Happy birthday wishes in German – 12 original wish suggestions!

Celebrating a birthday in Germany is a popular, joyful and well-kept tradition. We can therefore expect to receive happy birthday wishes in German from colleagues or friends, or to be the ones wishing someone a happy birthday.

When should I wish someone a happy birthday in Germany?

The best time to wish someone a happy birthday is on their birthday. It’s not a good idea to be overzealous and wish them the day before. So if you miss the birthday person, there is no harm in wishing him or her a happy birthday the next day by adding the word “nachträglich”. A short, spontaneous “Alles Gute zum Geburtstag nachträglich” will then be enough.

Birthday traditions in German companies

In German companies there is an unwritten rule that the birthday person organizes a small treat for his/her colleagues. This is not a necessity, but often creates a good atmosphere and builds positive relationships. It does not mean ordering catering at once, but a really small “something” in the workplace, which usually consists of sweets. If our company has a canteen, we can also organize sausages or order something for the lunch break.

Generally speaking, the budget does not count, but the memory and gesture itself, so we should not follow in this matter the Polish, unfortunately not very positive custom of “Zastaw się a postaw się”. Inviting everyone who has wished us the best for a beer is also welcome, especially if we have previously accepted such an invitation ourselves.

German labour law doesn’t instruct employees about alcohol limits, so it’s often possible to have a small toast with the permission of the employer.

Happy birthday wishes in German

“Alles Liebe zum Geburtstag” these words are the most commonly used birthday phrase. However, sometimes it is worth trying to be more original…

  • Herzlichen Glückwunsch, bleib wie Du bist!
    Translation: Heartfelt wishes, stay as you are!
  • Zum Geburtstag alles Gute, Glück und Freude auf der Lebensroute!
    Translation: Happy birthday, happiness and joy on the road of life!
  • Ein neues Jahr ist wunderbar! Wir werden dich begleiten und sind ganz glücklich immer dar, mit Dir voran zu schreiten.
    Translation: A new year in life is always wonderful. We will accompany you and always happy we will continue to walk with you.
  • Liebe, Glück und keine Sorgen, Gesundheit, Mut für heut und morgen. All das wünsche ich zum Feste, für Dich natürlich nur das Beste!
    Translation: Love, happiness, no worries, health, courage for today and tomorrow. All this on the occasion of your birthday, for you only the best!
  • Zum Geburtstag recht viel Glück, geh immer vorwärts, nie zurück, mit wenig Arbeit recht viel Geld, und mach große Reisen in die Welt. Jeden Tag gesund sich fühlen, und sechs Richtige im Lotto spielen, ab und zu ein Gläschen Wein, dann wirst du immer glücklich sein.
    Translation: On the occasion of your birthday quite a lot of happiness, go always forward never backward, from small work enough money and go on great journeys around the world. Every day in health and a six in the lottery, a glass of wine from time to time, which will make you always in the mood.
  • Wer jeden Tag sich freut und lacht, und jeden Morgen froh erwacht, und abends trinkt sein Gläschen leer, wird 100 Jahre und noch mehr!
    Translation: He who rejoices and laughs every day, gets up joyfully every morning, and drinks his glass to the end in the evening, will live 100 years and more!
  • Meine kurzen Wünsche sind eine gute Sache heute fürs Geburtstagskind: Lebe! Liebe! Lache!
    Translation: My short wishes are a good thing today for the birthday boy: Live! Love! Laugh!
  • Zum Geburtstag, da wünsche ich dir nichts. Hast du doch schon so vieles. Und das was fehlt, das erreichst du dieses Jahr. Und wenn nicht, so wünsche ich es dir das nächste Mal.
    Translation: On the occasion of your birthday, I wish you nothing. After all, you already have so much anyway. And what you lack, you will get this year. And if you don’t, I’ll wish you that next time.
  • Es reicht nicht aus, nur einen Tag lang zu feiern, also feier ONE Tag Deines Lebens. Doch fang Heute schonmal an. Alles Gute!
    Translation: It’s not enough to celebrate for just one day, so celebrate EVERY day for the rest of your life. Start today. Happy Birthday!
  • Wie viele Stunden schlägt die Uhr, wie viele Blätter streut der Wald, so viel Glück und Süße wünsche ich Dir zum Geburtstag!
    Translation: How many hours time beats, How many leaves the forest pours. So much happiness and sweetness, on your birthday wishes….
  • Du wirst mit den Jahren immer perferkter und hübscher. Obwohl dies Dein Geburtstag ist, fühlt es sich an, als ob ich beschenkt werde. Wärend du geschenke bekommst, bekomme ich, dass Du einfach da bist.
    Translation: You become more perfect and beautiful as the years go by. Even though it’s your birthday, I feel like I’m the one who receives the gift. When you receive gifts, I receive your presence.
  • Zahlen sind doch Mist! Bleib einfach wie du bist!
    Translation: Numbers are shit after all! Stay what you are!

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