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!
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…..”!
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!!
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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