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How to Say Happy Birthday in Hungarian

If you want to impress your Hungarian-speaking friends or family members on their special day, here’s how you can say happy birthday in Hungarian.

As one of the most difficult languages in Europe to master, Hungarian is not exactly the most popular language to learn.

But once you start to learn Hungarian, it’s a beautiful language. Especially with the capital, Budapest, being so popular with tourists and expats, it’s pretty common that you’ll meet a Hungarian.

How to Say Happy Birthday in Hungarian

If you’re wanting to wish someone a happy birthday in Hungarian, there are a few ways to do it. The translation of just saying “happy birthday” is “Boldog születésnapot” and would be pronounced as “Bol-dog soo-leh-tesh-na-pot”.

If you’re thinking of saying this to someone, it’s worth remembering that it’s pretty informal and should only be said to younger people.

More Celebratory Phrases in Hungarian

If you’re wanting to wish someone a happy birthday in a more traditional way, or your Hungarian-speaking friend or family member is older, you can say, “Isten éltessen sokáig” which is pronounced Ish-ten airl-tesh-shen shock-ahh-ig.

It translates to may God make you live long. This is obviously way more formal and intense, which adds to the traditionalism of this particular happy birthday greeting.

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Another more formal way to say happy birthday is “Boldog születésnapot kívánok” which means I wish you a happy birthday.

This is more of a written celebratory phrase, but if you did want to say it out loud, you pronounce it “Bol-dog soo-leh-tesh-na-pot kee-va-nok”.

If you’re looking to learn a Hungarian phrase that ticks a lot of boxes, congratulations goes a long way. You can use it for birthdays, christenings, weddings, new jobs, new houses, so many things! So, if you want a phrase that you’re going to get some serious mileage out of, this is the one to use.

The word for congratulations in Hungarian is Gratulálunk, which is pronounced “Gratu-laa-lunk”.

As with all Hungarian words and phrases, they can be a little tricky at first, so you might want to give them some practice before the big day!

How to Sing the Birthday Song in Hungarian

You’ll be pleased to know that the tradition of singing at the birthday party is alive and well in Hungary. Unlike in some other countries, the tune is not the same as the English language one, so you might want to listen a few times to practice.

The lyrics are as follows:

Ez a nap más mint a többi, ezt te is jól tudod

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Másként kelt fel reggel a nap és másként járt a hold

Köszöntünk hát téged, ha már így együtt vagyunk

S ajándékul fogadd el vidám kis dalunk!

Boldog, boldog, boldog születésnapot!

Kívánjuk, hogy legyen még sok ilyen szép napod!

Megint egy évvel öregebb lettél, s bölcsebb is talán

Õrizd meg az emlékeid, s légy nagyon vidám

Köszöntünk hát téged, ha már így együtt vagyunk

S ajándékul fogadd el vidám kis dalunk!

Boldog, boldog, boldog születésnapot!

Kívánjuk, hogy legyen még sok ilyen szép napod!

Tavasz után eljön a nyár és õsz után a tél

De minden évben eljön a nap, amikor születtél

Köszöntünk hát téged, ha már így együtt vagyunk

S ajándékul fogadd el vidám kis dalunk!

Boldog, boldog, boldog születésnapot!”

So, what does this actually mean? Well, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the translation of the Hungarian birthday song:

“This day is different, you know that well

The sun rose differently, the moon wandered differently

So we greet you as we are all together here well

Receive our happy little song as a gift for you!

Happy, happy, happy birthday!

We wish you to have many more beautiful days like this!

You got a year older again, maybe wiser too

Keep your remembrances and be very joyous!

So we greet you as we are all together here well

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Receive our happy little song as a gift for you!

Happy, happy, happy birthday!

We wish you to have many more beautiful days like this!

After spring summer comes, then autumn and winter

But the day you were born comes in every year

So we greet you as we are all together here well

Receive our happy little song as a gift for you!

Happy, happy, happy birthday!”

So, it’s a long song and sometimes it’s just the chorus section that gets sung, so have a few run-throughs and listen to the song on YouTube a few times over. You’ve got this!

Birthday Traditions in Hungary

Every country and culture has its own set of traditions that come with birthday celebrations, and Hungary is no different.

Unlike the traditional birthday bumps that many people get on their big day, Hungarians prefer to pull the ears of the birthday person. The amount of times they do this depends on how old you’re turning. 

The fun part? It’s accompanied by a traditional Hungarian rhyme: Isten éltessen sokáig, füled érjen bokáig!, which means God bless you, live so long your ears reach your ankles. It’s a fun tradition, but it can be weird to see if you’re not aware of it!