How to Say Happy Birthday in French

Caecilia from Switzerland sent me a great question: « What to wish for birthdays? ». Here is the answer. I know how embarrassing it can be not be able to say it properly. ???? Guess what, it IS easy.




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What to wish

It is very simple. And always the same. ????

Joyeux anniversaire !

or

Bon anniversaire !

Both mean « Happy birthday ».

They are often shortened in « Bon anniv » and « Joyeux anniv ». Some people even use « annif » instead of « anniv ». I don’t but it was important for you to know.

What to write

Birthdays are usually linked with presents and cards. When writing your own card, you can go for:

Joyeux anniversaire Marie.

A bientôt,

Géraldine

If it is a group card, stay with:

Joyeux anniversaire Marie !

Géraldine

Short, simple, always works.

Note: we are not as creative as the British for birthday cards. But you will find choice in papeteries and carteries.

What to offer

Now, THIS is a touchy subject.

My view on this is: no decoration, no clothes, no perfume. All far too personal.

The best gift for me is: something I will use.

If you don’t know what to offer, go for flowers for women (an orchid in a pot is always good idea) or food for men like wine, chocolates, macarons…

More original good ideas:
– a voucher for a massage in an institute for a woman
– a magazine subscription
– a voucher for wine testing
– a voucher for a cooking class
– a good kitchen knife
– an Amazon voucher
– a cinema card
– a beautiful notebook
– a good brand handcream

I have tested all these and I can tell you they are very appreciated!

Take action now: if you have a birthday coming, what about picking an idea from this list?
Share it: if it a group present, send the article to your friends!

A bientôt !

Géraldine

>> Want to go beyond “Joyeux anniversaire” in French? Sign up to make sure you don’t miss my other everyday French lessons!

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