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The French phrase "Joyeux anniversaire"

Ready to find out all the things you have to know about the basic French sentence "Joyeux anniversaire"? It includes a complete definition of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example.In addition, we also added some super useful stuff like synonyms, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Translation in English

  • Translation : Happy birthday

  • Register : Neutral - Basic - Celebration

How to pronounce it?



  • IPA : / ʒwajø anivɛʁsɛʁ /

aesthetic french quote joyeux anniversaire

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What does joyeux anniversaire mean?


"Joyeux anniversaire" is the common way to say "Happy birthday" in French. (We also use "Bon anniversaire" frequently.)

How to use

To keep it simple, use one of these:

For a complete sentence in an informal context, use instead:

And for a formal context, use:

Finally, if you want to amplify your wish, you can add "très" (very) before "bon". Example: "Je te souhaite un très bon anniversaire" (I wish you a very good birthday)

Funny stuff

To wish someone a happy birthday in Quebec, you should use instead "Joyeuse fête". (Which doesn't work in France)

Also, when singing to wish someone a happy birthday in France, we use exactly the same melody as the song "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you *name* (...)". So it becomes "Joyeux anniversaire, joyeux anniversaire *name* (...)"


↓ Example in a story with English translation ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

Organiser un anniversaire

Organize a birthday

Un mois avant l'anniversaire de Philippe...
A month before the birthday of Philippe...
... Emily décide de lui préparer une surprise...
... Emily decides to prepare him a surprise...
Alors elle lui achète un cadeau.
So she buys him a present.
Et elle choisit où elle achèterait le gâteau, les ballons et les décorations le jour J.
And she chooses where she would buy the cake, balloons and decorations on D-Day.
Elle était fière d'avoir tout planifié.
She was proud to have planned everything.
Cependant, parfois, les choses ne se passent pas comme prévu...
However, sometimes things aren't going as planned...
Le jour de l'anniversaire de Philippe, elle découvre qu'il fallait commander le gâteau trois jours à l'avance...
On Philippe's birthday, she discovers that she had to order the cake three days in advance...


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