In Hungarian one cupcake would suffice saying SZERETLEK, definitely more economical.  The root of the word is SZER, the verb is SZERET (love or like) while the noun is either SZERETET or SZERELEM (love).

Foreigners are advised to use the derivatives of the word cautiously to avoid misunderstanding. The verb in first person singular has three forms:

SZERETEK (I like … doing something, e.g. SZERETEK OLVASNI – I like reading)

SZERETEM (I like/love something, e.g. SZERETEM A TAVASZT  – I like/love spring)

SZERETLEK (I love you – the ending -LEK expressing that the doer is I and the action is directed towards YOU). Some confusion might occur when the trendy ’I love you’ phrase is used to end a telephone conversation since SZERETLEK is still reserved for passionate confession of love i.e. I am in love with you.

The same applies to the nouns SZERETET and SZERELEM, the latter meaning romantic love, while SZERETET is love in the sense of devotion.

Hungarian poetry  is lavish in love poems and so are Hungarian folk songs. In line with the gloomy Hungarian mindset love is most often associated with anguish as in the well-known SZERELEM, SZERELEM ÁTKOZOTT GYÖTRELEM (Love, love, thou cursed pain!)

This ancient tune made international fame as a movie song in The English Patient performed by folk singer Márta Sebestyén:

Happy Valentine to all.

The lyrics in Hungarian and English:

Szerelem, szerelem,
Átkozott gyötrelem,
Mért nem virágoztál
Minden fa teteje?

Minden fa tetején,
Diófa levelén,
Hogy szakísztott volna,
Minden leány és legény.

Mer’ én is szakísztottam,
El is szalasztottam,
Én is szakísztottam,
S el is szalasztottam.

Ej de még szakísztanék,
Ha jóra találnék,
Ha jóra, ha szépre,
Régi szeretőmre.

S, a régi szeretőmér,
Mit nem cselekednék,
Tengerből a vizet,
Kanállal lemerném.

S a tenger fenekéről,
Apró gyöngyöt szednék,
S a régi szeretőmnek,
Gyöngykoszorút kötnék.

Love, Love
Damned anguish
Why didn’t you bloom
in the top of trees?

On top of the trees,
Girls and fellows would’ve plucked
Leaves of walnut tree.

Because I’ve plucked one either,
And I had let it go.
I’ve plucked one either,
And I had let it go.

But I would pluck one too,
and if I’ve found one good,
A good and a beautiful one
and I could find my old lover.

I would do anything
for my old lover,
I would dip the water
of the sea.

I would pick pearls
from the seabed
And I’d sew wreath of pearls
for my old lover.