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Easy methods to Say Pleased Birthday in Korean

Easy methods to Say Pleased Birthday in Korean


korean birthday

The clock strikes midnight, and already you’re feeling a bit of bit completely different. 

That’s proper! It’s your birthday, and you already know what to anticipate based mostly by yourself tradition and upbringing.

However now that you simply’re learning Korean, you’re most likely interested in how Korean people might need their very own birthday bash.

On this submit, I’ll go over how one can want somebody a joyful birthday in Korean, plus some particular birthday customs you must anticipate.


Easy methods to Say Pleased Birthday in Korean

The way you say joyful birthday will largely rely on who you’re saying it to. Understanding the connection you’ve gotten along with your dialog companion is an enormous deal with regards to speaking in Korean.

1. 생신을 축하드립니다 (seng-shin-eul chook-ha-deu-riep-ni-da)

This can be a formal manner of wishing somebody a cheerful birthday. The ending of 드립니다 could have already clued you to this, if you happen to’re conversant in how wording can enormously matter in Korean etiquette.

It’s applicable to make use of on your elders or these in a better place, corresponding to your boss or trainer. You might alternatively say 생신 축하드려요 (seng-shin-eul chook-ha-deu-ryuh-yo), however I’ll admit it’s a bit of troublesome to pronounce the 려요 half!

2. 생일 축하합니다 (seng-il chook-ha-hap-ni-da)

That is doubtless the most typical “joyful birthday” phrase you’ll hear. It’s well mannered in tone and applicable for many events, whether or not you’re utilizing it for acquaintances or these older than or near your age.

Be aware the distinction within the wording in comparison with the extra formal variant. 생일 actually interprets to “birthday” (생 that means delivery, 일 that means day). 생신 is a extra respectful manner of claiming birthday.

You might also say 생일 축하해요 (seng-il chook-ha-heh-yo). It too is well mannered in tone (evidenced by the presence of 요), though I’d say it’s a bit much less formal than 생일 축하합니다.

3. 생일 축하해 (seng-il chook-ha-heh)

That is casual in nature and is applicable on your associates and informal acquaintances round your age or youthful. Discover the dearth of honorific language within the phrase–it implies that you simply don’t need to be so uptight or respectful to the birthday boy or woman.

4. 생축 (seng-chook)

This can be a slang variant that’s only a enormously abbreviated model of the standard “joyful birthday” phrase. You might see it in textual content or on-line.

One other abbreviation you may encounter is 생일 ㅊㅋㅊㅋ, learn as seng-il choo-ka choo-ka. It’s widespread in Korean social media to easily shorten acquainted phrases into singular Hangul letters.

Since that is slang we’re speaking about, you must reserve these particular “joyful birthday” phrases for associates or on-line buddies.

Easy methods to Sing the Korean Pleased Birthday Tune

You’ll be happy to know that it’s really quite simple to sing the joyful birthday music in Korean.

You solely need to know two phrases.

The primary is 생일 축하합니다, which we’ve already mentioned to be the formal manner of claiming “Pleased birthday.” Regardless that that is the phrase of selection, the music is acceptable for just about everybody: younger, previous, associates, acquaintances or strangers.

The second phrase is 사랑하는 (우리) ________ (씨), which suggests “Beloved (insert title)”, with the choice to incorporate 우리 earlier than the title or after the title:

  • 우리 means “our” and is often used for shut family and friends members, particularly in the event that they’re youthful.
  • is a primary Korean honorific that you could be wish to embrace if the birthday individual deserves a bit of extra respect (corresponding to your office senior).

With these two phrases, the format of the particular music goes like this:

생일 축하합니다
Pleased birthday to you

생일 축하합니다
Pleased birthday to you

사랑하는 (우리) ________ (씨)
Beloved _______

생일 축하합니다
Pleased birthday to you

Sing it to the identical tune as “Pleased Birthday to You” (sure, the English one you already know by coronary heart) and that’s it. It’s that simple!

Generally, the music can embrace a number of additional traces (corresponding to within the video above), although they will range quite a bit relying on the context. Nonetheless, you’ll extra usually hear simply the easy two-phrase music.

Easy methods to Rejoice Korean Birthdays

All proper, so you understand how to sing the music. Now what’s there to do after you’ve belted it out?

Korean Birthday Customs

drinking soju

In trendy occasions, Korean birthday celebrations don’t look a lot completely different from Western ones. A cake, some presents and a enjoyable get-together are the same old expectations.

Children could have a celebration with their members of the family and associates, whereas older people could have fun at dwelling, a bar or a restaurant. For the latter, it’s doubtless that loads of alcoholic drinks like 소주 (so-ju) will go across the desk.

It’s attainable {that a} birthday falls on a date on which most celebrants can be busy. This can be a widespread prevalence, particularly for teenage college students who’ve to review for checks. Celebrations can then be pushed to occur a number of days later, ideally on a weekend.

To actually observe custom, birthday individuals can also eat the seaweed soup often known as 미역국 (mi-yuk-gook). This hearty, nutritious dish has a historical past of being a meals often consumed by anticipating pregnant ladies. It due to this fact has a powerful connotation to delivery and well being, making it a becoming selection as a birthday meal.

Since Korean tradition has quite a lot of fascinating traditions, top-of-the-line methods to seek out out extra can be to watch Korean dramas, films, and even vlogs. For learner help, you will get to know cultural tidbits and helpful expressions with FluentU’s genuine Korean movies. These have interactive captions, plus flashcards and quizzes for brand spanking new vocabulary.  

For example, if you happen to watch quite a lot of Korean movies, you may know that there’s a special manner of counting an individual’s age in Korea. Right here’s the way it works…

The Korean Growing older System

Let’s say you meet a Korean one who was born on Might 12, 1990. So, on Might 13, 2023, you could cheerfully say to them “Hey! Congratulations on turning 33 years previous!”

Nicely, you could get a shocking response: they could appropriate you and say they’re really 34 years previous. Ask them once more on January 2, 2024, they usually’ll proclaim they’re 35 years previous.

Are Korean folks in some way growing old at supersonic velocity? No, they’re not, however they’re following completely different guidelines with regards to figuring out their age.

In response to Korean tradition, you’re technically thought-about one yr previous the second you’re born. That is wise, because you had been “alive” for 9 months within the womb, which is shut sufficient to a yr.

Moreover, you really age up a yr proper at New 12 months’s, on January 1.

Which means that in Korea, an individual’s age will be one or two years older than they might be thought-about internationally. In the event you’re questioning how this works, then you may rapidly calculate your individual Korean age.

So what then is the purpose of celebrating the precise delivery date? Nicely, the day you had been born continues to be an event worthy of pleasure, by no means thoughts the technicalities of when one is definitely thought-about a yr older.

In the event you’re apprehensive about incorrectly assuming a Korean individual’s age, don’t be. Most Korean people gained’t make a fuss if you happen to get their age fallacious by a yr or two.

A Korean Child’s First Birthday

korean one-year-old

A really particular birthday celebration takes place while you flip a powerful one yr previous. It even has its personal title: 돌잔치 (dol-jan-chi). Alongside an enormous celebration with members of the family and friends, one-year-old infants have an vital job to play in their very own festivities.

The toddlers might be wearing a particular conventional 한복 (han-bok), plus a cute little hat. They might be seated earlier than an spectacular unfold of Korean meals that features loads of colourful rice muffins often known as (tteok) and fruits.

However then, the kid might be offered with a curious association of what look like miscellaneous objects. The merchandise choices are often determined by the mother and father, they usually usually embrace one thing like a bowl of rice, a pencil, a e-book, thread, cash payments and extra. Fashionable variants can embrace objects like a smartphone, a pc mouse, a sports activities ball and so forth.

Sooner or later, the child could seize at or present curiosity in a single or two objects. No matter is chosen is claimed to represent a particular fortune. For instance:

  • Selecting a pencil: the kid will acquire sturdy writing and or tutorial abilities
  • Selecting a paintbrush: the kid might be artistically gifted
  • Selecting cash: the kid will change into wealthy
  • Selecting thread or yarn: the kid will reside a protracted life
  • Selecting a meals merchandise: the kid won’t go hungry

Fashionable objects observe an identical system of fortune-telling. For instance, a toddler choosing up a pc mouse can recommend they’ll be nifty with expertise.

This enjoyable and thrilling occasion, known as 돌잡이 (dol-jap-ii), provides family members an opportunity to think about a vivid future for the child of the hour.

Apparently, for my 돌잡이, I grabbed at a pencil with one hand, whereas my different hand was firmly greedy a chunk of 떡 (and remained so for many of my celebration). The 떡 itself didn’t even have a symbolic that means. However seeing how I really like to write down and love devouring 떡 even now, I suppose my fortune-reading was fairly correct.

A Korean Particular person’s 60th Birthday

60th birthday in korea

Reaching the age of 60 can be thought-about a special day.

In the event you’re conversant in the Chinese language zodiac, you then may know why. 60 years is the marker while you’ve reached a full cycle of your zodiac lifespan, in order that the calendar once more factors to the identical zodiac indicators underneath which you had been born.

Most Korean people are well-attuned to their zodiac. Previously, similar to the way it was success for a child to succeed in their first birthday, it was additionally thought-about momentous for one to succeed in the ripe previous age of 60 (61 within the Korean age system). Celebrating this event is called 환갑 (hwan-gap).

It’s typical for the birthday individual’s household to throw them a memorable celebration. Alternatively, the person can decide to go on a pleasant journey with their family members.

There are additionally some who don’t select to have fun their sixtieth. As an alternative, they could save extra lavish festivities for a extra “spectacular” birthday like their seventieth, eightieth and even their ninetieth.


Korean birthday customs have each acquainted and distinctive options. They’re one other enjoyable and worthwhile side of Korean tradition to be taught, alongside your Korean language research.

So bust out the cake (or 미역국) and begin the celebrations!