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Photo: Teach me Korean.

Ways to say "Happy Birthday" in Korea vary so greatly that it is impossible to list all of them there. Insider would like to introduce to you commonly used messages to wish someone a happy birthday in Korean.

The standard way to say this is “saengil chukhahaeyo” (in Hangul: 생일 축하해요), which you would use when talking to someone older than you or someone you’re not super close with. But there are slight variations to consider depending on the situation. Let’s check them out!

In Hangul:생일 축하해요

If all you want to is the basic phrase that is OK to use in all occasions, this is what you will want to know. There are other variations to consider if you want to sound even more natural but if you are satisfied with this one phrase, we recommend you to take a look at our Everyday Korean Lessons to learn more phrases like this one.

“Saengil chukhahaeyo” "Happy Birthday" in Korean

This is the polite form and you should use it when:

The person you’re talking with is older than you

You aren’t really close with that person

You are unsure which form to use

You can also use the honorific version and say “saengshin chukha-deuryeoyo“ (in Hangul: 생신 축하드려요) if the person you’re saying it to is considered “higher status” (a rather complex concept) and in real life, you would for example say this to:

An older relative

Your teacher

The Korean class revealed that for friends and close ones, however, you will want to use the phrase:

saengil chukhahae (informal)

In Hangul: 생일 축하해

This is the informal way to wish someone happy birthday in Korean and you should use it when:

You are talking to a close friend or someone younger than you

For the most formal way however, you will want to say.

saengil chukhahamnida (formal)

In Hangul: 생일 축하합니다

Because this is very formal, there are not that many occasions where this is necessary to use. However, you should use this when:

You find yourself in a very formal situation

You sing the ‘happy birthday’ song in Korean!

Three common ways to say Happy Birthday in Korean

Life Event Message 1 – “Happy Birthday”

생일 축하해. (informal)

Saengil chukahae.

*Commonly used phrase among friends

생일 축하해요. (informal-formal)

Saengil chukahaeyo.

생일 축하드립니다. (formal)

Saengil chukadeurimnida.

*Use this phrase when you want to express respect for someone.

생신 축하드립니다. (formal)

Saengsin chukadeurimnida.

*As written in 90dayskorean, let's use this phrase when addressing someone who is a lot older than you, such as your grandparents.

If you’re not sure which formal phrase to use, it’s safe to say 생일 축하드려요 (Saengil chukadeuryeoyo) or 생일 축하드립니다 (Saengil chukadeurimnida).

Life Event Message 2 – “I hope you have a happy birthday!”

행복 가득한 생일 보내세요. (formal)

Haengbok gadeukan saengil bonaeseyo.

행복 가득한 생일 보내. (informal)

Haengbok gadeukan saengil bonae.

Life Event Message 3 – “Happy belated birthday!”

늦었지만, 생일 축하해! (informal)

Neujeotjiman, saengil chukahae!

*You can write and speak this phrase; the phrase is informal.

Best Wishes in Korean Birthday

Here are birthday greetings in the Korean language. There are about 80 million people who speak Korean all over the world predominantly in North and South Korea. If you have some Korean friends on your Facebook and Twitter, wish them a happy birthday with Best Wishes and Great Message in their native language.

생일 축하 해요 (saeng-il chugha haeyo, Hagul language) is the phrase that is used to say happy birthday in Korea. Here we have written some basic greetings in Korean that you can say while wishing Happy Birthday.

행복한 생일날 되세요!! – Have a Happy Birthday!

멋진 생일 보내세요! – Have an amazing birthday!

모든 소원이 이루어지길 바랍니다! – May your all wishes come true!

Korean Birthday Messages & Quotes

생일 축하 해요!! 하나님은 행복과 번영에 당신을 축복하시기를기도합니다! 너의 하루를 즐겨!

Pronunciation: saengil chugha haeyo!! hananim-eun haengboggwa beonyeonge dangsin-eul chugboghasigileulgidohabnida! neoui haluleul jeulgyeo!

English Translation-Happy Birthday!! I pray to God to bless you with happiness and prosperity! Enjoy your day!


생일 축하해, 친구. 당신의 미래에 대한 모든 최고의. 당신은 당신이 원하는 모든 것을 얻을 수 있습니다!

Pronunciation: saengil chughahae, chingu. dangsinui milaee daehan modeun choegoui. dangsineun dangsini wonhaneun modeun geoseul eodeul su issseubnida!

English Translation: Happy birthday, my friend. All the best for your future. You can get everything you want!


나는 앞으로 당신에게 건강하고 풍요로운 삶을 기원합니다. 생일 친구!

Pronunciation: naneun apeulo dangsinege geonganghago pungyoloun salmeul giwonhabnida. saengil chingu!

English Translation: I wish you a healthy and prosperous life in the future. Happy Birthday, friend!

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