What does it mean?
Die Zuneigung means “the affection.” The phrase zu neigen means to have a bend or tilt towards something. This is a lovely way to describe the feeling pulled of toward someone you care about.
Zuneigung is particularly useful with two different verbs: fassen, “to get, understand, or believe” and entwickeln, “to develop.”
Valentine’s Day is all about Die Zuneigung, whether individuals choose to celebrate in traditional ways or not. Some Germans enjoy buying chocolate or flowers for their loved ones, while many don’t think it takes a special holiday to declare their love.
Speaking of declaring love, another useful Valentine’s Day word is Die Liebeserklärung: Die Erklärung, or declaration, of Die Liebe, love. The classic declaration? “Ich liebe dich,” simply “I love you.”
We’ve included some photos of individual declarations of love from across Germany to celebrate this week’s holiday.
This man used an announcement screen at a train station in Münster to declare his love:
A tractor was the instrument by which this Liebeserklärung was made in Bavaria:
These lovers in Lower Saxony put a wintry spin on announcing their affection for one another:
Some prefer to say it with Lebkuchen:
Classic Valentine's Day cookies. Photo: DPA
Hans entwickelte Zuneigung zu Stella.
Hans developed affections for Stella.
Sie hat Zuneigung zu ihm gefaßt.
She took a liking to him.