How to say “Happy Birthday” in Different Languages
Birthdays are something that all people have in common, whether they live in a far-flung corner of Russia or the vibrant city of Tokyo. The words, traditions, songs, gifts and how the cake is served may be different, but the sentiment remains the same. Read on to find out how to say “happy birthday” in fifteen different languages, along with some of the cultural traditions surrounding birthdays.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish: Feliz Cumpleaños
In Mexico, instead of blowing out candles on a cake, the person has to eat the first bite without using utensils or hands.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Japanese: お誕生日おめでとうございます (Otanjoubi Omedetou Gozaimasu)
On the 15th November, it’s tradition in Japan to celebrate Shichi-Go-San, which means 7-5-3. All three-year-old children attend, boys when they’re five and girls when they’re seven, as these are lucky numbers.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Finnish: Hyvää Syntymäpäivää
Name Day is celebrated on top of birthdays in Finland. Different names are assigned to each day of the year, so when the day your name is assigned to arrives, you can celebrate again!
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Korean: 생일 축하 (Saeng-il Chugha)
It’s custom in Korea to celebrate your first birthday 100 days after you were born. This celebration consists of a small feast and predictions are made about the child’s future based on items he or she picks up.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Chinese Mandarin: 生日快乐 (Shēngrì Kuàilè)
It’s common in Chinese culture to eat longevity noodles on your birthday. The aim is to eat the noodles without them breaking to bring good luck and a long life.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Russian: С днем рождения (S Dnem Rozhdeniya)
Russians don’t sing a birthday song, instead, they pull on the person’s ear the number of times that matches their age.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Portuguese: Feliz Aniversário
In Brazil, it isn’t uncommon to have flour thrown at you, sometimes eggs too, on your birthday.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Polish: Wszystkiego Najlepszego Z Okazji Urodzin
In Poland, it’s common to celebrate ‘imieniny’ on top of a birthday. Imieniny is a celebration that falls on the feast day of the saint the birthday person is named after.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Norwegian: Gratulerer Med Dagen
In Norway, their birthday song translates to, “Hurray for you who fills the year.”
How to say “Happy Birthday” in French: Bon Anniversaire
In French-speaking Quebec, hearing ‘Bonne Fête!’ is more common. This means ‘Good Party!’
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Vietnamese: Chúc Mừng Sinh Nhật
In Vietnam, everyone tends to celebrate their birthday together and turn a year older on the day of ‘Tet’, which is the Vietnamese New Year.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Italian: Buon Compleanno
It’s common in Italy to open your birthday present straight away in front of the person who presented the gift to you.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in German: Alles Gute zum Geburtstag
It’s considered bad luck in Germany to celebrate a birthday early or to wish someone a happy birthday before the exact day.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Hindi: जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएं (Janmadin Kee Shubhakaamanaen)
Hindu birthday practice begins at a temple, with prayers and a blessed paste of rice and turmeric on the forehead and ends with songs and cake.
How to say “Happy Birthday” in Dutch: Gefeliciteerd Met Je Verjaardag
In the Netherlands, forgetting a birthday is considered incredibly offensive to loved ones. To avoid this, everyone’s birthday is marked in a calendar, which interestingly, is kept by the toilet!