Teochew: How Do You Say “Happy Birthday” & “Good Luck”

by | Feb 7, 2019 | Teochew, Teochew - How Do you Say

Listen to Podcast | Teochew: How Do You Say “Happy Birthday” & “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

EnglishTeochewFormal RomanizationOur Romanization
Wish you祝你Zog leZok lir
Birthday生日Sên rigSare zig
Happy birthday生日快乐Sên rig kuai lagSare zig kuai lak
Hope希望Hi moHee mor
Good luck好运气 / 兴兴Ho ung ki / Hêng hêngHor wung ki / Heng heng

Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say “Happy Birthday” & “Good Luck”

新年快乐! 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 Teochew – 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 yusheng, the better prospects you’ll have in the year ahead!

Anyway, Teochews in Singapore would wish someone a happy birthday by saying 祝你生日快乐. In addition, since good luck is always welcome, especially during Chinese New Year, you can also add 希望你好运气. This is a more formal way of expressing good luck for the recipient. If you want a more local and casual version, then say 希望你兴兴. Yes, if you notice, we repeat 兴 to emphasize on getting good luck!

I’ll repeat all 3 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 in to Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast on I am Eugene and 祝你新年兴兴, 希望你万事如意!

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 Teochew in Singapore

While we include formal romanization for Teochew words, we are advocates of easy learning. Hence, we encourage you to form your own phonics so that you make an association with these Teochew words quickly. To illustrate, the formal romanization of “Teochew” is “diê ziu“. However, in our ”Can You Teach Me” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “teo chew”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “dio chew”, “dio jiu“, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.


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