Q:

How do you say "happy birthday" in French?

A:

Quick Answer

The phrase "happy birthday" in French is translated as either "joyeux anniversaire" or "bon anniversaire." In Canada, however, the translation "bonne fête" is more commonly used.

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Full Answer

Though "bonne fête" is used in Canada to wish someone a happy birthday, it is also used more generally to wish someone a happy holiday or to celebrate their "Saint's Day" or "name day." "Saint's Day" refers to a longstanding tradition in many Christian countries of celebrating the feast day of the saint corresponding to one's given name. In France, this has traditionally been celebrated by giving a small gift to the person on his "name day."

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