Happy Birthday Wishes in Finnish

Learning A new language is always a tedious job , but learning few phrases for any event like birthday , anniversaryor any other auspicious event is always fun. Finnish is the language represented by only 50 million people from Finland , but this language is full of rich literature and stories.

Also Finnish is second official language in sweden , though being in minority.Being the official language of Finland, Finnish is also prominent member of Uralic language family comprising of 38 languages and 25 million speakers. Finnish is also seen being used in Russia, Estonia, Norway , Sweden as well as Finland.


Happy birthday is Translated into Finnish language as Hyvää syntymäpäivää , Here vowel ä is an integral alphabet of finish language and this vowel differentiates from simple a because of it’s pronunciation. In Finnish language vowel ä represents sound of a & e together and combined ,and both being pronounced as half syllables , both a & eare pronounced as half vowels and not full.

Birthday wishes & quotes

  • Wish Hyvää syntymäpäivää sinulle to convey “Happy birthday to you.”
    -> Here Hyvää stands for happy, syntymäpäivää stands for birthday.
    ->  Sinulle trsnlates into you , so this phrase turns out to be “Happy birthday to you”.
  • Asking age is always cumbersome , and that too asking a non-English speaker his age in English may hurt his sentiments. So Finnish way of asking “How old are you ?” is kuinka vanha olet?
    kuinka is interrogation as for “how”?
    -> vanha translates into old , as in terms of age.
    -> olet is translation of word “are”.
    -> Enter sentence translates as “how old are you?”
  • Apologize with myöhästynyt syntymäpäivänään which translates into English language as “Belated Happy Birthday.”
    -> myöhästynyt in Finnish means “late” in English.
    -> “syntymäpäivänään” translates as “Happy birthday.”
  • A bit long birthday wish but this is surely impress the one you are wishing. If you want to wish something big like “may all the love and happiness be filled on this special day in your life” then you can write it as “voivat kaikki rakkautta ja onnea täytetään tästä erityinen päivä elämässäsi”. let’s see what each of them means ?
    -> voivat in Finnish means “to” in English.
    -> kaikki in Finnish means “all” in English.
    -> rakkautta in Finnish means “love” in English.
    -> ja in Finnish means “and” in English.
    -> onnea in Finnish means “Good luck” or “Happiness” in English.
    -> täytetään in Finnish means “Satisfied” or “fulfilled” in English.
    -> tästä in Finnish means “this” in English.
    -> erityinen in Finnish means “special” in English.
    -> päivä  in Finnish means “day” in English.
    -> elämässäsi in Finnish means “in your life” in English.
    => So entire phrase means “may all the love and happiness be filled on this special day in your life.”
  • Want to ask “how is birthday boy/girl ?” as this is commonly used phrase in birthday context, you ask about their health first and then wish them happy birthday . In Finnish you can ask the same by saying “miten on syntymäpäivä poika/tyttö?
    ->miten in Finnish means “how” in English.
    -> on in Finnish means “is” in English when used with mitten.
    -> syntymäpäivä in Finnish means “birthday” in English.
    -> poika in Finnish means “boy” in English.
    -> tyttö in Finnish means “girl” in English.


This discriminating episode was written by a Dutch young lady living in Finland. She Shared a flat with Finnish young lady.
“On the second day I was living here in Finland, my flat mate was putting on her coat. I needed to make some talk so I asked her where she was going. She let me know that she would go out to the film with her bf that night in light of the fact that it was her birthday. I wanted to wish her, so I moved towards her and turned over to, in the same way as we are used to in Holland, kiss her on the cheeks. I must have truly frightened her. She moved a few stages back, and looked with enormous eyes at me. I realized then that I must be doing something abnormal so I made a weird moment, remained up right again and shook her hand instead. She was truly thinking me as an idiot. I think we both felt extremely uncomfortable, at any rate I did!

Things to consider:

  • Greetings in different societies differ on how well do you know one another(ingroup versus outgroup)
  • Who is considerd as a companion/friend or as an acquaintance fluctuates in different societies

The Analysis of the Case :

  • This was clearly an exceptionally painfull misunderstanding. The Dutch student did something, which individuals in Holland consider as just well mannered. In any case kissing somebody (even just on the cheeks) is viewed as exceptionally personal in Finland. The gesture of kissing has an entirely different meaning in Holland than in Finland, and that brought about a big mix-up between the young ladies.
  • The Netherlands can be seen as a nation with a more “prompt” society, or what Hall (1959) calls a “high contact society”. This is to say that people touch and kiss more than in cultures that could be considered as low contact cultures. This distinction may prompt a few errors. For instance somebody from the Netherlands can see an absence of touching as “cold”, while somebody from Finland may feel violated and disregarded in his/her private space when somebody touches him/her more than he/she is utilized to.
  • In our way of life, we have a certain set of guidelines or traditions as per which we act. We take in these principles at a young age. Since we take in these tenets at such an early age, we have a tendency to underestimate them and don’t come to think about the thought that another person may have different guidelines. This is the reason it can be exceedingly shocking if somebody abruptly breaks our rules.
  • The Dutch student finishes up her discriminating incident by expressing that: “For this situation, the rule for wishing somebody in my culture, kissing, was not the same as the standards are in Finland. This made an exceptionally painful circumstance, I was breaking my flatmates rules and was acting in a manner which she saw as threatening.”


Finnish is not the easiest language and it is considered as one of the most toughest language , but by following couple of steps from now you can easily wish your friend happy birthday in Finnish and can impress him/her.

Birthday lyrics :
Paljon onnea vaan,
paljon onnea vaan,
paljon onnea Name,
paljon onnea vaan!

How to sing this song?

Step 1– Learn the phrase that is constantly used, i.e learn “Paljon onnea vaan” . This sentence is pronounced in the same way as it is written and there is no subtle difference in pronunciation.

Step 2– The second phrase is verbatim to first phrase , but as i told it has a subtle difference in pronunciation, this one has a little voice-crack on the second word “onnea”. Before you speak out the letter a , there is a small pause, so it makes scene like your voice is cracked a little between the syllables.

Step 3– Now you have already said the two phrases correctly so there is nothing new now , just add the name of your friend to it and its all done.

step 4– Say all together “Paljon onnea vaan, paljon onnea vaan, paljon onnea name, paljon onnea vaan”.