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5 ways to wish a Finn a happy birthday

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Posted in Languages, Finnish

Happy Birthday in Finnish

Happy birthday in Finnish means: Hyvää syntymäpäivää. However, this is used quite rarely. Other expressions are much more common on Facebook.

It doesn’t always have to be classic, there are many ways to wish a Finn “Happy Birthday” or simply “Happy Birthday”. And as a rule, one is not only happy about a simple “congratulations”, but also about a longer or unusual birthday wish. Therefore in this post “Happy Birthday Finnish” there are a few ways to congratulate a Finn on her birthday.

Hyvää Syntymäpäivää

The standard phrase that can always be used is & nbsp; Hyvää syntymäpäivää . This means something like “Happy Birthday” or simply “Happy Birthday”. However, in Finnish there is a big difference between spoken Finnish and written Finnish. Most birthday wishes are not formal, but informal. In the following I have listed some possibilities which can be used.


Onnea is one of the most common short forms for birthday wishes. It just means “happiness” or “I wish you luck (for the new year of life)”. This can often be found on Facebook Walls, where most friends simply wish good luck for the future. In Finnish, in addition to the birthday, the name day is a highlight, and here too, Onnea is often congratulated.

There are many different variants of Onnea , as can also be used in German with the term luck. For example, Paljon onnea was formed, which means something like “good luck” or, more formally, “I wish you the best of luck”. This is often used with close friends or family members, while normal friends fall back on a simple Onnea . There is also the term Hyvää onnea , which means something like “good luck”. This is also often found and is used informally by closer relatives.


A modification of the formal Hyvää syntymäpäivää is offered by the expression Synttärionnittelut . It also means “happy birthday” and comes closest to the German saying “happy birthday”. So this is about the birthday wishes. In contrast to Germans, Finns are actually more happy about their happiness next year than about their birthday itself.

5 ways to wish a Finn “all the best”

  • Onnea – it just means “luck” / “I wish you luck”.
  • Paljon onnea – means “much Glück “or in German we would also say” I wish you good luck “.
  • Hyvää onnea – means” good luck “.
  • Synttärionnittelut – this also means “Happy Birthday”, but also “Happy Birthday.
  • Hyvää syntymäpäivää – the standard phrase that is rarely found on the web.

More ways to say Happy Birthday in Finnish

As mentioned above, Finnish birthday wishes are more about happiness for the future. As a result, there are of course many more variations of the term Onnea or in English luck. I will briefly describe some of the requests here as a list:

  • Hitosti onnea – a variation of “Glück as Hell”, or as a repetition or emphasis “Good luck, good luck” or “Very, very good luck”.
  • Hemmetisti onnea – this would mean “Damn good luck (for the future), a bit more informal but still very appropriate.
  • Onnea merkkipäivänäsi – In German, the term anniversary is less common, meaning “good luck on your anniversary” or “happy anniversary”.
  • Onnea ja pitkää ikää – The phrase “Good luck and a long life” is often mentioned in birthday cards. This phrase is also often used when toasting and celebrating.
  • Onnentoivotukset merkkipäiväsi johdosta – This is a modification of the Onnea merkkipäivänäsi mentioned above and means “Congratulations on your anniversary”.

More resources in Finnish

In this post you can find more Finnish language expressions and lessons or do you want another language?

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