How to Say Happy Birthday in Korean? 2024

Birthdays are significant occasions that are honored everywhere, including Korea. Knowing how to greet someone you love or a friend in Korea with a happy birthday in Korean can give your message an extra dash of tenderness and consideration. We’ll go over many methods to say “Happy Birthday” in Korean in this tutorial, along with cultural quirks and advice on How to say Happy Birthday in Korean.

Happy Birthday in Korean

In Korean, “birthday” is 생일 (saengil). This word can be used to discuss your birthday. It can also be used to refer to the birthday of someone who is younger or of a similar age as you.

Nevertheless, you should use the phrase 생신 (saengsin) to refer to someone much older than you on their birthday. This interpretation of “birthday” is probably what you would say to your grandparents or other elderly relatives.

How to Say Happy Birthday in Korean?

  • 생일 축하해 (saengil chukahae)
  • 생일 축하합니다 (saengil chukahamnida)
  • 생신을 축하드립니다 (saengsineul chukadeurimnida)

“Happy Birthday” in Korean (Formal)

“Happy Birthday” in Korean is expressed 생신을 축하드립니다 (saengsineul chukadeurimnida). When wishing someone significantly older than you a happy birthday, you can use this expression. It refers to birthdays using the formal word.

Chukahada, which means “to celebrate” or “to congratulate,” is the verb used here. The verb 드리다 (deurida), which means “to give” in formal terms, is coupled with it. When you wish someone a happy birthday in Korean, you would do so with a great deal of respect. You might use this with your university lecturer or your grandparents.

“Happy Birthday” in Korean (Standard)

Following the conventional form, there are two ways to say “Happy Birthday” in Korean: 생일 축하합니다! (saengil chukahamnida) and 생일 축하해요! (saengil chukahaeyo). These renditions are seen as courteous.

생일 축하합니다! (chukahamnida saengil) and 생일 축하해요! (saengil chukhahaeyo) are predetermined expressions that work for most situations. These are the variations of “Happy Birthday” that can also be found on greeting cards.

Except the 합니다 (hamnida) version being somewhat more formal, the two variants are identical. In 생일 축하합니다 (saengil chukahamnida), the word “to congratulate” is 축하합니다 (chukahamnida). Saying this term by itself is a good way to congratulate someone on reaching a goal.

“Happy Birthday” in Korean (Informal)

In Korean, “Happy Birthday” is 생일 축하해. (Chukahae Saengil). It can be used among friends who are the same age and is regarded as the informal/casual variant.

The only difference between it and 생일 축하해요 (saengil chukahaeyo) is the removal of the last 요 (yo) at the end. It becomes considerably more casual as a result. Make good use of it!

You could use this form of the phrase, for instance, with close friends, spouses, siblings, or young children. Although it’s informal, there are a few advantages to utilizing the “happy birthday” greeting correctly. It demonstrates a level of intimacy absent from the other, more formal renditions.

How to Write “Happy Birthday” in Korean

  • “Happy Birthday” in Korean (informal) → 생일 축하해
  • “Happy Birthday” in Korean (formal)  → 생신을 축하드립니다
  • “Happy Birthday” in Korean (standard) → 생일 축하합니다  or 생일 축하해요

Korean Birthday Food

Typically, friends or coworkers may purchase a cake for someone on their birthday. After that, you consume the cake with your loved ones or coworkers as a group.

In Korea, you will frequently be asked how many candles (yangcho, 양초) you need while purchasing a cake. These candles will be put inside the cake box along with a few matches.

Since seaweed soup, or miyeokguk, is a common meal for pregnant moms in Korea, people frequently eat it on their birthdays.

Korean Birthday Party

A child’s first birthday is traditionally particularly important in Korea because of the country’s high newborn mortality rate in the past. On this day, parents would host a massive celebration known as a 돌잔친 (doljanchi). They will extend many invitations. You may receive an invitation to one of these parties if you reside in Korea.


In Korean, wishing someone a happy birthday is a lovely way to express your love and gratitude for them. Regardless of whether you choose to use a formal expression like “생일 축하해요” or a more informal one like “생일 축하해,” your consideration will undoubtedly make them smile. To make the birthday celebration more memorable, don’t forget to customize your message, take into account cultural quirks, and maybe even include a small gesture along with your wishes. 생일 축하해요! (Happy Birthday!)

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