Italian 101 – How to say Happy Birthday!

Over the next few weeks there are several birthdays in the family and of friends near and far which got me to thinking – I don’t know how to say happy birthday in Italian?! So if you’re facing the same dilemma and want to impress your friends or family let’s have a look at the best birthday greetings!

how to say happy birthday in Italian

Say it with a birthday balloon!

If you ask Google Translate how to say happy birthday it gives you –how to say happy birthday

Pronounced “bwon com-pleh-ahn-no”, it literally means good birthday!

And if you want to know how to sing happy birthday in Italian the tune is the same the world over but the lyrics differ, obviously. So in Italy we sing –

Tanti auguri a te,
Tanti auguri a te,
Tanti auguri a insert name
Tanti auguri a te!

Literally it means “many good wishes to you, many good wishes to you…..”!

Italian birthday cards

Italian birthday cards – Many happy returns!

There is an etiquette to present giving too. Many people set great store by gift giving – buying the right present or even the right gift wrap is extremely important. Italian friends will also often wait whilst you unwrap their gift in front of them so they can see your reaction. Its all part of the joy of giving, and obviously lets you say thank you in person.

But as with all things, there are also other more beautifully poetic ways of how to say happy birthday. For example, if you want to wish a close friend or someone you love a happy birthday, you might say “Tanti auguri di buon compleanno e cento di questi giorni a te!” Literally you are offering the birthday girl or boy celebrating (or the “festeggiato”), “Many best wishes  for a happy birthday and may you live long enough to celebrate 100 more days like this!” Now that is something to wish for when blowing out your candles!!

happy birthday cake

Blow out the candles and make a birthday wish!

PS  If you’ve found this useful you might want to check out more of our DreamDiscoverItalia Italian 101 ideas such as how to say hello, do you speak English or even I love you all of which are easy to learn! I can’t promise that we’ll make you fluent in Italian overnight, but with the help our our Italian 101 posts you can learn a little and often and hopefully have a bit of fun doing it!

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12 Responses to Italian 101 – How to say Happy Birthday!

  1. Fussyladyabroad says:

    Hi Llizzie, loving your live posts from italia. myself, i’m off to verona for the weekend. just wondering if you have any top tips for restaurants or places for a proper cup of tea? in the absence of any great wisdom from you, i will head for palazzo vittoria or hotel gabbo d’oro….

    ciao

    Helen

    ps have you been over to the island where the lunatic asylum and fever hospital used to be? San Servolo I think it is called. Anyway, there’s just a conference centre and a sort of student halls thing on it, but when I was there, the police diving team were doing their training there – and there is a nice secluded spot down at the end of the island. We had a conference there.

    • lizbert1 says:

      Ciao Helen,
      Thanks for popping by my blog and for your question. Verona is a beautiful city and I did find a little cafe near the Teatro Nuovo which is famous for doing tea. Its called Caffe Mattei and is at Via Crocioni, 6 offVia Cappello which exits Piazza Dell’Erbe near Juliet’s House. They also do coffee and hot chocolate with amaretto which is gorgeous on a cold winter afternoon!!! Mmmm!!! Plus their cakes are fabulous! Ask the waiter to recommend something as they don’t always have the same things in – I had some tasty tasty morsels when I was there in January this year!!! Hope that helps but any other questions, give me a shout! Have a great trip!! Cheers, Lizzie :o)
      PS I’ve not been over to the island but I am hoping to get across next month maybe as I’ve heard that its very interesting along with Poveglia too. So much still to explore!!

  2. Pecora Nera says:

    Ciao Liz,
    In November will you sing happy birthday to me in Italian????

    And the cake looks wonderful.

  3. litadoolan says:

    So thrilled to find your blog! I love Italy. i had two super holidays in Sicily and also Rome. I am learning Italian in my spare time. Thank you for your beautiful blog.

    • lizbert1 says:

      Thank you so much, its nice to know its hitting the spot! Whereabouts in Sicily did you go? I had a glorious week in Cefalù a couple of years ago but am longing to go back so am always up for recommendations or suggestions! Shall be watching out for your new posts too – keep up the good work emerging!! :o)

      • litadoolan says:

        I went to Stromboli. It was just awesome. I had wanted to go for ages and it took a while to plan it. In the end I took the boat from Palermo to get there and then coming back took the boat to Naples. If I ever get the chance I’m going back!!! I bet Cefalu was amazing.

  4. Pingback: Italian 101 – How to ask where is the toilet? | DreamDiscoverItalia

  5. markryanhoppus says:

    now that’s italian.. thanksalot.
    now that’s italian!..thanksalot!!!.

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