Do you have a Korean friend on Facebook or perhaps a Korean boyfriend or girlfriend? If so, there comes at least one time a year when knowing how to say “happy birthday” in Korean will come in handy. The standard way to say this is “saengil chukhahaeyo” (in Hangul: 생일 축하해요), which you would use when talking to someone older than you or someone you’re not super close with. But there are slight variations to consider depending on the situation. Let’s check them out!
In Hangul:생일 축하해요
If all you want to is the basic phrase that is OK to use in all occasions, this is what you will want to know. There are other variations to consider if you want to sound even more natural but if you are satisfied with this one phrase, we recommend you to take a look at our Everyday Korean Lessons to learn more phrases like this one.
This is the polite form and you should use it when:
The person you’re talking with is older than you
You aren’t really close with that person
You are unsure which form to use
You can also use the honorific version and say “saengshin chukha-deuryeoyo“ (in Hangul: 생신 축하드려요) if the person you’re saying it to is considered “higher status” (a rather complex concept) and in real life, you would for example say this to:
An older relative
For friends and close ones, however, you will want to use the phrase:
In Hangul: 생일 축하해
This is the informal way to wish someone happy birthday in Korean and you should use it when:
You are talking to a close friend or someone younger than you
For the most formal way however, you will want to say.
In Hangul: 생일 축하합니다
Because this is very formal, there are not that many occasions where this is necessary to use. However, you should use this when:
You find yourself in a very formal situation
You sing the ‘happy birthday’ song in Korean!
This is all you need to know, and if you want to learn more phrases like this one, please take a look at our Everyday Korean Archive. If you found this lesson useful, please give it a like or share! And if you have any questions or something else you want to say, please leave a comment and we will do our best to help you out!
By: Kimchi Cloud
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