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Happy Birthday in Spanish

by Dave Clark

calendar image

August 24th, 2011

So, the question of the week is, “How do you say Happy Birthday in Spanish”?

It is “Feliz cumpleaños”. The word “cumpleaños” is a compound word – “cumple” comes from the Spanish verb “cumplir” which means “to complete” and “años” means “years”. So, literally “Happy Birthday” means, “Happy Completed Years”.

For a quick cautionary note, when you write the word “años” be sure to use the “tilde” over the “n” or it means a part of the body that you wouldn’t want to publish on a family friendly website. To write the “n” with the “tilde” over it (with Windows), press the “Alt” key, and while holding it down, press the numbers (on the keypad) 0,2,4,1, then let go of the “Alt” key. (I share this tip with you to save you embarrassment.)

Now, when someone says, “How old are you?” in Spanish, they say “¿Cuántos años tienes?” which literally means “How many years do you have?” To answer, you say, “Tengo veinte años” which means “I have twenty years”.

So, the question now becomes, how to you sing Happy Birthday in Spanish?

There are many different versions, so here goes:

Version 1:

“Cumpleaños a tí
En tu día feliz
Cumpleaños a (name/nombre)
Cumpleaños a tí”

Version 2 (watch out – this one’s pretty tricky!):

“Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz”

Keep watching the blog because later this week I’ll share the version with you from Mexico. Get excited – it has, get this, eight verses!

Well, thanks for joining me. If today happens to be your birthday, I’d like to wish you a Happy Birthday in Spanish, “!Feliz cumpleaños!”

¡Hasta luego Amigos!


3 Responses

  1. Lee Olson says:

    Getting the enya on a Mac with Lion, Snow Leopard or Leopard is simple–It is built in: ñ-2 strokes, tilde then n for me the way I have my Mac set up.

  2. Dave Clark says:

    Thanks for sharing that Lee! (¡Gracias por compartir eso Lee!)

  3. Felix says:

    I’m Spanish and the version Iknow is:
    Cumpleaños feliz
    Cumpleaños feliz
    Te deseamos todos
    Cumpleaños feliz”

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