How to wish happy birthday in Polish – polish your Polish, part 15

happy birthday

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

Wszystkiego najlepszego

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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

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“All the best on your birthday”. If someone is getting married, you can say:

Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji ślubu

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“All the best on your marriage”. But let’s go back to celebrating birthdays.  Two words you might find useful are:

Życzenia

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“wishes” and

Życzyć

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Which means ‘to wish”, but you will usually use

Życzę (Ci)…

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Which means “I wish (you)…”.  So try saying “I wish you all the best on your birthday” now.

Managed that?

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

Sto lat

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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.


Polish your Polish – more language tips

Image via Flickr © ritchielee, used under Creative Commons licence 

8 thoughts on “How to wish happy birthday in Polish – polish your Polish, part 15

  1. I wish I had seen your blog sooner, I would have wished Chopin a happy birthday in Polish on my post about him. I rather copy the words than look at the video though. My birthday is in March too, but I am not Polish. Cheers.

  2. People sing “STO LAT” at birthday parties.

    My friend will be 100 years old.

    What do polish people do at that party, or the following year party?

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