Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Happy Birthday” and ”Good Luck”

New Words   
Wish you – 祝你 – zog lei 
Birthday – 生日 – sang yat 
Happy Birthday – 生日快樂(快乐) – sang yat fai lok 
Hope – 希望 – hei mong


Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Happy Birthday” and ”Good Luck”

新年快樂! This is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg. Hope all of you are enjoying the Chinese New Year celebrations so far! Did you know that the 7th day of Chinese New Year is everyone’s birthday? Let’s learn how to wish your friends and family “Happy Birthday” in today’s Cantonese – How Do You Say podcast

“生” refers to “birth” and “日” refers to day. When these two words are combined together, it literally means “birthday.” Before we go on, I have a Chinese myth to share with you! On the 7th day of Chinese New Year, many believe that the Goddess of Creation created humans. So to celebrate every man’s birthday together, rather than birthday cakes, Singaporean Chinese would typically toss and eat yusheng for good fortune. Arranged on a large circular plate, this dish – consisting of raw fish, shredded carrot, green radish, white radish, deep-fried flour crisps and sweet condiments – is considered to be a symbol of abundance. In fact, the higher you toss the yusang, the better prospects you’ll have in the year ahead! 

Anyway, Cantonese speakers in Singapore would wish someone a happy birthday by saying “祝你生日快樂”. In addition, since happiness is always welcome, especially during Chinese New Year, you can also add “希望日日開心”, which means hope you will be happy every day. 

I’ll repeat both phrases for you. 

祝你生日快樂 

希望日日開心 

Hope you find the above phrases useful and have found more ways to express well-wishes and birthday greetings. Thank you for listening to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. I am Eugene and 祝你新年開心,希望你萬事如意!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. JyutpingYale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.