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How to Say "Happy Birthday in Spanish": The Ultimate Guide

Celebrating birthdays is just as important in Spanish culture as it is in English! Knowing how to say "happy birthday" and send your best wishes is an essential part of speaking the language. In this...

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Celebrating birthdays is just as important in Spanish culture as it is in English! Knowing how to say "happy birthday" and send your best wishes is an essential part of speaking the language. In this comprehensive guide, we'll teach you how to say "happy birthday" in Spanish, along with additional birthday phrases and vocabulary you can use to congratulate your loved ones on their special day.

How to Say "Happy Birthday" in Spanish

Here are the most popular phrases you can use to wish someone a happy birthday:

¡Feliz Cumpleaños! - Happy Birthday!

This is the most common way to wish someone a "happy birthday" in Spanish across the Spanish-speaking world. Like "happy birthday!" in English, all you need is this phrase. Adding a name is optional. For example, "¡Feliz cumpleaños, Juan!" means "Happy Birthday, Juan!" In colloquial speech, this phrase is sometimes shortened to "¡Feliz cumple!" which also means "happy birthday!"

¡Feliz Cumple! - Happy Birthday!

"¡Cumple!" is the short version of "cumpleaños." This phrase is also commonly used but is more informal than the first one. Both of these phrases contain some form of the verb "cumplir" (to fulfill) + "años" (years). So when you wish someone "feliz cumpleaños," you are essentially wishing them a "happy completion of this year!"

¡Felicidades! - Happy Birthday!

Along with "feliz cumpleaños," "felicidades" is another popular birthday phrase. This phrase translates literally into English as "happiness" and is used to say "congratulations" or "best wishes" in Spanish. "¡Felicidades!" is often used to wish someone a happy birthday. You can also use phrases like "¡Muchas felicidades!" (Many congratulations!) or "¡Muchas felicidades en tu día!" (Many congratulations on your birthday!) to add more depth to your wishes.

¡Felicitaciones! - Happy Birthday!

"Felicitaciones" is used in Spanish to say "congratulations." This phrase is less common than the others on this list and is seen as a formal way of wishing someone a happy birthday. However, it's worth adding "felicitaciones" to your Spanish vocabulary as this word can be used in many different situations. For instance, "¡Felicitaciones por tu cumpleaños!" means "Happy birthday! (Literally 'congratulations on your birthday')".

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Atrasado! - Happy Belated Birthday!

Have you ever forgotten a family member's birthday or overheard a conversation at work about a colleague's birthday from last weekend? Even if you're great at remembering birthdays and important dates, it's worth learning these phrases! Instead of pretending it never happened, say "Feliz cumpleaños atrasado" (Happy belated birthday). You can also use phrases like "¡Felicidades con retraso!" or "¡Feliz cumpleaños con retraso!" to convey the same message. Remember, "más vale tarde que nunca" (better late than never)!

Spanish Birthday Greetings and Well Wishes

Spanish English
¡Que cumplas muchos más! May you celebrate many more birthdays!
¡Que tengas un feliz día! May you have a good day!
Disfruta de tu día. Enjoy your day!
Feliz cumpleaños adelantado. Happy early birthday.
¡Que se cumplan todos tus sueños/deseos! May all your dreams/wishes come true!
¡Pásalo muy bien! Have a good time!
¡Que tengas un día especial! ¡Te lo mereces! Hope you have a special day! You deserve it!
Mis mejores deseos en tu cumpleaños. My best wishes on your birthday.
Que tengas un feliz cumpleaños. Have a happy birthday.
Felicidades en tu día. Congratulations on your day.
Deseándote un día especial. Wishing you a special day.
Espero que tengas un cumpleaños maravilloso. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
Te deseo lo mejor en tu día especial. I wish you the best on your special day.

As you can see, there are many different ways to wish someone a "happy birthday" in Spanish. To truly understand how these phrases are used by native speakers, we recommend immersing yourself in native media. You can watch Spanish content on YouTube or use language learning programs like FluentU to practice and get a better feel for the usage of these phrases.

Spanish Birthday Vocabulary

In addition to learning how to wish someone a "happy birthday" in Spanish, it's useful to know some basic birthday words and phrases to use when speaking with native speakers on their birthdays. Here are a few examples:

Spanish Birthday Words

Spanish English Example Phrase
La fiesta de cumpleaños Birthday party Me ha invitado a su fiesta de cumpleaños. (He has invited me to his birthday party.)
Los deseos Wishes Que se cumplan todos tus deseos. (May all your wishes come true.)
El globo Balloon Tenemos que comprar más globos. (We need to buy more balloons.)
El pastel / la tarta / la torta Cake Me encanta este pastel de chocolate. (I love this chocolate cake.)
Los regalos Gifts Ella recibió muchos regalos. (She got a lot of presents.)
El confeti Confetti ¿Has traído el confeti? (Have you brought the confetti?)
Celebrar To celebrate Vamos a celebrar el viernes. (We are going to celebrate on Friday.)
Dar un regalo To give a present ¿Le has dado el regalo a Pablo ya? (Have you given the present to Pablo yet?)
La canción de cumpleaños Birthday song Esta es mi canción de cumpleaños favorita. (This is my favorite birthday song.)
La piñata Piñata En la fiesta de cumpleaños de María había una piñata. (There was a piñata at Maria's birthday party.)

Spanish Birthday Phrases

Spanish English
¿Cuántos años cumples? How old are you turning?
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? When is your birthday?
¿Qué quieres para tu cumpleaños? What do you want for your birthday?
¿Qué vas a hacer para tu cumpleaños? What are you going to do for your birthday?
¿Qué vas a hacer en tu cumpleaños? What are you going to do on your birthday?
Mi cumpleaños es el (date). My birthday is on (date).
¿Cómo celebraste tu último cumpleaños? How did you celebrate your last birthday?
¿Qué te gustaría recibir de regalo de cumpleaños? What would you like to receive as a birthday gift?
¿Qué tipo de comida te gusta tener en tu cumpleaños? What kind of food do you like to have on your birthday?
¿Cuál ha sido tu mejor fiesta de cumpleaños hasta ahora? What has been your best birthday party so far?
¿Cuál es tu recuerdo más especial de un cumpleaños pasado? What is your most special memory of a past birthday?
¿Cómo te sientes cuando se acerca tu cumpleaños? How do you feel as your birthday approaches?
¿Cuántas velas soplaste en tu último cumpleaños? How many candles did you blow out on your last birthday?
¿Cuál es tu signo zodiacal? What is your zodiac sign?
¿Recibiste algún regalo sorpresa en tu último cumpleaños? Did you receive any surprise gifts on your last birthday?
¿Cómo planeas celebrar tu cumpleaños este año? How do you plan to celebrate your birthday this year?
¿Qué te gusta hacer durante el día de tu cumpleaños? What do you like to do on your birthday?
¿Tienes algún deseo especial para tu próximo cumpleaños? Do you have any special wishes for your upcoming birthday?
¿Has tenido alguna fiesta sorpresa de cumpleaños en el pasado? Have you ever had a surprise birthday party in the past?

Singing "Happy Birthday" in Spanish

A birthday celebration isn't complete without singing "happy birthday!" It's an essential part of the celebration, just like it is in many cultures around the world. In Spanish, there are multiple birthday songs to choose from. One of the most popular options is "Cumpleaños Feliz" (Happy Birthday to You). Here are the lyrics:

¡Cumpleaños feliz! (Happy birthday!) ¡Cumpleaños feliz! (Happy birthday!) Te deseamos todos, (We all wish you,) ¡Cumpleaños feliz! (Happy birthday!)

You can also find variations of the same song or other traditional birthday songs in Spanish. Whatever song you choose, be sure to sing loudly and make the person celebrating feel special on their birthday!

Birthday Traditions in the Spanish-speaking World

With such a large Spanish-speaking world, birthday traditions can vary. Here are some of the most popular ones across several countries:

  • Argentina: One tradition in Argentina is pulling a child's earlobe once for each year they are turning. Additionally, they hold a large Quinceañera party when a girl turns 15.
  • Chile: Pineapple cakes and the birthday boy or girl getting frosting on their face while blowing out the candles are common traditions in Chile.
  • Dominican Republic: If it's your birthday, expect people to throw water at you, regardless of your age!
  • El Salvador: Tamales, delicious treats, are a must-have at birthday parties in El Salvador, alongside a cake.
  • Honduras: In Honduras, it's common for people to get egged on their birthday. Guests smash an egg over the person's head and then throw flour and water at them.
  • Mexico: No birthday party in Mexico would be complete without a piñata filled with candy. Traditionally, kids are blindfolded and given a bat or stick to hit the piñata until it bursts, releasing all the candy for everyone to enjoy.
  • Peru: Guests at birthday parties in Peru often receive souvenirs, such as goody bags or pins made in honor of the event.
  • Spain: In Spain, most people consider themselves to have two birthdays: the actual day they were born and their patron saint's day. Some people celebrate both dates, and others choose to celebrate only on the patron saint's day.
  • Venezuela: On birthdays in Venezuela, it's common to have your face pushed into the birthday cake. It's believed to bring good luck, so don't resist!

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to celebrate birthdays in Spanish, it's time to practice and start wishing your loved ones a heartfelt "¡Feliz cumpleaños!"

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