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How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Korean

How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Korean
How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Korean

 What do you usually say to a friend on their birthday? Generally we say "Happy birthday". However, it is not uncommon for many to use foreign languages such as "Happy birthday" in Korean. If you are a fan of the Korean world, of course the famous Korean happy birthday sentence is "Saengil chukha hamnida".

How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Korean

But actually, this Korean happy birthday sentence is divided into several forms, you know. Korean itself actually has several forms that are spoken according to the age of the interlocutor and the situation in which the conversation occurs (formal or informal). In addition, there are birthday sentences commonly spoken by South Koreans that contain hopes and prayers. Here is how to say happy birthday wishes in Korean correctly!

Korean Standard Happy Birthday Greetings

Saengil chuka hamnida is the happy birthday greetings you usually hear and imitate are actually the standard form in Korean. There are two standard birthday sentences or phrases in Korean, including

  • 생일 축하합니다! = Saengil chuka hamnida
  • 생일 축하해요! = Saengil chukahaeyo

The first sentence and the second sentence have the same meaning. The difference is in the -yo ending in the second sentence. The ending makes the sentence more polite.

The word "saengil" means birthday. While the word "chuka hamnida" itself means happy. So, they both mean "Happy birthday".

You can also use the word "chuka hamnida" if you want to congratulate someone else on their success or happiness.

Korean Formal Happy Birthday Greetings

If the birthday person is a senior or older than you, you need to use a formal form of birthday greeting. Heres the sentence:
  • 생신을 축하드립니다! = Saengsineul chukadeurimnida.
The meaning is the same as the standard form. Only this sentence is more formal and you can use it with people you respect, like a teacher or a parent.

Korean Inormal Happy Birthday Greetings

If the birthday person is someone at your own age, such as a friend, or someone close to you, you can use informal greetings. Heres the sentence:

  • 생일 축하해! = Saengil chukahae

The sentence structure is the same as the standard sentence. The difference is that this sentence does not use the suffix -yo or -imnida, making this sentence sound less formal.

Birthday Wishes for Elders in Korean

You can use the formal birthday sentence for people older than you. But if the birthday person is an older sibling or maybe a close family member, there are other forms of happy birthday sentences that you can say to them.

  • 생신 축하드려요 = Saengshin chukadeuryeoyo.

The word "saengshin" is a more polite and respectful word for birthdays and is intended for people who are older than you.

Birthday Wishes for Younger People

What if the birthday person is younger? You can use standard happy birthday greetings or informal form.

  • 생일 축하합니다! = Saengil chuka hamnida!
  • 생일 축하해! = Saengil chukahae!

You can use both to wish a younger person a happy birthday, such as a friend or sibling.

Complete Korean Happy Birthday Wishes

Korean birthday greetings are not limited to "Saengil chukahamnida". There are several sentences complete with prayers that are also said to the birthday person. The sentence reads like this:

  • 생일 축하해요, 오래 행복하게 = Saengil chukhahaeyo, orae haengbokhage. This sentence means: Happy birthday, wish you long life
  • 생일 축하해요, 건강하게 사시고요 = Saengil chukhahaeyo, geonganghage sasigoyo. This sentence means: happy birthday, always healthy and happy.

Happy Birthday Wishes to Family

If you want to wish a special happy birthday to a family member, there are several greetings with family greetings such as the following sentence:

  • 해피 어머니의 생일 = Haepi eomeoniui saengil. Meaning: Happy birthday mom.
  • 행복한 아버지의 생일 = haengbokhan abeojiui saeng-il. Meaning: Happy birthday dad.
  • 행복 한 여동생의 생일 = haengbokhan yeodongsaeng-ui saengil. Meaning: Happy birthday brother.
  • 행복한 생일 누이 = Haengbokhan saengil nu-i. Meaning: Happy birthday sister.

You can say this birthday sentence mother, father, brother, or sister.

Happy Birthday Wishes for Girlfriend / Boyfriend in Korean

Want a different greeting for girlfriend / boyfriend? There are several birthday wishes in Korean that you can give to your partner.

  • 친애하는 생일 축하해 = Chinaehaneun saengil chukhahae. Meaning: Happy birthday dear.
  • 생일 축하해, 나를 위해 너의 마음을 돌봐 = Saengil chukhahae, naleul wihae neoui ma-eum-eul dolbwa. Meaning: Happy birthday, keep your heart for me.
  • 생일 축하해. 너를 영원히 사랑해 = Saengil chukhahae, neoreul yeong-wonhi saranghae. Meaning: Happy birthday, I love you forever.
  • 항상 웃으며주겠어요 사랑합니다 = Hangsang useumyeon jugesseoyo saranghamnida. Meaning: Always smile, I love you.
  • 나의 천사야 항상 웃으며주겠어 = Nae cheonsa-ya, Hangsang useumyeon jugesseo. Meaning: My angel, I hope you smile always.
  • 고마워 많이 사랑해 언제나응원하고있어요 = Gomawo manhi saranghae eonjena eungwon hagoisseoyo. Meaning: Thank you, I love you very much. I will always love you.
  • 사랑해 생일축하합니당 = Saranghae saengil chuka hamnidang. Meaning: I love you and happy birthday.
  • 생일 축하해요! 마이 달링 항상 웃으며주겠어 = Saengil chukahaeyo mai darling, hangsang useumyeon jugesseo. Meaning: Happy birthday my dear, I hope you smile always.
  • 생일 축하해요, 진심으로 사랑합니다 = Saengil chukhahaeyo, jinsimeuro saranghabnida. Meaning: Happy birthday, I love you sincerely.

It turns out that there are various happy birthday wishes in Korean. You can use certain birthday sentences for different people. Don't get confused in the use of this happy birthday sentence. Especially for people who are older or people you respect.


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