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

by | Feb 7, 2019 | Cantonese, Cantonese - How Do You Say

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

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – or search for on Spotify.

New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Wish you祝你Zuk1 nei5Zuk lei
Birthday生日Saang1 jat6Saang yat
Happy birthday生日快樂
Saang1 jat6 faai3 lok6Saang yat faai lok
Hope希望Hei1 mong6Hei mong

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

新年快樂! This is Eugene from 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.



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 I am Eugene and 祝你新年開心, 希望你萬事如意!

Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!

Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At, 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. Jyutping, Yale 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.


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