8 Ways- How to Say Happy Birthday in French?

To make your birthday wishes very unforgettable, we’ll go over several methods of how to say Happy Birthday in French in this post, along with some cultural context. Birthdays are a global holiday that makes people happy and feel warm. Sending birthday greetings in their mother tongue to a friend, relative, or coworker puts a unique spin on the occasion. This advice is for you if you want to add some French flair to your birthday greetings or if you have a Francophile in your life. 

Happy Birthday in French

Joyeux anniversaire !

Happy Birthday!

The phrase is pronounced something like “zhwah-yeuh⤻zah-nee-veR-seR”. Keep in mind that a liason occurs between the two words, so there’s a nice zzz sound at the beginning of the anniversary.

The second most typical thing to say on someone’s birthday is:

Bon anniversaire!

Happy Birthday!

While joyeux anniversaire means “happy birthday” in a more general way, bon anniversaire implies wishing the listener to experience a good birthday. Something like “have a good birthday”.

As with Joyeux anniversaire, a liaison occurs and the last sound of the first word moves to the beginning of the second. So you should start the second part with an n sound.

Bon anniversaire


Bon anniversaire (not bonne anniversaire)

One of the most common ways to wish someone a happy birthday in France is bon anniversaire. This is written on balloons, French birthday cakes, and birthday cards.

That being said, “bon anniversaire” is spelled incredibly incorrectly. According to a French survey, the phrase “bon anniversaire” is spelled wrong on 13% of birthday cards.

Usually, it’s spelled incorrectly as bonne anniversaire. Thus, be sure to write bon anniversaire and maintain the masculine form of “bon.” 

Meilleurs vœux

Best wishes, or meilleurs voeux, are a lovely addition to a birthday card in French. It’s certainly not the most customary method to wish someone a happy birthday, though.

Passez une merveilleuse journée

You can put this statement on a birthday card, though there are other uses for it as well. In French, “passez une merveilleuse journée” means “enjoy your day.”

It’s also a good idea to keep this phrase handy so you can wish your new French acquaintance a happy birthday and a lovely day.

Pour ton anniversaire

“For your birthday” is what pour ton anniversaire signifies. You’ll probably use this French expression to describe the birthday present you got for someone.

For instance, you may say, “I’m giving you flowers for your birthday.” This translates to “I bought you flowers for your birthday.”

Writing a Birthday Card in French

Je te souhaite un joyeux anniversaire !

Un an de plus de sagesse, un an de plus d’amitié, un an de plus d’expériences, un an de plus d’amour, un an de plus de vie !

Quelle chance tu as !

J’espère que nous aurons l’occasion de fêter ton anniversaire prochainement.

A bientôt


I wish you a happy birthday!

One more year of wisdom, friendship, experiences, love, and life!

How lucky you are!

I hope we will have the chance to celebrate your birthday soon.

See you soon!

Saying Belated Happy Birthday in French

It’s not easy to recall dates, and nobody is flawless. So what happens if you have to send a belated birthday message to your French-speaking friends? In actuality, it’s fairly easy. Take the already-familiar phrase “joyeux anniversaire” and add “en retard” (late, tardy) at the end.

Joyeux Anniversaire en retard !

Happy Belated Birthday!

Talking About Age in French

Quel âge as-tu?

How old are you now?

Quel âge avez-vous?

How old are you?

J’ai 29 ans. 

I’m twenty-nine.

Ils ont 7 ans.

They are 7 years old.

Le 10 juin, je vais avoir 33 ans.

On June 10th, I’ll be 33.


Gaining proficiency in wishing Happy Birthday in French will help you establish more meaningful connections with friends and family who speak the language. Whether you go with the traditional “Bon Anniversaire” greeting or choose something more unique, your kind words will undoubtedly make their special day happier. Therefore, remember to add a little French flair to your birthday greetings the next time you’re celebrating to make the occasion even more special. Happy Anniversary!

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