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Birthdays play an important role in Arab culture. People love to gather with family and friends, and birthdays are the perfect occasion to do so. Everyone loves to celebrate birthdays, regardless of what age someone is turning in that particular year.
So how do you say happy birthday in Arabic? I’ll share with you the most beautiful Arabic birthday wishes for men and women.
Arabic Happy Birthday
The Arabic happy birthday is a little more complex than the English way. To better understand (and remember) the phrase Arabs use to wish someone a happy birthday, it’s helpful to know the meaning. Happy birthday in Arabic is basically wishing someone to stay blessed and healthy in many years to come.
Happy Birthday in Arabic to a Man
It’s important to note as well that the way of saying happy birthday differs according to the gender: whether you’re talking to a man or a woman.
When talking to a man, the correct way of saying happy birthday in Arabic is kol saneh wa inta salem ( كل سنة وانت سالم ). Another way is kol a’am wa inta bi kheir ( كل عام وانت بخير ). Both wishes practically mean the same thing: Be healthy every year to come.
Happy Birthday in Arabic to a Woman
As mentioned above, the Arabic language often has a slightly different form according to the gender. If you’d like to wish your female friend a happy birthday, you’d say kol saneh wa inti salmeh ( كل سنة وانتِ سالمة ). An alternative would be kol a’am wa inti bi kheir ( كل عام وانتِ بخير ).
As you can see, the difference between the male and the female form is really small. It’s basically the pronoun “you” (inta/inti) that changes its final short vowel. Additionally, in the first way of saying, the salem changes to the female salmeh.
The above mentioned greetings are widely used and understood across the entire Middle East: in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Egypt. Of course, there are many more ways of wishing a happy birthday in Arabic: from more formal ways to local dialects.
Arabic Birthday Wishes
As you might know, the Arab culture and language are very loving and elaborate. We enjoy being nice and saying beautiful words to our loved ones. As such, happy birthday in Arabic is often extended with loving words and good wishes. You can simply add habibi or habibti to your birthday wish, or extend it by wishing health, happiness, love and other things.
Below are a few birthday wishes. Just like in English, these aren’t static wishes. You’ll hear variations of them and you can make up your own, too. Keep in mind that many things are said a little differently in Arabic than in English. I’ve included the meaning of the expression in English, not the exact literal translation.
|English Meaning||Arabic Birthday Wish|
|Happy birthday to you and many more years to come||كل عام وانتي بخير وعقبال ١٠٠ سنه|
|Happy birthday and god’s blessings to you||كل سنة و انت سالمة يا قلبي العمر كله يا رب|
|Happy birthday and good health to you||كل سنه وانت سالمه العمر كله|
|Happy birthday and all the best wishes||كل عام و انت بألف خير|
|Happy birthday, good health, peace and wellbeing||كل عام وانتم بألف خير وصحة وسلامة وعافيه|
Note: I’ve written the birthday wishes above in the female form.
Expressions at a Glance
Below is a summary of the expressions used in this article and their English equivalent. The transcription in Latin script can help you with the correct pronunciation if you can’t read Arabic. Learning the Arabic alphabet will greatly help you with the correct pronunciation of Arabic words.
|English Equivalent||Arabic (Transcription)||Arabic (Arabic Script)|
|Happy birthday (to a man)||kol saneh wa inta salem||كل سنة وانت سالم|
|Happy birthday (to a man)||kol a’am wa inta bi kheir||كل عام وانت بخير|
|Happy birthday (to a woman)||kol saneh wa inti salmeh||كل سنة وانتِ سالمة|
|Happy birthday (to a woman)||kol a’am wa inti bi kheir||كل عام وانتِ بخير|
Happy Birthday Song
Naturally, there’s also a happy birthday song in Arabic! The Arabic happy birthday song originated in Egypt in the 1960s and gained popularity across the Arabic world after its appearance in a popular Lebanese movie.
The song goes “sana helwa ya gameel, sana helwa ya gameel, sana helwa ya (name), sana helwa ya gameel”. By the way “sana helwa” literally means “sweet year”, and it is yet another way of saying happy birthday. While it’s hugely popular in the song, most people won’t use these words to wish someone a happy birthday, but rather one of the ways mentioned above.
Below is a video of a funny happy birthday song. Great to give your Arabic friend or colleague a surprise with a smile on top.