The ‘untranslatable’ Japanese phrase that predicts love
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The ‘untranslatable’ Japanese phrase ‘Koi No Yokan’ is ‘the premonition of love’. BBC Culture asked Japanese speakers what it meant to them.

“We have the word for love at first sight – Hitomebore,” says language director Tomoyo Kamimura. Yet Koi No Yokan is different: it’s “the feeling upon first meeting someone that you will inevitably fall in love with them”.

The Japanese phrase is increasingly used by young people today, particularly those brought up on shoujo manga – comics aimed at teen females. But it also had a particular meaning for older people. “For my grandma’s generation, relationships were pretty serious. Relationships meant marriage,” says dancer Ayaka Kamei. “They were not really allowed to decide who they wanted to be with forever, so I think that little feeling of Koi No Yokan became really important.”

Watch the video to find out more about Koi No Yokan.

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