Your friend is having a birthday soon? Explore these amazing ways to say happy birthday in French to make people feel loved and special. From “happy birthday my love” in French to “happy belated birthday” in French, we have gathered different ways to wish someone.

In most French-speaking countries, the most common expressions for wishing a happy birthday are “Joyeux anniversaire” and “Bon anniversaire.” “Bonne fête” is also used in Québec. Outside of Québec, however, “Bonne fête” is only used to celebrate a person’s name day (Saint Day) or seasonal greetings such as Mother’s and Father’s Day.

To become good at French, you must explore the culture of people living in French-speaking countries and how they utter basic French words. It will help you get immersed in French culture. The more you observe, the more you will pick the body language, accent, and fluency of native French speakers.

What about anniversaries in French?

In French, “anniversaire” means both “birthday” and “anniversary”. For example, a wedding anniversary is “anniversaire de mariage”.

EnglishFrenchIPACountry or context
Happy birthday!Joyeux anniversaire !ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə !All-purpose.
Good birthday!Bon anniversaire !bõn anivɛɾsɛɾə !All-purpose.
Belated happy birthday!Joyeux anniversaire en retard !ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾɑ̃ ɾətaɾ !All-purpose.
Many happy returns!Plein de bonnes choses !plɛ̃ də bɔnə ʃozə !All-purpose.
Thanks for being born!Merci d’être né(e) !mɛɾsi dɛtɾə ne(ɛ) !All-purpose.
Happy birthday, my love.Joyeux anniversaire, mon amour.ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə mõn amuɾ.All-purpose.
Happy birthday, brother/sister/mom/dad.Joyeux anniversaire, mon frère/ma sœur/maman/papa.ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə, mõ fɾɛɾɛ/ma sœɾ/maman/papa.All-purpose.
Happy birthday grandma/grandpa.Joyeux anniversaire mamie/papi or mémé/pépéʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə mamjɛ/papi ɔɾ meme/pepeAll-purpose.
Another year around the sun – happy birthday!Un an de plus ! Joyeux anniversaire !œ̃n ɑ̃ də ply ! ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə !All-purpose.
Wishing you a very happy birthday!Je te souhaite un très joyeux anniversaire !ʒə tə suɛt œ̃ tɾe ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə !All-purpose.
HBD (English abbreviation)Bon anniv or Joyeux annivbõn aniv ɔɾ ʒwajøx aniAll-purpose.
Happy birthday, my friend.Joyeux anniversaire, mon ami(e).ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə mõn ami(ɛ).All-purpose.
Happy birthday, cousin.Joyeux anniversaire, cousin.ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə, kuzɛ̃.All-purpose.
Best birthday wishes to you!Meilleurs vœux d’anniversaire !mɛjœɾ vø danivɛɾsɛɾə !All-purpose.
Happy birthday, beautiful!Joyeux anniversaire, ma belle !ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə ma bɛlə !More used for women.
Happy 21st/ 30th/40th/50th etc. birthdayJoyeux 21e/ 30e/ 40e/50e anniversaire etc.ʒwajø 21ɛ/ 30ɛ/ 40ɛ/50 anivɛɾsɛɾ ɛtk.All-purpose.
Hope all your birthday wishes come true!J’espère que tous tes vœux d’anniversaire se réaliseront !ʒɛspɛɾə kə tute vø danivɛɾsɛɾə sə ɾealizəɾõ !All-purpose.
Happy birthday in heaven.Joyeux anniversaire au paradis.ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾ o paɾadi.All-purpose.
Happy birthday, have a good one!Joyeux anniversaire, passe une belle journée !ʒwajøx anivɛɾsɛɾə, pas ynə bɛlə ʒuɾneə !All-purpose.
Have a wonderful birthday!Je te souhaite un merveilleux anniversaire !ʒə tə suɛt œ̃ mɛɾvɛjøx anivɛɾsɛɾə !All-purpose.
One more year is a motive for celebration!Un an de plus, ça se fête !œ̃n ɑ̃ də ply, sa sə fɛtə !All-purpose.
All the best for your birthday!Tout le meilleur pour ton anniversaire!tu lə mɛjœɾ puɾ tõn anivɛɾsɛɾə !All-purpose.
It’s your birthday, blow the candles!C’est ton anniversaire, souffle les bougies !kɛ tõn anivɛɾsɛɾə, sufləle buʒjə !All-purpose.
Happy birthday!Bonne fête!bɔnə fɛtə !Canada

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Happy birthday song in French

Are you ready to sing “Happy Birthday” in French? The melody is the same as in English (and many other languages), and the lyrics are very simple, some might say repetitive. Here’s how to do it:

Happy birthday in French lyrics (simple version)

Joyeux anniversaire

Joyeux anniversaire

Joyeux anniversaire NAME

Joyeux anniversaire

Happy birthday in French lyrics (long version)

Joyeux anniversaire

Joyeux anniversaire

Heureux anniversaire

Tous nos vœux sont sincères

Pour ton anniversaire

Tes amis aujourd’hui

Se sont tous réunis

Ton bonheur on l’espère

Pour ton anniversaire

Joyeux anniversaire

Heureux anniversaire

Tous nos vœux sont sincères

Pour ton anniversaire

Anniversaire, anniversaire

Joyeux anniversaire…

You can also learn French terms of endearment to tell your special ones what they mean to you. French is a romantic language and you need to be expressive if you want to make everlasting friendships and relationships with French people.

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How to write a happy birthday card message in French

For mother:

– À la meilleure mère du monde ! Joyeux anniversaire !

– Maman, tu prends toujours soin des autres mais je voudrais qu’en ce jour tu nous laisses prendre soin de toi. Je t’aime !

For father:

– Tu es bien plus qu’un père pour moi : tu es mon ami, mon exemple, mon modèle. Joyeux anniversaire, papa !

– Comme le bon vin, tu deviens meilleur avec l’âge ! Joyeux anniversaire !

For a sister/brother:

– Joyeux anniversaire petit frère/petite soeur ! Tu grandis trop vite !

– Je suis vraiment fier d’avoir un grand frère/une grande sœur comme toi. Joyeux anniversaire !

– Joyeux anniversaire, frangin/frangine ! J’espère que cette journée sera encore plus géniale que toi !

For a loved one:

– J’espère que ton anniversaire sera aussi unique et merveilleux que toi. Je t’aime!

– Je souhaite passer tous mes anniversaires avec toi. Des surprises t’attendent aujourd’hui. Bon anniversaire mon cœur!

For a friend:

– Joyeux anniversaire à mon meilleur ami/ma meilleure amie!

– Les vrais amis/amies sont pour la vie! Je te souhaite un super anniversaire


Birthday parties are always special. Learning different ways to say happy birthday in French is essential as it will help you create the right wish for the right person. Get the cake and flowers for the birthday boy/girl and let the party begin.

Getting fluency in a foreign language is a gradual task. Start slowly and maintain your learning pace. Get along with useful French phrases and try using them in your daily conversations. 

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