Birthdays are always fun, and it’s important to celebrate them right, and with the appropriate phrases.
There are a few ways you can say happy birthday in Italian and celebrate anniversaries with everyone.
You and your Italian friends will have a blast!
How to Say Happy Birthday in Italian
Tthere are two main ways of saying happy birthday in Italian: buon compleanno and tanti auguri.
Now, buon compleanno is the easiest way to say happy birthday in Italian and it’s used just like in English.
Of course, there are a few variations to these phrases that can be useful in different situations.
And, don’t remember to say cheers in Italian!
Tanti auguri is another common way of wishing someone a happy birthday.
Even though it doesn’t mean happy birthday since the word compleanno (birthday) is not present, it can be translated to well wishes.
This happy birthday in Italian is a little more versatile than buon compleano and it’s often used on special occasions.
With it, you can wish someone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Mother’s Day, and even a Happy Easter.
- Buon compleanno – Happy birthday
- Tanti auguri di buon compleanno – Many wishes for your birthday
- Auguri – Good wishes
- Tanti auguri – Many wishes
- Tanti cari auguri, amico mio (or amica mia) – Many dear wishes, my friend
- Tanti auguri di buon Natale – Merry Christmas
- Tanti auguri di buon anno nuovo – Happy New Year
- Tanti auguri per la festa della mamma – Happy Mother’s Day
- Tanti auguri di buona Pasqua – Happy Easter
To formulate a happy birthday using tanti auguri, you can simply form it by adding the phrase ‘tanti auguri,’ followed by the word ‘for’ and the name of the holiday.
You can also use it to wish someone success in life.
For example when they’re starting a new job, when they are going to have a baby or for their anniversary.
How to sing the happy birthday song in Italian
Singing happy birthday in Italian is done by using the tanti auguri phrase, and it simply goes like this:
“Tanti auguri a te,
Tanti auguri a te,
Tanti auguri a <add the name>
Tanti auguri a te!”
Of course, there are a few more ways to say happy birthday in Italian and be completely original.
You can wish someone ‘cento di questi giorni’ which literally means ‘one hundred of these days.’
You can use it to wish them 100 years of birthdays or a long life.
How to Ask Somebody About Their Age
Of course, when you are invited to a birthday you need to know how old the festeggiato/a (birthday boy or girl) is.
In order for you to do so, you can use one of these phrases.
- Quanti anni compi? – How old are you today?
- Quanti anni hai? – How old are you?
If you want to ask someone how old he or she is when it’s not their birthday, you should use the second phrase, as it doesn’t refer to a specific day.
Of course, when talking about happy birthday in Italian, there are a few more things you need to know.
Questions and Answers About Birthdays
- Quando è il tuo compleanno? – When is your birthday?
- Di che anno sei? – In which year were you born?
- Sono del settantadue -I was born in 1972
By knowing the numbers in Italian it’s going to be very easy for you to have this conversation with anyone.
In Italy, it’s important to remember that it may be impolite to ask a woman when her birthday is.
It’s always best to ask when she was born and if she’s comfortable, she will give you the wanted answer.
- Quando è il tuo compleanno? – When is your birthday?
- Il 15 settembre – It’s on September 15
Another important thing to remember is that Italians put the day first, and then the month.
- Ho 45 anni – I’m 45 years old
- Complimenti, non li dimostra! – Congratulations, you don’t show them!
- Complimenti, li porta bene! – Congratulations, you carry them well!
- Which is another way to politely say that someone looks younger.
Even though these phrases may look odd for English speakers, they are simply supposed to express admiration towards the person.
If you want to ask your friend whose birthday is coming up soon what present they would like to receive, you can say:
- Che regalo vuoi? – What present do you want?
- Cosa vuoi per il tuo compleanno? – What do you want for your birthday?
Italian birthday traditions and useful vocabulary
Italians keep all the traditional major ways to celebrate a birthday (cake, candles, gifts), but there are some differences from other cultures such as the US.
Usually, when Italians celebrate their own birthday, they invite friends and family out and pay the dinner, or drinks, for everyone.
Note that wishing happy birthday to a friend one or few days in advance is considered rude by Italian people.
There is no actual reason for this, it is simply considered something that brings bad luck, so be sure to know the exact date of your Italian friends’ birthdays!
On the other hand, if you’re a little late, you can try to fix it by saying:
- Tanti auguri in ritardo – Happy belated birthday
It is also common to accompany your gift and wishes with a birthday card, where you need to write down a few words to the birthday boy or girl.
Another Italian tradition is to open all the presents in front of everyone at the party, so you may want to buy something not too personal or that your friend won’t be ashamed to show in public.
Happy sentences to you
Saying happy birthday in Italian may be one of the easiest things you have done in a while, and in all fairness, we are all happy to celebrate given the opportunity!
Other basic Italian expressions that you need to know are: