HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

To celebrate the 300th post on this blog I will look at how to sing “Happy Birthday”, arguably the most famous song in the world, in several different languages. The English original first became popular in the USA around the start of the 20th century.

English:

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear (NAME)
Happy birthday to you

Spanish:

Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz
Te deseamos todos
Cumpleaños feliz

The 3rd line means “We all wish you”. There are variants but I think it is more common to say ‘todos’ rather than the person’s name, at least in Spain.

French:

Joyeux anniversaire
Joyeux anniversaire
Joyeux anniversaire (NOM)
Joyeux anniversaire

NB There is a liaison between the “x” at the end of “joyeux” and “a” at the beginning of “anniversaire”, so the “x” will be pronounced with a “z” sound.

German:

Zum Geburtstag viel Glück
Zum Geburtstag viel Glück
Zum Geburtstag liebe(r) (NAME)
Zum Geburtstag viel Glück

Der Geburtstag is masculine and zum is the contraction of ‘zu dem’ using the dative case, meaning “to you”. So the first line translates literally as “Good luck to you on your birthday”.

NB Use liebe with a female name and lieber with a male name.

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