How to Say Happy Birthday in Italian - Birthday Felicitations in Italy

How to Say Happy Birthday in Italian - Birthday Felicitations in Italy

Birthdays are universally recognized to bring cheer and joy as someone turns a year older. Learning how to wish someone the best during their birthday is an indication that you took the time to think about them and compile a personal message. In today’s lesson, you’ll learn all the essential Italian phrases related to birthdays.

 Learn Most Common Italian Words

Attending an Italian birthday party is a great way to meet Italian native speakers and expand your vocabulary while having fun. If you want to learn more practical vocabulary, take a look at our Italian Frequency Dictionaries. You'll get 10,000 most common words listed by frequency and alphabet. It makes learning a new language extremely effective.


How to Say “Happy Birthday” in Italian


However, when a message is sent out in a different language, especially in one that the one celebrating their birthday holds dear, it shows effort. If you have an Italian friend, or you attend a birthday in Italy, the phrase to use is Buon compleanno.


Useful Italian Phrases Related to Birthdays


  • Festeggiato and Festeggiata – Birthday boy and girl

This is used when talking about the person celebrating their birthday, for instance, when it comes to giving a toast or a present. It is derived from the verb festeggiare which means to celebrate.


  • Buon compleanno amico mio. – Happy birthday, my friend.

This is used for informal settings as it shows a personal relationship. It can double up as the closing of a speech or a written note.  


  • I migliori auguri per il tuo compleanno. – Best wishes on your birthday.

This message indicates that you know the person celebrating their birthday, but the relationship between you is formal. An addition of a term of endearment such as ‘my love’ adds a personal touch to the wish. It then becomes i migliori auguri per il tuo compleanno amore mio.


  • Benvenuto alla mia festa di compleanno. – Welcome to my birthday party.

This can be used when sending out cards. If you are planning an Italian themed party, adding this phrase enhances the authenticity. A slight change is seen when you turn the phrase into a question. “Are you coming to my birthday party?” becomes Vieni alla mia festa di compleanno?

Only the first part of the sentence changes; it becomes sta venendo alla mia festa di compleanno when the inquisition is directed to someone else. Are you attending the birthday party translates to stai partecipando alla festa di compleanno.


  • Invio di auguri per il tuo compleanno. – Sending wishes on your birthday.

The wishes you send are dependent on the relationship you have with the person celebrating their birthday. For instance, invio di auguri per il tuo compleanno is broad and covers different relationship scopes. Other such phrases include; Tanti auguri and auguri, which can be translated directly to many wishes and best wishes, respectively.


  • Torta di compleanno – Birthday cake

When attending birthday parties, there is a wide array of ways you can use the term birthday cake. For example, ho adorato la tua torta di compleanno is ideal to indicate that you enjoyed the cake. This appreciation might translate to an interest in finding the same kind of cake or a willingness to purchase one of its kind. Dove hai preso la tua torta di compleanno? It is a translation of “where did you buy the cake.”


  • Porta un regalo di compleanno. – Bring a birthday present.

Some birthday invitations might specify reiterate the need to bring a gift. While a verbal happy birthday is an indication of good wishes, a present is a welcome tangible reminder.


How to Say “How Are You?” in Italian


If it’s your birthday soon, it means you’re one year older. Let’s take a look at some other useful phrases related to someone’s age.


  • Quanti anni hai? – How old are you?


This is a phrase you would use in an informal situation. Its formal equivalent Quanti anni ha? is used much less because it is usually considered impolite to ask a person you don’t know that well or is superior to you their age.

The question contains hai, which is a verb form of avere = to have. The phrase literally means “How many years do you have?”.

“Old” means vecchio/a and is never used when you ask someone’s age. You can say for example Mi sento Vecchio. – “I feel old.”


  • Ho diciotto anni. – I’m eighteen years old. Ho means “I have.”
  • Abbiamo la stessa etá. – We are the same age.

“Look one’s age” means dimostrare la propria etá.



The Verb “Avere” in Italian


This verb comes in handy when you talk about how old someone is in Italian. Don’t forget that in Italian you literally say “How many years do you have?”. Let’s revise its form in the present tense:


Io ho – I have

Tu hai – you have

Egli ha – he has


Noi abbiamo – we have

Voi avete – you have

Essi hano – they have

You can see that conjugating the verb "avere" in the present tense is a piece of cake. By the way, if you want a piece of cake at a birthday party, just use una fetta di torta. However, if you wish to express that something is easy, don't say that it is una fetta di torta in Italian. Use è un gioco da ragazzi instead!

 Learn Most Common Italian Words

Our Italian Frequency Dictionaries are a fantastic source if you want to learn new vocabulary fast. You’ll find 10,000 most common Italian words translated into English. Memorizing individual words won’t get you far, though. That is why we have carefully selected 10,000 example sentences translated into English to show you their usage in context.



Italians love celebrating their birthdays. You can see that vocabulary related to birthdays will come in handy on other occasions, too. For example, you can practice numerals when talking about someone’s age or conjugate the verb avere, which ranks among the most common verbs in the Italian language.

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published