26 Feb, 2010
How to wish happy birthday in Polish – polish your Polish, part 15
Posted by: Michał In: polish your Polish
March is always a busy month for me as many of my good friends celebrate their birthdays. And many of them are Polish.
I have recently realised that this basic phrase – happy birthday – has not featured in my Polish your Polish series yet. What an oversight!
So what do you say (or write, if you prefer sending a card or an email)? The easiest and commonest phrase is
Which literally means “All the best” and is pretty generic. But you can modify the phrase depending on the occasion. So for birthdays you can say:
Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji urodzin
“All the best on your birthday”. If someone is getting married, you can say:
Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji ślubu
“All the best on your marriage”. But let’s go back to celebrating birthdays. Two words you might find useful are:
Which means ‘to wish”, but you will usually use
Which means “I wish (you)…”. So try saying “I wish you all the best on your birthday” now.
If no, there’s also an easy option. There’s a song we sing to celebrate someone’s birthday in which we express our wish for them to live a hundred years. A hundred years is
in Polish. If everything else fails, wish the birthday girl or boy “sto lat”. It’ll make them smile and you won’t have to struggle with all those consonants. Simples.
(and this is what happens when you type ‘sto lat‘ in YouTube – this video will help you memorise the spelling, teach you part of the song and quite possibly give you nightmares)
Image via Flickr © ritchielee, used under Creative Commons licence