How to Say Happy Birthday in the Dutch Language (Pronunciation with Audio)

In the Netherlands birthdays are very important celebratory social events.  So, if you have Dutch acquaintances, friends or family it’s expected of you that you show good manners and congratulate the person on his or her birthday. The most common ways are: “Gefeliciteerd” which literally means congratulations or you can say “Fijne verjaardag” and this means a happy birthday.

GefeliciteerdGhe-fu-lu- si- teertcongratulations
Fijne verjaardagfay-ner fer-yaar- dakhhappy birthday (pleasant)
Gefeliciteerd
Fijne verjaardag

However, there are many ways to congratulate or say happy birthday to someone. So let’s look at some other ways to use phrases, expressions and songs.

  1. Other ways of wishing a happy birthday in Dutch
  2. Replying to people wishing you a happy birthday
  3. Dutch birthday song

Other ways of wishing a happy birthday in Dutch

Gelukkige verjaardagkher-luh-kikh-ge  fer-yaar- dakhhappy birthday (lucky)
Prettige verjaardagpreh-tikh-ge fer-yaar- dakhhappy birthday (nice)
Een prettige dag gewenstErn preh-tikh-ge fer-yaar- dakh kher-venstWishing you an enjoyable day
Ik hoop dat je een fijne verjaardag hebt!ik hoap dat yer ern fay-ner fer-yaar- dakh hept I hope you have a nice birthday!
Van harte gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag!Vhon har-te  Ghe-fu-lu- si- teert  mut ye  fer-yaar- dakhCongratulations on your birthday!
Fijne dag!fay-ner dakhHave a nice day!
Nog vele jaren in goede gezondheid.Nokh fayle yaar-un in khoo-der kher-zont heitMany years ahead in good health.
Gelukkige verjaardag
Prettige verjaardag
Een prettige dag gewenst
Ik hoop dat je een fijne verjaardag hebt!
Van harte gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag!
Fijne dag!
Nog vele jaren in goede gezondheid.

Replying to people wishing you a happy birthday

If it is your birthday and you want to respond to people congratulating you, you can say the following.

Hartelijk dank voor de goede wensenHAR-Ta-luck DANK foor du khoo-de when-shuMany thanks for the good wishes
Hartelijk bedanktHAR-Ta-luck buh-DANKTA heartfelt thanks
Hartelijk dank voor de goede wensen
Hartelijk bedankt

Dutch birthday song

This Dutch birthday song is sung in the same situation as the English-language “Happy Birthday,” 

It’s a fairly easy song. So let’s try it

Lang zal hij/ze leven,
Lang zal hij/ze leven,
Lang zal hij/ze leven,

In de gloria,
In de gloria,
In de gloria,

Hiep, hiep, hiep, hoera!
Hiep, hiep, hiep, hoera!
Hiep, hiep, hiep, hoera!

If we translate this in English it would be something along the lines of to:
“May he/she live long,”
“in glory,” 
“hip, hip, hip, hooray!”

More about birthdays in the Netherlands

As mentioned in the beginning, birthdays in the Netherlands are very important. Keeping quiet about your own birthday and not celebrating it is almost impossible. Your Dutch friends, family and colleagues won’t forget that it’s your birthday, and they will celebrate it with you.

A Dutch birthday is commonly celebrated with a birthday cake, most of the time you will bring your own cake to your own party. Often the people who come for your birthday will give you a present. Upon receiving the present, you will open it in front of everyone at the party as a sign of respect to the gift-giver. 

Birthdays in the Netherlands are almost always celebrated in the workplace and at school as well, and also at work and school you will provide the birthday cake or treat. 

Beside congratulating the birthday person, you will also congratulate the closest friends, family or partners. It’s a special day for them too.

Beside saying your birthday wishes you will probably also shake hands or even give three alternating kisses on each cheek.

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in the Netherlands for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Want to speak and read more Dutch?

Saying happy birthday and congratulating people in Dutch will help you to get around and talk to and connect with Dutch people. People will appreciate that you are making an effort to speak Dutch. If you want to learn more common words and expressions, then please check out our other posts. 

If you are serious about learning Dutch and you want to master the basics in a short amount of time then check out our easy, fun and fast Online Dutch course. While it can take you a while to learn a language by searching things on google and using apps, – with this comprehensive language course, it will just take you a couple of weeks to see some real progress in your abilities. You will be surprised at how  quick you will be able to talk in Dutch and leave a good impression!

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