4 Vote

Fellow Forum-ers,

 Up until now, I have always heard(and have always used, for 

that matter) the phrase "Feliz cumpleaños" to say happy birthday. I recently discovered another way of saying "Happy Birthday," - "Felicidades." I had a few simple questions about this. Is one more proper than the other? For instance, would I say "Feliz cumpleaños" to a toddler, but "Felicidades" to someone older? Is one more common? I have never heard anybody use "felicidades," so I"m assuming that the former phrase is more common in American-Spanish. Is there a major difference between the two? I hope that makes sense! Thanks in advance for the help.

  • Posted Feb 6, 2010
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4 Answers

4 Vote

Feliz cumpleaños = Happy birthday

Felicidades = Congratulations

Though we wouldn't actually say "Congratulations" in English when finding out that it's someone's birthday, it would be a perfectly normal and polite thing to say in Spanish.

I hear "feliz cumpleaños" more and that is what I, personally, would be more likely to say but I think that either would be acceptable to anyone.

  • I just looked it up, and it means congratulations, success, happiness, etc. I see what you mean. Thank you so much! - nrdyAWSM Feb 6, 2010 flag
3 Vote

Feliz cumpleaños literally means Happy Birthday, and it's therefore more appropriate on a birthday, whereas Felicidades is more general and just means congratulations (appropriate for a wider range of occasions).

2 Vote

I agree with the others, but isn't it so amazing how language verbage differs (for all languages, in all countries)! grin I'm in San Antonio and here I hear ¡Felicidades! more often that ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! for birthdays.

In fact, I used to wonder the same thing as your question...only for the opposite reason! smile

  • That is marvelous. It certainly gives you perspective of the country, let alone the earth! - nrdyAWSM Feb 6, 2010 flag
1 Vote

Yes I have noted that greetings cards say felicidades, I often say enhorabuena to congratulate someone, is this in order as well?

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