One of the most asked phrases that people want to know in any language, is how to say ‘Happy Birthday’. In this lesson, we will learn how to say happy birthday in Korean, so you will be able to say this to your friend – or the K-pop star that you are following on Instagram!
How Do You Wish Someone Happy Birthday in Korean?
Here is how to say happy birthday in Korean: 생일 축하해 [seng-il chook-ha-he]
Please note that the 생일 is informal way of saying birthday.
If you would like to say this in a formal phrase, you must say 생신 축하드립니다.
생신 is a formal term for 생일 and 축하드립니다 is a formal term for 축하해.
Different Ways of Saying Happy Birthday in Korean
Happy birthday (in the formal way)
Happy birthday (in another formal way)
Happy birthday (in the informal way)
Happy Birthday, friend
Happy Birthday, older sister.
Basic Sentences Using Happy Birthday in Korean
우현아 생일 축하해!
Woo Hyun, Happy Birthday!
김 선생님, 생신 축하드립니다
Teacher Kim, Happy Birthday!
*Note here that 생신 was used instead for the 생일 to show respect to the teacher.
저는 엄마의 50번째 생신을 진심으로 축하드립니다
I wish my mother a Happy 50th birthday!
Two Birthdays in Korea
As some of you may be aware, there are actually two dates for a Korean person’s birthday in a calendar year.
I know this sounds strange!
Just like in China, the Korean culture used to use the Lunar Calendar until recent westernization took over.
Therefore, most Koreans do have two separate birthdays in a year, 양력생일, which is the exact calendar date of the year that you were born, and 음력생일, which falls in the date that you were born in the Lunar calendar.
In recent years, people use more and more of 양력생일 for its convenience to celebrate birthdays, because Lunar birthdays change every year!
Do you know anyone that has their birthday coming up? Surprise them by saying 생일 축하해요!