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How to Say Merry Christmas in Different Languages of the World

Henry Mcdowell 27 Nov 2020
How to Say Merry Christmas in Different Languages of the World

Nowadays, many people have friends, family, business partners all over the world. So, it might be interesting to know how they say Merry Christmas in different languages in order to congratulate your acquaintances in their native tongue, write them an email with email translator or even send a postcard. Besides, it's fun to learn how one expression can vary in different parts of the globe.

There are over 7000 languages on the planet. Of course, such a phrase as “Merry Christmas” can be found not in every one of them since it involves a cultural aspect. That’s why one can say it in their native language only if its speakers are Christians, celebrate this holiday, or have some significant ties with a neighboring culture that practices Christianity.

Ways to Translate Merry Christmas in Different Languages

Christianity by far is the most widespread religion with over 2 billion followers on every continent, so linguistic variety is vast. In different branches of Christianity, there are different traditions associated with Christmas. Linguistic, cultural, and geographic variety of Christ believers is immense. So, it isn't surprising that Merry Christmas in other languages and cultures may not sound much similar. This depends on intrinsic features of a language. 

In languages of one group and one language family, this phrase is expected to sound much alike. For example, professional Italian translation of ‘Merry Christmas’ is ‘Buon Natale’ and in Portuguese, it is ‘Feliz Natal’. Here it's possible to see that the second word is almost identical. If we look at the Spanish variant – ‘Feliz Navidad’, we discover that it is much alike to Portuguese, having differences in the second word only.

Many Different Ways to Say Merry Christmas and Their Meanings

Our mother tongue takes a major role in constructing our consciousness and worldview. We perceive all information based on a mind map built upon a language we use to communicate with an outer world. Due to linguistic and consequently cultural differences, there's also a great variation in the meaning of this phrase. For sure, Merry Christmas in all languages is a greeting and a wish to have a happy holiday we use on this day. But actual meaning of an expression may be different. In English, it means “have a happy mass in honor of the birth of Christ.” In the examples of Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, this message is translated as ‘Happy Birth.’

Different interpretations can also be found within one language. For instance, in Ukrainian the standard Orthodox Christian expression means “Have a happy Birth” but in the western regions of this very country where Greek Catholic population prevails, the popular variant is “Christ has been born, hail to Him.” Although, Merry Christmas in many languages is used in the same context, it may have a different meaning and message behind it. There's an obstacle with translation of this phrase into languages of countries that do not share Christian culture but gradually started embracing this holiday. With English to Japanese translation services it is possible to transcribe this expression in katakana script so that it is pronounced similar to English: "Merii Kurisumasu" although no such original words exist in Japanese language.

Saying Merry Christmas in Different Languages – List of 50 Tongues

Although Christmas is primarily a religious holiday in the Christian world, it has started catching on as a secular event throughout the world. An expression Merry Christmas in other languages has been either translated or transcribed. For example, correct Korean translation is 크리스마스 잘 보내세요 (keuriseumaseu jal bonaeseyo) but in informal contexts, one could use 메리 크리스마스 (meri keuriseumaseu), which is a transcription of the original English expression. It's really fun to discover how ‘Merry Christmas’ is said in different languages, so here is the list of 50 ways to congratulate a person:

European languages

Albanian – Gëzuar Krishtlindja

Belarusian – з Калядаамі (z Kaljadámi)

Bulgarian – Весела Коледа (Vesela Koleda)

Croatian – Sretan Božić

Czech – Veselé Vánoce

Danish – glædelig jul

Dutch – Vrolijk kerstfeest

Finnish – Hyvää joulua, Hauskaa joulua

French – Joyeux Noël

German – Frohe Weihnachten

Greek – Καλά Χριστούγεννα (kalá Christoúgenna)

Hungarian translation – Boldog karácsonyt

Irish – Nollaig Shona

Latvian – Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus

Norwegian – god jul

Polish – Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia

Russian – C Рождеством Христовым (s Roždestvóm Xristóvym)

Serbian – Срећан Божић (Srećan Božić)

Slovak – Veselé Vianoce

Swedish – God jul

Ukrainian - Щасливого Різдва! 

Asian languages

Azerbaijani – xoşbəxt milad

Cebuano – Malipayong pasko

Georgian – შობას გილოცავთ (šobas gilocavt)

Hebrew – חג מולד שמח‎ (khag molad sameakh)

Hindi – मेरी क्रिसमस (merī krismas)

Indonesian – selamat hari Natal

Javanese – Sugeng Natal

Kazakh – рождество құтты болсын (rojdestvo quttı bolsın)

Kyrgyz – Жаратканнын туысымен (Caratkannın tuısımen)

Malay – Selamat hari Natal, selamat Natal

Mongolian – Зул сарын мэнд хүргэе (Zul saryn mend hürgeje)

Persian – کریسمس مبارک‎ (kerismas mobârak)

Simplified Chinese – 聖誕快樂, 圣诞快乐 (Shèngdàn kuàilè)

Tagalog – Maligayang pasko

Urdu – میری کرسمس‎ (merī krismas)

Uzbek – Rojdestvo muborak

African languages

Afrikaans – Geseënde kersfees

Amharic – መልካም ገና (mälkam gäna)

Arabic – مِيلَاد مَجِيد‎ (mīlād majīd)

Chichewa – khrisimasi yabwino

Ewe – Blunya na wo

Swahili – Heri ya Krismasi, Krismasi njema

Zulu – uKhisimusi oMuhle

American languages

Alutiiq – Nunaniqsaakici Aʀusistuami

Aymara – Sooma nawira-ra

Cherokee – ᎤᏬᏢᏗ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲ (uwotlvdi danisdayohihv)

Greenlandic – Juullimi pilluarit, juullisiorluarit

Haitian Creole – Jwaye Nowèl

Hawaiian – Mele Kalikimaka

Navajo – Nizhónígo Késhmish Adííłeeł

Read also: Hebrew translation services for any industry.

Indeed, an abundance of different variants is unimaginable. Even the examples of 50 languages demonstrate that human tongues and cultures are rich and diverse. But regardless that Merry Christmas in multiple languages sounds pretty far from alike, the main thing is to share common high spirits during this great holiday. Besides, festivities on this day are also much different, depending on country as well as family traditions.

Christmas and Its Traditions around the Globe

Most traditions on Christmas come from European and American cultures. However, this holiday became so widespread all over the globe that many different traditions appeared. People invented dozens of other ways to say Merry Christmas and celebrate this ancient holiday. Here are different but amusing traditions:

  • Dry Frosty Jack
    In Albuquerque, New Mexico there isn't much snow in winter. But the Christmas spirit is longing for abundant decorations with snowmen in the street. This is why local facilities collect tumbleweeds and make their Frosty Jack out of it. These snowmen are not afraid of the sun!

  • A Nightmare Before Christmas
    There are many interesting dark traditions connected with Christmas. In Austria and some regions of Germany, there's an evil spirit called Krampus that appears on the eve of festivities looking for children that misbehaved to punish them. So probably, in some traditions, the best way to say Merry Christmas is by frightening a kid. During carnival before Christmas, young people dress up in Krampus costumes and scare people in the street.

  • The Giant Lantern Festival
    In the Philippines, Christmas Eve is the Giant Lantern Day. It's a competition between several villages to prepare the most beautiful illumination installation. At night one can see beautiful colorful lanterns all over San Fernando city – the Philippines Christmas capital.

Read also: Dutch translation service with translators who are flawless in linguistics.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Christmas is a sweet and happy time for everyone. No matter what language one speaks, how the holiday is celebrated, or how huge the differences in cultures can be, the greatest pleasure is to have close people around and enjoy magical holiday atmosphere. 

TheWordPoint team sincerely congratulates you on a Merry Christmas! Thank you for your trust and teamwork in the past year. We have valued business and partnerships and look forward to their successful development in the upcoming year. We will continue to please you with our work so that your business develops successfully. We wish that the coming year will bring you prosperity, success, and strength to achieve the most daring goals! May the New Year justify your hopes and perseverance, and dedication to fulfill all your plans! May it bring fortitude of spirit, inexhaustible optimism, creative inspiration, financial growth. Happiness, health, and prosperity to you and your loved ones.


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