Global Greetings: Celebrating Christmas in Many Languages!

Dec 19, 2023 | First Edition Translations

As the holiday season unfolds and the world comes alive with festive lights and cheerful decorations, the universal message of joy and goodwill resonates in countless languages.

Christmas, a time of celebration and togetherness, is observed around the globe, and the ways people express their wishes for a Merry Christmas vary as much as the cultures that celebrate it.

At First Edition Translations we’re so blessed not only to have a diverse team with many linguistic talents and backgrounds, but also a diverse global client list with whom we work on various projects.

For this month’s article, we thought we’d send out our Christmas greetings in a multitude of the languages we cover with our translation services, and help you with the right greeting to use with your multi-lingual friends!

Spanish – “¡Feliz Navidad!”

In Spain and many Spanish-speaking countries, the classic greeting is “¡Feliz Navidad!” which captures the warmth of the season and is often accompanied by traditional holiday dishes and lively celebrations.

French – “Joyeux Noël!”

In the elegant language of love, the French convey their Christmas wishes with the phrase “Joyeux Noël!” This expression is often shared in the spirit of joie de vivre during festive gatherings and feasts.

German – “Frohe Weihnachten!”

In Germany, the hearty greeting of “Frohe Weihnachten!” encapsulates the holiday spirit. Germans celebrate with a mix of cherished traditions, including festive markets and the joyous sounds of carol singing throughout the season.

Italian – “Buon Natale!”

Italy, a country rich in cultural heritage, celebrates Christmas with the wish “Buon Natale!” Families gather for elaborate feasts, exchange gifts, and revel in the beauty of nativity scenes.

Portuguese (Portugal) – “Feliz Natal!”

In Portugal, the wish for a Merry Christmas is expressed with the phrase “Feliz Natal!” Families come together for festive meals and religious observances, marking the season with a mix of tradition and modern celebration.

Across the Atlantic in Brazil, the sentiment is echoed with the same phrase, “Feliz Natal!” The Brazilian celebration is marked by lively music, colourful decorations, and the festive spirit of Carnaval blended with Christmas celebrations.

Dutch – “Vrolijk Kerstfeest!”

In the Netherlands, the Dutch greet each other with “Vrolijk Kerstfeest!” as they revel in the festive atmosphere of Christmas markets, ice-skating rinks, and the Sinterklaas tradition that leads up to the holiday season.

Polish – “Wesołych Świąt!”

Poland celebrates with the wish “Wesołych Świąt!” during Christmas. Polish traditions include the sharing of the opłatek, a Christmas wafer, and the festive Wigilia meal on Christmas Eve.

Belgian Dutch – “Zalig Kerstfeest!”

In the Dutch-speaking regions of Belgium, the wish for a Merry Christmas is extended with “Zalig Kerstfeest!” Belgians celebrate with a mix of Flemish and French traditions, creating a unique and diverse holiday experience.

Hungarian – “Boldog Karácsonyt!”

In Hungary, the festive greeting “Boldog Karácsonyt!” resounds through homes, markets, and churches during the Christmas season. The Hungarian celebration is steeped in rich traditions, including the decoration of the Christmas tree and the exchange of gifts on Christmas Eve.

Bulgarian – “Весела Коледа! (Vesela Koleda)”

In Bulgaria, the air is filled with the festive spirit as people exchange the greeting “Весела Коледа!” (Vesela Koleda). Bulgarian Christmas traditions are deeply rooted in folklore and customs, with carolers known as “koledari” spreading cheer throughout communities.

Mandarin Chinese – “圣诞快乐 (Shèngdàn kuàilè)”

In China, the wish for a Merry Christmas is expressed with “圣诞快乐” (Shèngdàn kuàilè). Despite not being a traditional holiday, the Chinese embrace the festive spirit with decorations and gift exchanges.

As we travel through the linguistic landscape of Christmas greetings, isn’t it wonderful that while the languages may differ, the essence of the message remains the same — a wish for happiness, peace, and joy.

So, whether it’s “Joyeux Noël,” “Feliz Navidad,” or any other language, the sentiment is clear: Merry Christmas from all of us at First Edition Translations!