happy birthday in Hebrew

Learn to Sing Happy Birthday in Hebrew

How to Say/Sing Happy Birthday in Hebrew

The most common way to sing or say Happy Birthday in Hebrew is with the literal translation from Hebrew into English: Yom Huledet Sameach. We read Hebrew from right to left. So, Yom means ‘day’, Huledet means ‘of birth’, and Sameach means ‘happy’. As is the case with various languages, the adjective Sameach or ‘happy’ comes after the noun.

birthday

How do you pronounce Yom Huledet Sameach?

Yom: (YOHm) rhymes with foam or roam.

Huledet: (HOOLEHdEHt) has three syllables. The first syllable, Hu (HOO), sounds exactly like the question word “who.” The second syllable is Le (LEH) like the first syllable of the word levy. This syllable is emphasized so the accent goes on Le (LEH). The third syllable is Det (DEHt), which sounds like “debt”, or what you go into if you don’t have enough money to pay off your credit card.

Sameach: (SAHmAYAHch) also has three syllables. The first syllable Sa (SAH) sounds like the word “saw” or what you would use to cut wood. The second syllable is Me (MAY) which sounds like “May”, the 5th month of the year. This syllable is emphasized so the accent goes on Me (MAY). The final syllable is Ach (AHch). This syllable is a bit trickier because we don’t have an equivalent “ch” letter in English. The “ch” makes a sound like if you were clearing your throat of phlegm or mucus. Add an “AH” vowel in front of it like if you were with a doctor and he told you to open your mouth and say AH so he could check the back of your throat, and you’ve got AHch.

You can sing Happy Birthday in Hebrew by putting the words Yom Huledet Sameach to the same tune that Americans sing Happy Birthday to.

יוֹם הֻלֶּדֶת שָׂמֵחַ
יוֹם הֻלֶּדֶת שָׂמֵחַ
…יוֹם הֻלֶּדֶת שָׂמֵחַ לְ
יוֹם הֻלֶּדֶת שָׂמֵחַ

Here is a recording of Yom Huledet Sameach sung to the tune of Happy Birthday. If you don’t to hear an explanation of the Hebrew words again, skip to :25.

TRANSLITERATION:

Yom huledet sameach,

Yom huledet sameach

Yom huledet sameach le’ [INSERT NAME HERE]

Yom huledet sameach

TRANSLITERATION #2: BMA STYLE

YOHm HOO-LEH-dEHt SAH-mAY-AHch

YOHm HOO-LEH-dEHt SAH-mAY-AHch

YOHm HOO-LEH-dEHt SAH-mAY-AHch LEH’ [INSERT NAME HERE]

YOHm HOO-LEH-dEHt SAH-mAY-AHch

birthday party

Two More Ways to Say Happy Birthday in Hebrew

1. Ad Meah Ve Esrim!

עַד מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים

TRANSLITERATION BMA STYLE:

AHd MAY-AH VEH-EHs-rEEm

This Hebrew birthday wish means “Until 120!” The word Ad (AHd) means “until” and Meah V’Esrim (MAYAH VEHEHsrEEm) is the Hebrew number 120. If you’d like to learn how to count in Hebrew, check out my post on Hebrew numbers 1-one million. This particular Hebrew phrase is a blessing for the birthday boy or girl to have a long life and live until he or she is 120 years old.

2. Mazal Tov!

מַזָל טוֹב

TRANSLITERATION BMA STYLE:

MAH-zAHL TOHv

Mazal Tov is an incredibly popular Hebrew phrase that translates literally to “good luck” but is used more commonly used to say congratulations! Not only is it appropriate to say Mazal Tov for someone’s birthday, but you would also say this phrase at a Jewish wedding, graduation, bris or baby naming ceremony, or even for less momentous occasions like if someone passed a test or bought a home.

Was this post helpful to you? Learn more Hebrew on the BMA blog!

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