Polish Language Blog

How to wish Happy Birthday in Polish Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Culture

June is always a busy month for me as many of my good friends. So what do you say (or write, if you prefer sending a card or an email)? The easiest and most common phrase is

Wszystkiego najlepszego

which literally means “All the best” and is pretty generic. You can modify the phrase depending on the occasion. So for birthdays you can say:

Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji urodzin

“All the best on your birthday”.

If someone is getting married, you can say:

Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji ślubu

“All the best on your marriage”. But let’s go back to celebrating birthdays. Two words you might find useful are:

Życzenia “wishes” and Życzyć, which means ‘to wish”, but you will usually use: Życzę (Ci)…szczęścia i dużo miłości

which means “I wish (you) happiness and lots of love…”.

There’s also an easy option. There’s a song we sing to celebrate someone’s birthday in which we express our wish for them to live a hundred years. The song can be used for ll different ocassions: namedays, birthdays, weddings!  A hundred years is Sto lat in Polish. If everything else fails, wish the birthday girl or boy “sto lat”. It’ll make them smile and you won’t have to struggle with all those consonants.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Kasia Waldegrave:

    Or Anglosaxons and Celts need to be informed that not in every culture does one celebrate birthdays. It is perfectly OK to tell Anericans and Canadians, the English and the Aussies etc that there are societies where Names days are celebrated and birthdays ignored.

  2. Michael:

    Strange I know lots of Polish people and they all celebrate their birthdays. Sto lat. Name days seem to be dying out.

  3. Albert Babetski (Babecki):

    How about, ” Nazdrowie i sto lat”

  4. Charlotte Mohlman:

    We are Polish and every birthday not only do we sing “Happy Birthday” but also “Sto Lat”. Even the littlest one 2 and up sing it, wonderful tradition!
    My question is what do you sing when someone is over 100 years old?