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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!


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