When learning Spanish, one of the most frequent words is the one with which to congratulate the birthday “Feliz cumpleaños” (Happy Birthday in Spanish).
These are terms that present some changes compared to English; but they are not a problem for learning. From Escuela de Idiomas Nerja, a Spanish academy in Malaga, located in Nerja, Spain, we help you learn this basic vocabulary in our escuela de español.
Learn Spanish language is complicated due to flexible syntax and multiple ways of referring to a concept.
happy birthday in Spanish
- Feliz cumpleaños – this is the literal translation of “happy birthday” in Spanish.
- Feliz cumple – ccumpleis the colloquial way of saying cumpleaños in Spanish, so it should be used with close people in informal meetings
- Felicidades – felicidades literally means congratulations, but is used as a substitute for “feliz cumpleaños”.
The word cumpleaños
The world cumpleaños is a compound word in Spanish, just as is the English word birthday.
The Spanish word cumpleaños is made up of the words cumple and años. Cumple is a form of the verb cumplir, for which the closest English translation is to turn as in, “I’m turning 24 this year”. Años means years.
When it comes to writing happy birthday, there is no variation on speech, so you can build a sentence without altering its meaning or grammar.
Also, when it comes to a formal greeting, just use its full form: feliz cumpleaños, since felicidades it’s too generic