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Merry Christmas. Photo: Speakt

Are you curious about how they say "Merry Christmas" around the world? Would you like to greet the world this next Christmas season? Every December, people of virtually all cultures take a moment or two out of their busy lives to offer a simple seasonal greeting of joy and peace.

Merry Christmas in different languages:

In Ireland, "Merry Christmas" translates to "Nollaig Shona Dhuit!"

Afrikaans is on of the official languages spoken in South Africa. Here people wish each other "Blessed Christmas". This is virtually said throughout every Lusophone nation, which includes Brazil in South America to Timor Leste in Indonesia.

In Portugal and in some Portuguese speaking African countries, they say Boas Festas.

"Buon Natale" is what the Italian say when they wish each other Merry Christmas.

In Arabic speaking Lebanon, many Christians celebrate Christmas as well. More than one-third of the Lebanese people are Christians. There are however many more Lebanese people living outside the country than within Lebanon.

In Hungarian, people say: "Boldog Karácsonyt".

This translates to "Joyeux Noël." For Francophiles, "Joyeux Noël" is the greeting of the season, and you will hear it or say it in a number of places around the world, such as: France, of course, and also in much of Canada. Frequently in African nations during visits to places such as Burkina Faso, Burundi, and Cameroon, or when hanging out in Chad, The Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, or Togo.

This translates to "Zalig Kerstfeest" is the greeting you'll hear in Dutch-speaking countries.

In Belgium, "Zalig Kerstfeest" would be the right thing to say to anybody.

In the Netherlands, you have options. You can say "Prettige Kerstdagen," "Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar," (tossing in a "Happy New Year" for good measure) or simply "Zalig Kerstfeest!"

The Finns wish: "Hyvää Joulua".

The Korean wishes are easily pronounced: meri ku-ri-su-ma-su, Kidsworldtravelguide cites.

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Merry Christmas in Korea. Photo: Kidsworldtravelguide

In Norwegian the Christmas wishes are: "God Jul" which means Good Christmas.

In Portuguese Merry Christmas is: "Feliz Natal" which means Joyful or Happy Christmas.

In Germany, this translates to "Fröhliche Weihnachten." If you happen to be in Liechtenstein, it will be warmly received there as well. In Switzerland, there's a slight variation; there, they say "Fröhlichi Wiehnacht!"

In Norway, the Merry Christmas wish is the same with the Swedish wish. Nevertheless, there is a slightly different way to say Merry Christmas: Gledelig Jul.

If you're in Austria, you have less of a mouthful to say: it's simply "Frohe Weihnachten."

"Natal Mubarak" is the Indian variant. In Pakistan, say "Bara Din Mubarrak Ho!"

This would translate to "Mo'adim Lesimkha!" Lest we forget, this is how you say "Merry Christmas" in Israel.

The wish Vesela Koleda means Merry Christmas and it is used in Bulgaria.

Gëzuar Krishtlindjen! This is the right way to wish Merry Christmas to someone living in Albania.

When people in Sweden want to wish Merry Christmas to someone, they use the phrase “God Jul”.

Kiswahili is spoken in many countries in Africa such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania or Rwanda. "Heri ya Krismasi" means Merry Christmas in Swahili.

In Albania's next door neighbor, Greece, they say "Eftihismena Christougenna!"

This translates to "Merii Kurisumasu!" This is how they say Merry Christmas in Japan.

In Hong Kong, say "Sing dan fiy loc," in Mandarin Chinese, take a deep breath and say "Kung His Hsin Nien Bing Chu Shen Tan."

Down south, they say "Chuc Mung Giang Sinh" in Vietnam, and in Thailand, they say "Sawasdee Pee Mai.", as cited by Wikihow.

How To Say 'Merry Christmas' In Different Languages
How To Say 'Merry Christmas' In Different Languages

Say Merry Christmas In Chinese

The Chinese word for Christmas is 圣诞节 (shèng dàn jié). Let’s see what the characters mean individually to better help you understand the word:

  • 圣 (shèng) means “saint.”

  • 诞 (dàn) means “birth.”

  • 节 (jié) means “festival” or “holiday.”

So, all together the word for Christmas means “the birth of a saint holiday.” Despite the name of the holiday, you’d be surprised at how many people in China still don’t know the reason for the season.

In Chinese, an easy way to wish someone a “happy” or “merry” holiday is simply to add the word 快乐 (kuài lè). Unlike in English, where we’d say “Happy Birthday” or “Merry Christmas,” the word for “happy/merry” comes after the name of the holiday when you say it in Chinese, according to Transparent Language.

SAY Season’s Greetings in Chinese


shèng dàn kuài lè, xīn nián hǎo

A Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.


shèng dàn kuài lè, gōng hè xīn xǐ

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!


xiàn shàng zuì chéng zhì de jié rì zhù fú

Best wishes on this holiday season.


zài shèng dàn hé xīn nián lái lín zhī jì, zhù fú nǐ píng ān, kuài lè, xìng fú

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness through Christmas and the coming year.


měi lì de shèng dàn jié zhī jì, jǐn zhì wǒ de sī niàn yǔ zhù fú

Say 'Merry Christmas' in French

Do you have French friends and family whom you want to greet this holiday season? Or do you simply want to know how to say Merry Christmas and a happy new year in French? Here in this article, KnowInsider will introduce you to different ways you can wish someone a happy Christmas in French.

1. Merry Christmas!

In French, “Merry Christmas” is Joyeux Noël. Noël is “Christmas.”

You can see two little dots on the “ë” — they’re called le tréma. It’s used to separate the sound of vowels when they’re next to each other in a French word. The letter “ë” is called “e tréma” and it’s pronounced like è (= [ay])

Joyeux is “Merry / Joyful / Happy.” It’s a singular, masculine adjective with a silent “x”.

The “y” (called “i grec” = Greek “i”) is used as a “double i” : the word sounds like “Joi” [jwah] + “ieu” [yuh]

All in all, it makes : [Jwah yuh Naw ayl] = Joyeux Noël ! Be sure to watch the video above to get the pronunciation and practice it for yourself.

2. I Wish You a Merry Christmas

To wish a Merry Christmas” in French is “Souhaiter un joyeux Noël

Now you only need to choose the subject and the complement to build a sentence:

Subject + Complement + “Souhaiter” in the present + “un joyeux Noël

For the subject, you can pick “Je” (= I) if you’re giving the greeting yourself, or “Nous” if you’re wishing it as a group (as a family, for instance).

The verb “Souhaiter” then becomes:

Je souhaite (= “I wish…”)

Nous souhaitons (= “We wish…”)

For the complement, you can pick “te” (= “you”, 2nd person singular), for someone in particular, or “vous” (= “you”, 2nd person plural) for a group.

The te / vous choice is a strange French grammar trick, so in this case also ties to the choice between Tu (for friends, family, people you’re close to) or Vous (for strangers and people you respect).

So in the end, it can be:

Je te souhaite un joyeux Noël. = I wish you a merry Christmas

→ from yourself to one person you’re close to (your mom, your grandchild, your friend, me!)

Je vous souhaite un joyeux Noël. = I wish you a merry Christmas

→ from yourself to several people, or to one person you say “vous” to so you can be more formal (like your cheese seller, perhaps…)


Nous (te / vous) souhaitons un joyeux Noël. = We wish you a merry Christmas

→ To wish Merry Christmas as a family, like in a Christmas card.

Of course, you can always simply say “Joyeux Noël !” instead.

3. Beyond Christmas

Les fêtes de fin d’année (= “Holidays of the end of the year” = “the holiday season”) are often talked about together.

This is a great way to talk about both Noël (= Christmas) and le Nouvel An (= New Year) at the same time… but also to wish “Happy Holidays” to people in France who don’t celebrate Christmas, or celebrate another end of year traditions.

You can also wish happy holidays with:

Bonnes fêtes de fin d’année !

Joyeuses fêtes de fin d’année !

(= Happy Holidays!)

There’s a special kind of magic in the air when the end of the year approaches. To make the season even more special, you need the perfect greetings to say to your loved ones. I hope the greetings listed in this article will help you.

Futher insights:

There are many traditions surrounding Christmas, such as baking money into your Christmas pudding and sticking candles in an orange. It’s common practice to say “Merry Christmas”, whether it’s in person, in a Christmas card, or online. The “Merry Christmas” wish exists in so many different languages.

The greeting originates in 1699 when an English admiral first used the term in an informal letter. The phrase was then used in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ in 1843 and has rapidly grown in popularity since then. Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in your own language is so last year, especially when you have the opportunity to tell it in so many different languages. Keep a few of these up your sleeve and you can impress your friends, confuse the grandmother…whatever you like, according to Speakt.

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