How to Wish Happy Birthday in Dutch

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Hey there! Looking to spread some birthday cheer in Dutch? Well, you’re in the right place! Birthdays are a special occasion, and what better way to make someone feel loved and appreciated than by wishing them a happy birthday in their native language? In this cheerful guide, I’ll walk you through how to wish someone a happy birthday in Dutch, so you can impress your Dutch-speaking friends, family, or colleagues with your language skills.  

So, if you’ve been wondering how to say happy birthday in Dutch or you’re eager to learn the Dutch birthday greetings and even the happy birthday song in Dutch, then you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in and uncover these cheerful expressions! 

How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Dutch  

The most common and direct way to wish someone “Happy Birthday” in Dutch is to say “Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag!” It’s the equivalent of saying “Congratulations on your birthday!” 

However, Dutch birthday wishes can get even more personalized and fun. Here are a few more expressions you can use: 

  • “Van harte gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag!” – This translates to “Heartfelt congratulations on your birthday!” It’s a warm way to convey your wishes and to show that you genuinely care. 
  • “Prettige verjaardag!” – This is a less common expression, but you may still hear it. It’s like saying “Pleasant birthday!” 
  • “Fijne verjaardag!” – This translates directly to “Fine birthday!” It’s a simple and common birthday greeting, much like saying “Happy Birthday” in English. 
  • “Gelukkige verjaardag!” – This is a direct translation of “Happy Birthday.” However, it’s less common in the Netherlands but used more frequently in Belgium. 
  • “Al het beste voor je verjaardag!” – This means “All the best for your birthday!” It’s a heartfelt wish expressing a desire for the person’s well-being. 
  • “Gefeliciteerd met je [age]e verjaardag!” – “Congratulations on your [age]th birthday!” This is a common way to congratulate someone on reaching a specific age, for example, “Gefeliciteerd met je twintigste verjaardag!” for a 20th birthday. 

Beyond “Happy Birthday”: Other Dutch Birthday Greetings  

While “Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag” is a typical way to wish someone a happy birthday in Dutch, there are other greetings that you might want to know. Let’s explore some of them. 

  • “Nog vele jaren!” – This translates to “Many more years!” It’s a lovely way to wish someone a long and happy life. 
  • “Een geweldige dag gewenst!” – This means “Wishing you a great day!” It’s a warm way to express your hope that the birthday celebrant enjoys their special day. 
  • “Veel geluk en gezondheid in het komende jaar.” – This greeting is a heartfelt wish for good luck and health in the coming year. 
  • “Geniet van je speciale dag.” – This means “Enjoy your special day.” A simple, yet meaningful birthday wish that puts the celebrant at the heart of the celebration. 
  • “Blijf zo geweldig als je bent!” – This translates as “Stay as awesome as you are!” It’s a fun and personalized way to celebrate the individuality of the birthday person. 
  • “Dat al je dromen uit mogen komen.” – This means “May all your dreams come true.” It’s a wonderful sentiment that showcases your desire for their happiness and success. 
  • “Fijne verjaardag en veel liefde!” – This translates to “Happy birthday and much love!” This greeting is filled with warmth and affection. 

Birthday Traditions in the Netherlands  

Dutch birthday celebrations are filled with interesting and enjoyable traditions. Let’s explore some of the unique ways the Dutch celebrate their birthdays: 

  • Birthday Calendars (Verjaardagskalender): Many Dutch households keep a ‘birthday calendar’ in their bathroom. This helps remind them of the birthdays of family and friends, ensuring they never forget to send their Dutch birthday greetings! 
  • Treats for Friends and Colleagues: It’s customary for the person celebrating their birthday to bring treats for their colleagues or classmates. This is a bit of a reversal compared to some other cultures, where the birthday person might expect others to treat them. 
  • Special Birthday Songs: Aside from the traditional “Lang Zal Ze Leven” (Long Shall They Live), which is the equivalent of “Happy Birthday to You”, the Dutch have a variety of regional and family-specific birthday songs. 
  • Celebrating ‘Crown’ Years: ‘Crown’ years, like turning 5, 10, 15, 20, 21, and ages ending in 0 or 5, are considered particularly significant in the Netherlands. These milestones are often celebrated with bigger parties and special gifts. 
  • Congratulating the Family: In the Netherlands, it’s not only the birthday person who receives congratulations. Family members, particularly those living in the same household, also receive congratulations and good wishes. 

Singing “Happy Birthday” in Dutch: A Fun Guide  

Singing “Happy Birthday” can be a wonderful surprise for the birthday celebrant, especially when sung in their native language. Let’s look at how you can sing the “Happy Birthday” song in Dutch. 

The traditional Dutch birthday song is called “Lang Zal Ze Leven” which translates to “Long Shall They Live”. Here’s the Dutch version with English translation: 

Dutch Lyrics: 

Lang zal hij/ze leven, 
Lang zal hij/ze leven, 
Lang zal hij/ze leven in de gloria, 
In de gloria, in de gloria! 

English Translation: 

Long shall he/she live, 
Long shall he/she live, 
Long shall he/she live in glory, 
In glory, in glory! 

Please note that ‘hij’ is used for a male celebrant and ‘ze’ for a female one. 

Now, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to impress with more than just the traditional birthday song, here are a couple of other Dutch songs typically sung during birthdays: 

  • “Er is er een jarig” – This song translates to “It’s someone’s birthday.” It’s often sung when the birthday cake is brought out. 
  • “Hiep Hiep Hoera” – It’s less of a song and more of a chant. After singing “Lang Zal Ze Leven”, it’s customary to end with a cheer of “Hiep Hiep Hoera!” – which is the equivalent of “Hip Hip Hurray!” in English. 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs):  

Q1: How do you pronounce “Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag”? 

A1: It’s pronounced as [ghuh-fuh-lih-see-teer-d met yuh fur-yar-dahkh]. Dutch pronunciation can be tricky, so don’t worry about getting it perfect. Practice makes perfect! 

Q2: What is a typical birthday gift in the Netherlands? 

A2: Gifts vary depending on the person and the relationship, but common gifts include flowers, chocolates, wine, books, or items that suit the recipient’s interests. 

Q3: I heard that the Dutch congratulate not just the birthday person but also their relatives. Is this true? 

A3: Yes, it’s true! It’s customary in the Netherlands to congratulate close relatives of the birthday celebrant. It’s a unique tradition that showcases the importance of family in Dutch culture. 

Q4: How do I say “Happy Belated Birthday” in Dutch? 

A4: To wish someone a belated happy birthday, you can say “Alsnog gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag!” It means “Still congratulations on your birthday!” 

Q5: I’m attending a Dutch birthday party. Is there anything special I should know? 

A5: Dutch birthday parties, known as ‘circle parties’, often involve everyone sitting in a circle, engaging in conversation while enjoying snacks and drinks. Also, remember to congratulate not only the birthday celebrant but also their close family members. 

Wishing “Happy Birthday” in Dutch: The Takeaway 

We’ll summarize the key points about wishing someone a happy birthday in Dutch and offer a final few tips. 

Whether you’re learning Dutch for travel, for work, or simply for the joy of learning a new language, knowing how to wish someone a happy birthday adds a fun and personal touch to your language skills. It’s an easy way to connect with Dutch speakers and shows your appreciation for their culture. 

So, are you ready to dive into the joyous world of birthday celebrations in Dutch? Let’s begin with the most basic, yet crucial phrase: How to say “Happy Birthday” in Dutch!