Farsi, otherwise referred to as Iranian Persian, is a language spoken by many people all across the Middle East. In fact, it has 62 million native speakers worldwide, making it consistently one of the world’s most popular languages. With that being the case, the chances of you coming across a Farsi speaker are only growing. Need to wish them many happy returns? Here’s how you can say happy birthday in Farsi!
Formal vs. Informal
Like in many languages, there are two different phrases that can be used to wish someone a happy birthday, depending on the formality level. This is normally used to show respect to elders, to people of a higher social status, or to strangers who you don’t really know too well.
Respect and hierarchy are a huge part of Persian culture, so if in doubt, use the formal version so that you don’t offend the birthday person when you’re supposed to be celebrating them! That would definitely not go down well at all!
How to Say Happy Birthday in Farsi
Okay so, how do you actually say happy birthday in Farsi. First up we’ll go with the formal version:
تولدتون مبارک which is pronounced as “Tavalodetoon mobara”
The more informal version is:
تولدت مبارک pronounced as “Tavalodet mobarak”
As you can see, it’s only a small change, but it can make a big difference. The other thing that’s important to know is that this form of Farsi uses a few Arabic loanwords, which is commonplace in Iran.
Not many people still speak what is referred to as pure Farsi, so you’re unlikely to hear this version of happy birthday, but just in case, here’s the pure Farsi version:
زادروزت خجسته باد which is pronounced “Zaadroozat khojaste baad”
Obviously, there is a huge difference here, which shows how much Arabic has influenced the use of Farsi throughout the Middle East.
Other Farsi celebratory phrases
Looking to wish your Farsi-speaking friends happy birthday in a different or more traditional way? One of the more common phrases associated with Persian birthdays is “May you live for 100 years”. It’s a nice sentiment, right?
As with the standard happy birthday greeting, there is a formal and informal version of the phrase that you’re going to want to be mindful of moving forward.
First up, the formal version:
صد سال زنده باشین which is pronounced, “Sad saal zende baashin”
If you’re speaking to a friend, you can use the informal version, which is:
صد سال زنده باشی, pronounced as “Sad saal zende baashi”
Finally, if you’re short on time and sentiments, it’s not unheard of just to say the word “birthday”. It might sound odd, but it is fairly common. Simply write تولد or say “Tavallod”.
How to Sing Happy Birthday in Farsi
Sitting around a cake and waiting to wish the birthday person many happy returns in song form? We’ve got you covered!
Written down in Farsi, this is what the lyrics look like:
لبت شاد و دلت خوش
تو گل پرخنده باشی
بیا شمعا رو فوت کن
که صد سال زنده باشی
If you want to sing along, you can use the pronunciation outlined here:
Delet shado labet khosh
Cho gol por khande baashi
Biyaa sham’a ro fut kon,
Ke sad saal zende baashi!”
Interested to know what the lyrics mean? Don’t worry, here’s the direct translation so that you know what you’re singing!
May your lips be happy and your heart joyful,
and be always laughing like a flower
Come on blow the candles,
may you live to be 100 years!”
The tune is a little bit different from our happy birthday song, so you can listen along with the Youtube video below to get the melody down before your friend’s birthday.
Birthday traditions in Iran
Every culture has different traditions and celebrations when it comes to birthdays and Iran is no different. One of the main differences for celebrating an Iranian birthday is that it’s pretty much always a two-day affair.
It’s super common to celebrate your birthday eve, starting the party early and rolling into the big day in style. Two birthdays rather than one? That’s something that we can definitely get on board with!
You’re Ready to Wish Someone Happy Birthday in Farsi!
So, if your Iranian or Farsi-speaking friend is celebrating their birthday, there are a few ways that you can wish them many happy returns. Remember to check your formality level, rehearse the birthday song, and prepare to start celebrating the night before!