ people to express you opinion ("I was in the Cafe 67 last night, quite liked the coffee"), do not use perfective полюбить with these things, no matter generic or specific. Use "понравиться" instead."

""Люблю" means "like" more often, because true love is rare in nature.

You can say "любить" any time you say "like" in English, you are not required to say "нравиться". The only exception is personal relationships: if you say "люблю" to potential partner, it will mean "love"."

"With people: любить is to love; "I like" is мне нравится (for both romantic and "as a person" liking).

With things, activities, etc.: любить is the general equivalent of "to like", and it's more or less interchangeable with мне нравится; occasionally the latter is preferable (with books and works of art, for example). As for "to love" as in "I love skiing" (gummy bears, Tolkien, etc.), I usually translate it as обожать, but there are options, down to the most basic очень люблю."


My point is - the course rejects your answer. If it offers you

"Я люблю шоколад"

and you type "I love chocolate", the course rejects your answer and corrects you, "no, I LIKE chocolate".

Clearly it is not only within the realms of feasibility, but very common for someone to say "I love chocolate".

We can all agree that on some kind of numerical scale, you have:

0% - indifference. 10% - like x% - love 100 - adore

Now maybe the threshold of x is slightly lower in russian (although I have seen absolutely nothing to suggest anything of the sort - it seems more that russian speakers aren't aware of how casually the word "love" is thrown around in english speaking countries. e.g. "Oh I love your top!" is a completely normal thing to say about a top that you literally just encountered for the first time in your entire life. "I love this cake" you could say after eating one bite of a cake you have never eaten before. In English, "loving" an object doesn't mean you intend to devote your life to it, it means you think it's pretty great)

but even if the threshold is higher in russian. If someone says "Я люблю футбол" we now know that they feel >x% affinity towards it.

That can be anywhere from "english equivalent of like", to "utterly love".

So if someone says that they люблт football, it is perfectly reasonable for me to interpret that sentence as "love". I do not know this hypothetical imaginary football fan saying the sentence, so I can't judge just how much they enjoy football, all I can judge is what's written in the sentence. And if люблю is written, clearly it is well within the scope of reason for me to interpret that as them "loving" it and not "liking" it, and it shouldn't grade me as "incorrect".

But besides that, I think the whole premise is a bunch of ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ and the words, at least in british english, are completely interchangeable. I would describe things whose existence I only discovered 10 seconds ago with the words "I love this". I suspect if there is any place in the world where this is not the case, it is some american culture based thing which does not at all apply to british english as spoken in its origin country.


To expand, let me cite some examples.


"Мы с сестрой любим читать"

If you write "My sister and I love to read", it rejects your answer. The mods judged that surely you could only possibly "like" to read and it is not reasonable to fathom that someone could "love" to read.


This question rejects the construction "I love the sun"


Here the question rejects "he loves to watch TV". You can see the mod try to argue to me that one cannot "love" watching the TV unless one is basically addicted to it - which is absolutely ludicrous! This answer bank should be corrected instead of arguing to people in the comments that you can't "love" TV!

And again, in another question:

Я люблю смотреть мужской футбол.

it refuses the translation "I love to watch men's football".

Because someone somewhere thinks that the word "love" in english is too strong for these uses. But it absolutely is not. You can absolutely love reading. You can absolutely love football. You can absolutely love the sun, and you can absolutely love television. The entire premise is absolutely obscene and the fact that mods are arguing back instead of correcting the course is beggar's belief.


I saw in a comment of a любить/нравиться sentence that любить is used to express love to people and animals and to say you really really like inanimate things, нравиться will be used to say that you normally like things, for example: You watched a film yesterday for the first time and you think it is cool, so you would say to a friend of yours something like: мне нравится этот фильм.

But if you watched a film yesterday for the 19th time and it's your favorite film of all time, and you think it's perfect, you would say to your friend: я люблю этот фильм.

So, during the course we use любить a lot to practice, but in real life we would use it a lot less, only for things we really like a lot.

I'm not a native speaker but I understood this way

  • 1593

Russian "любить" vs. "нравиться" are a bit tricky when it comes to inanimate things. Most of the time both best correspond to "like" in English (although in your example with a particular film, English "love" might be a better match). Despite the fact that the closest English translation of both is (most likely) "to like", they are rarely interchangeable in Russian, but the difference is quite subtle and really depends on the context. I will try explaining it here, but it is not quite easy for me to formalise it: as a native speaker, I simply know which one is appropriate.

1. Activities:
Мне нравится плавать
Я люблю плавать
Я обожаю плавать
The first two are best translated as "I like swimming" and are almost interchangeable. But to my ear, the second sentence is slightly stronger and most likely refers to something I do fairly regularly, as opposed to enjoying a swim once in a blue moon. Meantime, the third sentence would best correspond to "I love swimming"="Swimming is my passion".

2. Food, substances, things:
Here "любить" & "нравиться" are usually not interchangeable:
Я люблю шоколад = I like chocolate (in general)
Мне нравится шоколад = I like the chocolate
Alternatively, the last sentence could be used to describe something you are not too familiar with: you grew up without chocolate, you've tried it once or twice and liked it - but it has not become a part of your normal diet.
Meantime, Я обожаю шоколад = I love chocolate (with a distinct stress on love).

In general, I would say that "нравиться" is most applicable for describing "one-off" kind of liking while "любить" is best suited to describe a more sustained affinity for something. Your film example actually fits this mould rather well.


"I love swimming" in english can literally mean "I went swimming three times in my life and I enjoyed it". It literally does not require that it is someone's "passion".

"I love chocolate" in english does not mean "chocolate is my favourite confectionary", it can mean "I have chocolate one time every 3 months and enjoy it".

You seem to not make the distinction between "adore" and "love". In English, "love" doesn't even have to be sustained, you can "love" a meme.

Search "I love this so much" on twitter:


This person claims to "love" some pikachus she saw once "so much".


This person "loves" a sandwich board making fun of donald trump.


This person, in allcaps no less, loves a thor meme so much.

Not only do these people "love" things they saw once in their life, they love them "so much", with emphasis.

If you want to sift through all 1.8 million results of people saying they love something mundane where they clearly do not обожают, feel free to look for yourself here:


"love" is not necessarily a strong word in english, it is when you say it to your partner, it isn't when you say it about a thing or an action. Even then though, it's only really America that have an aversion to saying "I love you" to people. Plenty of dating in britain say "I love you" within the first month, maybe even 2 weeks, or to their friends.


Hmm...I "love" the Thor thing too.

  • 1593

Search "I love this so much" on twitter

Thank you but no, thank you. 140 characters or fewer (or is it "less" among the Twitter crowd?) would hardly be my preferred English reference.
In any case, I am not interested in arguing with you: your original question has been answered more than once, by several people. You are obviously not listening - but that's fine, it's your right to disagree. Just please stop polluting the fora with repeating the same question whenever you disagree with the answer.


You linked four dictionary definitions supporting the position that "love" is stronger than "like".

If you really care to take it up with Duo admins: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
For "type of issue" you probably want "Report abuse" or maybe "Other bug".


This was awesome to read. :D Thank you.


The thing the course is trying to reflect is that "любить" means different things when referring to people/pets and when referring to things/activities, so following a rule where "любить" = "love" in each and every case is not beneficial. When referring to people, it means "love", quite simply. When referring to things, it is "like" without implying any strength of feeling. It's obviously an exaggeration to say that "if you love cookies it would mean cookies are your favorite thing in the world", but "love" does still have a stronger meaning than "like" and a nearer parallel in Russian would be "обожать".

I can agree that there are cases where "love" would work as a translation for "любить" when referring to things, but for the reasons above it was decided not to accept "love" in that case and I'm not going to change that decision now.

Edit: FWIW, Dictionary.com gives definitions such as:
To have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in.
And from the Collins (British) English Dictionary: To like or desire (to do something) very much

If you're going to insist that there is absolutely no distinction between "love" and "like" - we're just going to disagree. If there's a distinction, then I'll tell you, like multiple others have already, that "любить" is closer to "like" and "обожать" is closer to "love".


From what you've written, it appears that this may be a difference in Russian and English, where you can use "love" in a hyperbolic manner in English but not in Russian.


After a quick Google session, I believe you are correct. It's always nice to learn more about Russian. ;)


I feel you. I have a similar problem with the use of артист/artist for singers, and it's expanded beyond duolingo, on autotranslators as well...


What's the issue you're having with артист?


The short answer to this, which judging from your behaviour here you're not gonna like but oh well, is that you're acting like there should be a one to one relationship between words in English and words in Russian. There isn't. Whining about it won't make it so.

(I'm baffled by your example of suggesting a person only mildly likes football. When you decide that they intended "mildly" likes, you're adding in a nuance that isn't there, which is somewhat akin to what you're accusing the mods of doing...)

The only real question is how much you actually want to learn or practice a given language, and whether it's enough to overcome the minor inconvenience that the language and thus the course aren't that simple, and no one else can answer that for you, dude. Russian has plenty of resources, many of them free (not as many as Spanish or French, sure, but we are lucky), so it's not like your ability to learn it starts and ends on Duolingo.


Well, this has gone a long way, and I am not following it because I do not want my email going crazy, but get in touch with a real Russian person as in face to face and calmly talk about it.

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