It doesn’t matter what words or expressions you use. Warmth and love never change. From the simplest wishes from our old grandparents to the fancy greetings from our friends and pals, whatever the words are, the affection they carry is the same. And birthdays? They are not always about balloons, poppers, and streamers, but about friends, love and a celebration of life.
Different people in the world have different trends to celebrate birthdays, but it is one of the things we all have in common. Even if we speak different languages, we still live to wish our loved ones “Happy Birthday!”. So do that! Surprise your closed ones by taking the opportunity for more speaking practice. The same Happy Birthday wishes have become very formal and monotonous nowadays. Who doesn’t cherish unique birthday wishes that go straight to the heart? Our tip to make it more interesting is to use birthday wishes in the language you are currently learning.
Have you ever thought about how people from other cultures sing birthday songs? Do they do it the same way we do it in English? What about gifts and cakes? How do they express emotions on a birthday? Do they use specific words? Let’s learn how other cultures say and commemorate birthdays!
Happy Birthday in Spanish: Feliz Cumpleaños
Feliz Cumpleaños are the Spanish words for “Happy Completed Years” or simply “Happy Birthday” since birthdays are considered a big day of celebration in most Spanish countries. “Feliz Cumpleaños amigo” is a commonly used phrase for wishing a happy birthday to your friends. The same as in Mexico, their popular unique birthday song is “Las Mañanitas“ meaning “Little Mornings“. The best and funniest part is that the birthday boy or girl must eat the first bite of the cake without using any utensils or hands. They have no custom of blowing out candles or making a wish. Yet, the party cannot ever finish without the famous piñata!
Happy Birthday in French: Bon Anniversaire
Joyeux Anniversaire or Bon Anniversaire are the standard ways to wish someone a happy birthday in French. But if you are speaking Canadian French or Quebec, you should say Bonne fête, meaning “Good party/Birthday”. French and English birthdays are often alike. Celebrations include party time, cake, gifts and songs like ‘Joyeux Anniversaire’. Most birthday parties are thrown on Wednesdays as French have their Wednesdays off.
Happy Birthday in Chinese: 生日快乐 (Shēngrì Kuàilè)
Chinese culture has an interesting concept of birthday celebrations. Depending on a person’s gender, certain birthdays pass without acknowledgment or require special handling. Women, for example, do not celebrate turning 30, 33 or 66. Another interesting custom are the longevity noodles that are considered a sign of good fortune and long life. So these noodles are a must eat without breaking (it’s a sign of good luck).
If you’ll check the literal meaning of Shēngrì Kuàilè, you’ll see that it translates to “Birthday is Happy.”
Happy Birthday in Russian: С днем рождения (S Dnem Rozhdeniya)
If you want to say “happy birthday” in Russian, you say “S Dnem Rozhdeniya”. And if you feel like memorizing a longer phrase, add “pozdravlyayu” in the start and it will transform to “I congratulate you on your birthday”. Russians have a funny tradition of celebrating. The guests pull the celebrated’s ears for a number of times equal to his or her age. The phrase “Grow up – don’t be noodles,” is considered as a sign of good omen for the growth of children. It means the child will grow up strong and healthy. Birthday songs are not common am0ng them, but if the person has survived after a severe accident, that day is celebrated as another birthday.
Happy Birthday in Dutch: Gefeliciteerd Met Je Verjaardag
“Gefeliciteerd Met Je Verjaardag” means “Congratulations on your birthday!” in the Netherlands. An interesting custom here is that they mark their calendars for everyone’s birthday and keep that calendar by their toilet. It acts as a reminder for birthdays since forgetting one’s birthday is a major offense to your loved ones. The 50th birthday is celebrated with full bliss and cheer because it is thought that at the age of 50, men see Abraham and women see Sarah – the biblical couple who gave birth to a child at a very old age.
Happy Birthday in Swedish: Grattis På Födelsedagen
“Grattis På Födelsedagen” is translated to “Birthday congratulations!” in Swedish. The Swedish culture has a lot of love for celebrating birthdays. They often surprise the celebrated with birthday gifts and breakfast in bed while singing “Ja, ma du leva” meaning “Yes, may you live”. Their traditional party has a cake coated in green marzipan with gifts wrapped in blue and gold sheets – the colors of the Swedish flag.
Happy Birthday in Hindi: जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएं (Janmadin Kee Shubhakaamanaen)
Birthday wishes in Hindi are translated as “Good wishes for your birthday.” Indian culture has a part of western celebrations too. In Hindu practice, birthday starts with a sanction at a temple, a lot of prayers, and a blessed paste of rice and turmeric on the forehead of the one that celebrates his or her birthday. The rest of the day is comprised of western traditions like songs and cake cutting.
There you have it! We have made you a multilingual expert in wishing “happy birthday” in different languages! Everyone loves to be wished a birthday, but to hear birthday wishes from a foreign friend in your native language means a whole lot more.
Spread the word and a good cheer by just wishing your friends a happy birthday in multiple languages.
Author Bio: Umer Ishfaq is a Search Engine and Content Marketing expert at Techvando. A writer by day and reader by night, his passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.