If you have Vietnamese friends, you might be invited to a birthday party or at least you want to say happy birthday in Vietnamese when your friends' birthday comes. Do you know how to wish a happy birthday to your friends? Let's learn the phrase and some other wishes for a birthday in Vietnamese.
'Chúc mừng sinh nhật' literally means 'congrats to your birthday'. The translation for the phrase 'Chúc mừng' is 'congrats' or 'congratulation'. 'Sinh nhật' is a Chinese-Vietnamese word that means 'birthday'. The meaning of 'Sinh' is the growth of something. 'Nhật' means 'day' in English.
You can add a pronoun that refers to the person who has a birthday today to the end of the phrase. For example, say 'Chúc mừng sinh nhật chị!' to an elder woman who is not much older than you.
'Chúc mừng sinh nhật' in Vietnamese is usually used to wish a happy birthday to people who are at the same age or not much older than you like brothers, sisters, uncles, or aunts.
A close translation to 'Happy birthday' is 'Sinh nhật vui vẻ'. 'Vui vẻ' is a Vietnamese adjective that has the same meaning as the English word 'happy'.
Vietnamese people usually add a final word 'nhé', 'nhá' or 'nha' to the end of the phrase 'Sinh nhật vui vẻ' to soften it. It will sound like 'Sinh nhật vui vẻ nhé!', for example.
This phrase is not as widely used as 'Chúc mừng sinh nhật' because it is spoken to wish someone who is at the same age or younger than you. Don't try to say the happy birthday phrase to an elder as it could be considered disrespectful.
You can also use this formula to wish almost everyone a happy birthday in Vietnamese.
Chúc + Pronoun + Sinh Nhật Vui Vẻ.
Wishing + Pronoun for 'You' + A Happy Birthday.
This sentence has a similar meaning as 'Wishing you a happy birthday' in English. As there are many different pronouns in Vietnamese to refer to 'You', you need to find a correct pronoun to put into the formula. The pronouns for 'You' could be cô, chú, anh, chị, em, etc.
When a Vietnamese turns 60 or older, people will say 'mừng thọ' instead of 'happy birthday'. The word 'Mừng thọ' literally means 'congrats to your longevity'.
When one reaches 60 years old or even older, if they are male, they call 'Ông', and if they are female then they call 'Bà'.
You can add the polite final word 'ạ' at the end to show your respect to a Vietnamese elder. For example, 'Mừng thọ ông ạ!' or 'Mừng thọ bà ạ!'.
You can just say happy birthday in Vietnamese to your friends and that's enough to be friendly. However, you can use some following birthday wishes to make your friends even happier.
At different ages or periods of life, people will have different priorities. Because of that, your wishes should focus on what they are interested in.
You might say these wishes to the parents of a baby or a kid. You can select one of the sentences below:
The most priority to students might be exams and schools, so you can wish them to pass the exams or get a high score at school, such as:
A woman usually wants to look beautiful and young. Therefore, wishing them to always be beautiful and young is perfect. You can say it in Vietnamese like 'Chúc chị mãi xinh đẹp' or 'Chúc cô luôn tươi trẻ'.
A man might be interested a lot in their career or business. Kindly note that it doesn't mean a woman is not interested in these topics.
So, to a man, you can wish him to be promoted in his new age like 'Chúc anh tuổi mới được thăng chức', or wish his business goes well, such as 'Chúc chú làm ăn ngày càng phát đạt'.
To senior people from 60 years old or up, Vietnamese people usually wish them good health and a good time with family and grandchildren. You can say 'Chúc ông/bà khoẻ mạnh ạ!' or 'Chúc ông/bà luôn vui vẻ bên con cháu'.
Do they have a native Vietnamese song for a happy birthday? Well, there is a song named 'Khúc hát mừng sinh nhật' sung by Vietnamese singer Phan Dinh Tung. This song can be considered the first Vietnamese happy birthday song that is not a version of the world-famous one 'Happy birthday to you'.
You can check it out here:
The song 'Happy birthday to you' is also widely sung by a lot of people in Vietnam. This might be the first English song that so many Vietnamese people can sing even they don't learn the language. The song can be sung in English or in Vietnamese like this one:
In Vietnam, people celebrate their birthdays in many different ways which could be similar to many birthday parties worldwide. They will have friends and/or family joining the party. They will eat a birthday cake eventually and the person who has the birthday that day will make a wish before blowing candles.
Below are Vietnamese phrases you can use to describe a birthday party:
From now on, you should be able to wish someone a happy birthday in Vietnamese. Try and see how surprised and happy they are.
If you want to learn more Vietnamese phrases and wishes, check out the Ling app. You will be able to practice them and check your pronunciation with the app. You can also learn how to greet people in Vietnamese or how to say I love you in Vietnamese to enhance your Vietnamese vocabulary.