Happy Birthday in Japanese

In this lesson we learn how to wish a friend happy birthday in Japanese. Listen carefully to the Japanese pronunciation of happy birthday and practice speaking aloud until you feel confident.

Resources for further reading:

Pronouncing Happy Birthday in Japanese

Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record

Rocket Record lets you perfect your Japanese pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!


おたんじょうび おめでとう!

Otanjōbi omedetō!

Happy Birthday!

The "o" at the beginning of tanjyoubi is an honorific prefix to show politeness. Without the honorific "o", the word for birthday is:





You can also use omedetou as an informal way to congratulate someone in general. It's very useful! Let's practice it on its own:




Asking for someone's age

Here is a useful phrase when you want to ask your friend how old they are turning!


なん さい です か?

Nan sai desu ka?

How old are (you)? (informal)

You might hear their reply in the following format -

私の誕生日は .... 年 .... 月 .... 日です

わたしの たんじょうびは  .... ねん  .... がつ  .... にち です

Watashino tanjōbiwa (year) nen (month) gatsu (day) nichi desu.

My birthday is on [day] [month] [year].

That's all for today! Be sure to use these phrases the next time you want to wish a friend "happy birthday" in Japanese. Here are a few recommended Japanese lessons to try next!


Sayaka Matsuura: Rocket Japanese

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!