How To Say Happy Birthday In the Italian Language: Best wish, Great quotes
How To Say Happy Birthday In Italian. Photo: Youtube

How do you wish someone a happy birthday in Italian?

Birthdays in different cultures can be celebrated in different ways. In Italy, just like in many other countries, this occasion requires cakes, presents, and parties. Some people choose to stay at home and cook, and even bake their own cake, while others would rather go out for dinner.

No matter how the birthday is celebrated, Italians mainly express their best wishes by using one of these two phrases: buon compleanno or tanti auguri.

Buon compleanno literally means “good birthday” and Italians use it the same way English speakers use “Happy birthday”. Here are all the ways you can wish someone happy birthday, which are basically variations of these two:

  • 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 in case of a female: “amica mia”)

    Many dear wishes, my friend

The meaning of tanti auguri

Tanti auguri is another common sentence to wish someone the best during their birthday. In fact, the popular song “happy birthday to you” is translated into Italian as “tanti auguri a te”. Tanti auguri, however, does not literally mean “happy birthday.” In fact, the Italian word for “birthday” (compleanno) does not even appear in this phrase.

The word “auguri” literally means “well wishes” and is often used on special occasions, while “tanti” means “many”. You can also shorten this sentence and just say a simple auguri. Unlike buon compleanno, which is used only for birthdays, tanti auguri is more versatile, according to Clozemaster.

In fact, tanti auguri is a generic sentence that can be used to express your wishes on other important occasions such as Christmas, Easter, New Year, Mother’s Day, and so on. You can just say tanti auguri, or use full expressions such as:

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

Happy Birthday Greetings in Italian

How To Say Happy Birthday In the Italian Language: Best wish, Great quotes
Photo: gifocard

When writing a birthday card, it can be a challenge to think of something touching to write in English, let alone in Italian! To get you started, we’ve listed a few basic greetings that you might find inspiring of Dailyitalianwords:

  • Tanti auguri di buon compleanno alla persona migliore che conosco. = Happy birthday to the best person I know.
  • Auguri di buon compleanno dal profondo del cuore. = Happy birthday wishes from the bottom of the heart.
  • Buon compleanno! Che questa giornata possa trascorrere serena e piena di gioia. = Happy birthday! May this day be serene and full of joy.

Read more: Say 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' with Top 20 Popular Languages in the World

Questions and answers about birthday celebrations

When you’ve known someone for a while, you may want to ask them when their birthday is. You can say:

  • Quando è il tuo compleanno?

    When is your birthday?

Or you can also ask “quando compi gli anni?”, which also means “when is your birthday”. Quando is when, anni is years, while the verb compiere means to turn, to reach a certain age.

Another common way to ask indirectly about someone’s age is the following:

  • Di che anno sei?

    In which year were you born?

  • Sono del settantadue

    I was born in 1972

Italians often joke about the fact that it’s impolite to ask the age, especially to women, who might be reluctant about giving out this information. When asking women – especially mature women – it’s better to ask about their birthday date, rather than the year they were born. You should therefore use the first example, instead of the second one. This way, if someone is uncomfortable with telling you their age, they can simply say the day they were born, without the year:

  • Quando è il tuo compleanno?

    When is your birthday?

  • Il 15 settembre

    It’s on September 15

When replying to someone who is asking you about your birthday date you simply put the day first and then the month. Since telling one’s age can be a sensitive topic, Italian people like to be polite by using this reply when they discover how old someone is:

  • Ho 45 anni

    I’m 45 years old

  • Complimenti, non li dimostra!

    Congratulations, you don’t show them!

This reply can be a bit odd for English speakers. You basically want to tell someone that they look younger than their age: complimenti means congratulations, while the verb dimostrare means “to show”, “to display”. You can also say:

  • Complimenti, li porta bene!

    Congratulations, you carry them well!

Which is another way to politely say that someone looks younger.

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?

Or even:

  • Cosa vuoi per il tuo compleanno?

    What do you want for your birthday?

Happy Birthday for Everyone

How To Say Happy Birthday In the Italian Language: Best wish, Great quotes
Photo: Pinterest

For Sentiment

— Ti auguro un anno pieno di sorrisi. Ti auguro un anno di mille occasioni. Ti auguro un anno ricco di emozioni. Auguroni per il tuo compleanno.I wish you a year full of smiles. I wish you a year of a thousand opportunities. I wish you a year rich of excitements/emotions. A big wish to you for your birthday.

— Non sei l’unica persona che compie gli anni oggi, ma sei l’unica veramente speciale! – You are not the only person that’s having a birthday today, but you are the only truly special one!

— Oggi hai un anno in più, ma sei come il buon vino: invecchiando migliori! Sinceri auguri, – Today you are one year older, but you are like a good wine, better with age! Sincere wishes

— Tanti auguri amica/o mia/o

Chissà se sarai più saggia/o o sarai la/il solita/o stordita/o

Buon compleanno.

Many wishes my friend

Who knows if you will be wiser or if you will be your usual silly self

Happy birthday!

For Family

Cara mamma, non essere triste se il tempo passa: sei sempre la più bella di tutte. Tanti Auguri. – Dear mom, don’t be sad that the time is passing: you are always the most beautiful.

For a Belated Birthday

— La cattiva notizia è che ho dimenticato di spedire in tempo il tuo biglietto d’auguri. La buona notizia è che ho dimenticato la tua età! Spero che tu abbia passato un felice compleanno! – The bad news is that I forgot to send your birthday card in time. The good news is that I forgot your age! I hope that you had a happy birthday!

For Twitter

— Buon compleanno amica mia/amico mio! – Happy birthday, my friend!

— Spero tu possa passare il giorno del tuo compleanno come meglio desideri. – I hope you spend your birthday exactly as you wish.

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