Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Russian

Winter holidays are approaching and today we would like to offer you to learn the most common Russian ways of congratulating people.

In this lesson you will learn how to say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year”, and “Happy birthday” in Russian, as well as some expressions for inviting people to your party.

The audio recording of this lesson includes all today’s phrases and read twice: the first time at a slow speed, and the second time a bit faster. We recommend you to listen to the audio as much as you need until the words and phrases sound natural.

Happy birthday / Christmas / New year etc.

Russian Pod 101

Here are the most common phrases that Russians use to congratulate each other:

С днём рожде́ния!
Happy birthday! (lit. – With the day of birth!)

С но́вым го́дом!
Happy New Year! (lit. – With a New Year!)

С Рождество́м!
Merry Christmas! (lit. – With Christmas!)

С новосе́льем!
Happy housewarming! (lit. – With a housewarming!)

All of these phrases are shortened versions of:

Поздравля́ю с днём рожде́ния!
I congratulate you with the day of birth!

Поздравля́ю с но́вым го́дом!
I congratulate you with a New Year!


With the words “Поздравля́ю с …” (I congratulate) you can congratulate anyone with any type of event. When you speak on behalf of a group of people, you should use “Подравля́ем с …” . For example:

Поздравля́ем с рожде́нием ребёнка!
We congratulate you on the birth of the child!

Поздравля́ю с поку́пкой маши́ны!
I congratulate you on buying a car!

In the phrases like these ones use the object after the preposition с in the Instrumental case.

How to wish something to someone?

In Russia, when we say “Happy birthday” to somebody, we usually add some good wishes for that person.

If you want to add to your congratulations some wishes too, you can start your phrase with “я жела́ю” (I wish) or “мы жела́ем” (we wish). The object (what you wish) must be used in the Genitive casee.

Я жела́ю вам сча́стья!
I wish you happiness!

Я жела́ю тебе́ здоро́вья!
I wish you health!

Жела́ю вам до́лгих лет жи́зни!
I wish you a long life!

Жела́ем тебе́ мно́го де́нег и дете́й!
We wish you a lot of money and many children!

Мы жела́ем тебе́ успе́хов во всех твои́х начина́ниях!
We wish you success in all your endeavors!

How to invite people?

Do you arrange a party on the occasion of your birthday or marriage? Or maybe you just want to invite people to your place to spend some time together? Then start your phrase with “я приглаша́ю” / “мы приглаша́ем” (I invite / we invite):

Я приглаша́ю тебя́ ко мне в го́сти.
I invite you to my place.

Мы приглаша́ем вас на на́шу сва́дьбу.
We invite you to our marriage.

You can also say:

Приходи́ ко мне в гости.
Come to my place. (informal)

Приходи́те к нам за́втра, у нас вечери́нка.
Come to us tomorrow, we have a party. (formal or plural)

If you invite someone to the restaurant, they would be happy if you say:

Я угоща́ю!
My treat!

Now you know how to say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year”, and “Happy birthday” in Russian. Practice all these phrases with the audio track.

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