Every year when their birthdays come around, you’ll likely find that many of those living in the West reminiscing about the birthdays of their youths.
Most were simple affairs with balloons, mom’s homemade cake, a few family and friends, beautifully wrapped presents, singing “Happy Birthday to You” and the ceremonious blowing out of the candles.
Some years were special with a party at a fast food joint or pizza parlor or, as you got older, dinner at a fancy restaurant with the whole restaurant staff coming out to sing their version of “Happy Birthday to You.”
Of course, birthdays are special days all around the world, and these days most cultures of the Middle East celebrate birthdays pretty much the same way everyone else in the world does. Arabs who celebrate usually do so with a cake and a /Haflah/ or “party”, especially for the kids.
Adults, on the other hand, might meet with friends at a favorite café or restaurant with the staff coming out with birthday cake singing the recently traditional birthday song سَنَة حِلْوَة يا جَميل/sanah Hilwah yaa gameel/ or literally translated - “Sweet Year, Beautiful!” However, instead of making a wish and blowing out the candles, many celebrants in the Middle East are the first to cut the cake, holding the knife upside-down for luck while doing so, and making their wish at the same time. (What’s more, they also get to eat that first piece of cake.)
Though gifts such as toys, clothes, and sweets may be given to the birthday boy or girl, adults usually just treasure the gift of their friends who’ve gathered around to celebrate another year of life with them.
So, how do say “Happy Birthday” in Arabic, anyway? Well, just as there are many dialects throughout the Arab world, so there are also many ways to wish someone a “Happy Birthday” on their special day. Here are a few of them in the same dialects we teach here at Kaleela:
How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Different Arabic Dialects
If you want to feel like a local the next time you’re invited to a birthday party, you might want to learn the lyrics to the Arabic Happy Birthday song so you can sing along and not try to get away with lip-syncing them:
(Sung to the tune of the traditional Happy Birthday to You)
/sanah Helwah yaa gameel/
So, now you’re ready to party (or just wish your Arabic-speaking friend or colleague a “Happy Birthday!” in Arabic. And if you just happen to be reading this on your birthday, well, عيد ميلاد سَعيد
If you’re celebrating someone’s birthday any time of the year, why not give them a gift that lasts a lifetime – the gift of the Arabic language? After all, there’s never been an easier way to learn Arabic than the Kaleela Arabic language learning app. From the Arabic alphabet to learning local dialects like Egyptian Arabic or Iraqi Arabic, let Kaleela guide them through the Arabic language so they learn Arabic the right way. Find out more about how convenient and easy it is for them to learn Arabic by downloading the Kaleela app today – only from kaleela.com!