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Akranes graveyard, Photo: Atli Harðarson. Feature photo: Eustaquio Santimano

According to Ethnologue, the world currently has 6,909 living languages. Here’s how to wish someone a happy new year in 40 of them.

A-E
Language Spelling Pronunciation
Afrikaans Gelukkige Nuwejaar gha-likkikga-neeva-yaarr (“gh” is a throat scraping guttural sound)
Albanian Gëzuar Vitin e Ri gu-zoo-ar vi-tin e ri
Arabic سنة سعيدة sana sa’eedah
Azerbaijani Yeni iliniz mübarək ye-ni i-li-niz myu-ba-rack
Bahasa melayu Selamat tahun baru selamat tahun baru
Basque Urte berri on err-te berr-rri on
Bosnian sretna nova godina sr-et-na no-va go-din-a
Bulgarian Щастлива Нова година sh-tast-liva No-va go-din-a
Catalan Feliç any nou fe-LEES A-nee n-Ou
Cebuano (Philippines) Mabungahong Bag-ong Tuig kaninyong tanan ma-boon-ga-hong bag-ong too-eeg kan-een-yong tan-an
Czech šťastný nový rok SHTU-stnee NO-vee rrr-ok
Dutch Fijne oudejaarsavond (Fine New Year’s Eve) / Gelukkig Nieuwjaar (Happy New Year) fei-nee ow-de-yaarr-sa-vont / ghu-lukkikgh-neew-yaarr
Estonian Head uut aastat hed oot ah-staht

Tbilisi, Photo: Vladimer Shioshvili

F-L
Language Spelling Pronunciation
Farsi سال نو مبارک sale nou mobarak
Filipino Manigong Bagong Taon mah-nee-gong bag-gong ta-on
French Bonne Année bon a-nay
Gaelic (Scotland) Bliadhna mhath ur bleenah vahth oohr
German Frohes Neues Jahr / Gutes Neues Jahr frohes neuyis yar / gutes neu-yis yar
Greek Καλή χρονιά kali chronya
Gujarati સાલ મુબારક saal mubarak (happy year)
Hebrew שָׁנָה טוֹבָה shana tova
Hindi नये साल की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें nayye saal ki haardik shubh-kaam-nayen
Hungarian Boldog Új Évet / Buék bawl-dawg-uuy-aevet / boo-ayk
Irish Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit / Bhliain nua sásta awh-tvleen fwee mm-hay-sheh gutch
Italian Buon anno / Felice anno nuovo boo-on ah-nno / fae-lee-chae ah-nno noo-o-vo
Japanese あけましておめでとうございます akemashite omedeto gozaimasu
Korean 새해 복 많이 받으세요 seh heh bok mahn ee bahd euh sae yo

Singapore, Photo: Eustaquio Santimano

M-Z
Language Spelling Pronunciation
Maltese Is Sena it -Tajba iz sena it taybah
Mandarin Chinese 新年快乐 xīn nián kuài lè
Maori Kia hari te tau hou kia hari tay tau ho
Polish Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku shch-eng-shlee-vego novego roku
Portuguese Feliz Ano Novo feh-liz an-oh noh-voh
Quechua Allin wata kachun qanpaq (singular) / Allin wata kachun qanqunapaq (plural) all-yin wa-ta ka-chun kan-pak / all-yin wa-ta ka-chun kan-koon-a-pak
Romanian La Mulți Ani laa mooltsi ani
Russian С Новым Годом s novim godom
Spanish Feliz Año Nuevo feh-liz an-yoh n-way-vo
Thai สวัสดีปีใหม่ saa-wat-dii pi-mai
Turkish Mutlu yıllar (happy year) / Yeni yılınız kutlu olsun (May your new year be celebrated) moot-loo yill-lar / yen-ee yill-uh-niz coot-loo ohl-son
Urdu نايا سال مبارک nayya saal mubarak
Welsh blwyddyn newydd dda BLOOdhin NEHwidh dha

DO YOU KNOW how to say Happy New Year in any other languages? Share in the comment section below to get us closer to representing the world’s 6,000+ languages!

Language Learning

 

About The Author

Camden Luxford

Camden lives for long, uncomfortable journeys and dreams of the Trans-Siberian Railway. From hitch-hiking in Europe, through Asia by bus and boat, she has found herself in the Peruvian Andes, where she relishes the colors of the festivals, the warmth of the people and the hearty flavors of the soups. When she's not exploring her new home, she's studying politics by distance and writing for her blog, The Brink of Something Else, or as a regular contributor to Matador Abroad.

  • Pingback: How to Say “Happy New Year” in 40 Languages | The SWAP Blog

  • http://Tweetpea.me Tweetpea

    Hawaiian: Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
    Pronounced: how-oo-lee mah-kah-he-key hoe

  • http://priyank.com/travel/ Final Transit

    Marathi: नुतन वर्षाभिनंदन
    noo-tan varsh-aa-bhi-nun-dunn

    (PS: Marathi is the 15th most spoken language in the world, but strangely didn’t make it to this list!)

    -Priyank

    • Heather Carreiro

      Thanks for sharing! Maybe next year we’ll do a list of the most widely spoken languages – we could even do one on just languages of India there are so many.

  • Monica

    Yiddish – אַ גוט יאָר
    (A gut yor)

  • partner

    For Thai as above is little incorrect

    Thai สวัสดีปีใหม่ Saa-wat-dii pi-mai

    NOT

    Thai สวัสดีปีใหม่ aa-wat-dii pi-mai

    • Heather Carreiro

      Thanks for the correction! That was my bad – the “s” was originally written there by the author but got lost in the article formatting. It’s back now. : )

  • http://www.alexastock.webs.com Sanford Hall

    Happy new year to all!!

  • Chris Taylor

    Zìsìtyä sngä’ikrr alefpom

    in Na’vi don’t even think of asking me how to say that :-)

  • http://thecircumcision.com bella

    Selamat Tahun Baru……(Happy New Year)!

  • Vijay

    (Kotta samvatsara shubaakankshalu) (TELUGU)

  • http://srinivasapipeindustries.weebly.com/ RCC Hume Pipe

    Telugu: నూతన సంవత్శర శుభాకాంక్షలు (nuthana samvathsara subhakankshalu)

  • rasi

    Tamil “இனிய புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள்”

  • http://www.chicagolandgeeks.net James Valfre

    You forgot english…. duh.

    Happy New Year – HAH PEE NUUUUUU YEER

  • http://www.worldresolution.net/travel Sean

    Chinese: 新年快乐 xin nian kuai le!

  • SirLowKey

    DO NOT SAY (Dutch) Fijne oudejaarsavond (fei-nee ow-de-yaarr-sa-vont)
    it means “have a nice year end’s eve” and that sounds silly once the New year has started.

    Instead say: Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar with a similar pronunciation as the Afrikaans; gha-likkikga-neeva-yaarr (“gh” is a throat scraping gutreral sound).

    Alvast een Vrolijk Pasen!

    • Heather Carreiro

      So is “Fijne oudejaarsavond” what you say during New Year’s Eve celebrations? Or would that just sound silly all the time?

      • SirLowKey

        You can use that, but more common is “Zalig Uiteinde”.

        If you translate it creatively it can also mean (depending on the amount of alcohol taken in) that you say the person you are wishing this to has a “delicious behind”,

  • http://pvande.wyngaer.de pvandewyngaerde

    Dutch translation is wrong !!

    the dutch text (Fijne Oudejaarsavond) translated back to english is “Fine New Year’s Eve”

    this can only be said the day itself. Happy Newyear can be said the following weeks.
    it should be almost the same as Afrikaans:

    http://translate.google.com/#auto|nl|happy%20newyear : gelukkig nieuwjaar

    ghu-lukkikgh-neew-yaarr (“gh” is a throat scraping gutreral sound)

  • jessica

    danish: Godt nytår!
    pronounced: got newt-oar

    :)

  • http://www.dovolena-chorvatsko.cz alena

    Please, see in my face. Happy New Year in Croatia…

  • Pingback: Mabungahong Bag-ong Tuig kaninyong tanan | Declan Cashin

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  • Michel Kao

    That’s interesting! Happy New Year in 40 Languages.

    To my humble language knowledge, the French, German, English and Mandarin translations are correct, but the Dutch translation should be ‘Gelukkig Nieuwjaar’ (Happy New Year) in stead of ‘Fijne oudejaarsavond’, which means ‘Happy New Year’s Eve’. Exactly like pvandewyngaerde said. Hope to be of assistance here.

    Great work.

    • Heather Carreiro

      Thanks for the addition on the Dutch!

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  • Pingback: How to Say Happy New Year in 40 Languages | Healthy Ken

  • Pingback: How to Say Happy New Year in 40 Languages | Healthy Ken

  • Emilija

    Macedonian – Среќна Нова Година!

    • Linda Poort

      :) Pronouned as: Shrek-nah noh-va go-dih-na

  • Pingback: Becky The Minx's Blog!: How to Say Happy New Year in 40 Languages

  • http://abbiemood.com Abbie

    This is quite a list, Camden! I especially like how you added pronunciation :)

  • bonnie

    Taiwan: 新年快樂 sin nien kuai le

  • http://www.globalrickshaw.mypodcast.com Saadia Khattak

    In Pashto : Nawa Khal de Umbarak Sha !

  • http://brinkofsomethingelse.com Camden Luxford

    Thanks everyone for the corrections and the additions – this was waaay more complicated than I thought it would be when I cheerfully accepted Heather’s request for this article!

    We also forgot the Australian translation, kindly contributed by one of my mates when I put the call out on Facebook for contributions: “LET’S GET LEGLESS!!”

  • http://www.justmy22cents.com Lea Crazier

    I just want to mention I am very new to weblog and truly savored this web site. Likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You amazingly have incredible article content. Regards for sharing with us your blog.

  • Idalia Lask

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and internet stuff and this is really annoying. A good web site with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters? I Can’t find it.

    • Heather Carreiro

      Glad you enjoyed the post! At Matador Abroad we strive to publish creative narrative and informative articles – no gossip here. You can sign up for Matador’s weekly newsletter, Traverse, here: http://matadornetwork.com/subscribe/

  • Andoyimuha

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and internet stuff and this is really annoying. A good web site with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters? I Can’t find it.

  • Sweetpea

    Marathi: नुतन वर्षाभिनंदन
    noo-tan varsh-aa-bhi-nun-dunn

    (PS: Marathi is the 15th most spoken language in the world, but strangely didn’t make it to this list!)

    -Priyank

  • I’m Feeling close!

    Samantha Marmoleno what was that? are you a singer and your favorite song is listen?
    woahhhh your cool

  • http://twitter.com/Cold_Jaded_Eyes Darwin Patricio

    Why not add a soundbite to the pronunciation…it will help a lot

  • http://www.lovesamerica.com/ Karen

    LOVE the post. I got hit with Hawaiian Merry Christmas, & was clueless. NOW I can respond with all the languages of my heritage – Deutsch, Gaelic & Irish.
    Just a note – in Germany, “prost” is basically ‘cheers’ & you drink. If someone says prosit, it’s “down the whole thing, bud!” Makes for great fun! Also, there is Fasching (sp?) which makes any excuse for a party oh-kay! Runs from 11-11 until midnight Fasnacht. (Fat Tuesday) During fasching, our hospital housekeepers were running all over, & if a man could not produce a one pfennig coin, they’d cut the man’s tie off halfway down! They know how to party. This was Women’s Fasching – then women go to bars, & if a guy doesn’t have his one pfennig coin, he had to buy a round for all the women. [My el-cheapo ex GLUED a pfenning into his billfold. Yeah, that stingy. Good riddance!]

  • E Francine

    finnish: hyvää uuttavuotta
    HU-vaa OOT-ta VOT-ta

  • Johhowe

    Just a little correction
    In Welsh a ‘dd’ is considered to be one letter and is pronounced similar to the English ‘th’ as in ‘then’.

  • Ashley Arzy

    Bahasa Indonesia: Selamat Tahun Baru

  • Ramesh Tiwari

    Nepali : नयाँ बर्षको शुभकामना
    naya barsako subhakamana

  • Ashfaque Qureshi

    Happy New Year

  • Erinleehenshaw

    Chinese: Xin Nian Kuaile  sheen-knee-in kwhy luh (i don’t remember real phoentics!)

  • http://www.restlessjo.wordpress.com/ Johanna Bradley

    Love the concept. Humble Happy New Year!

  • Kk

    Nuthana somvasthara subhakanshalu ( నూతన 
    సంవత్సరము  శుభాకాంక్షలు ) in telugu

  • Mirza_10247

    wondrfull  imag

  • Mirza_10247

    Why not add a soundbite to the pronunciation…it will help a lot 

  • Hannu Helminen

    Finnish: Onnellista Uutta Vuotta!

    Swedish: Gott Nytt År!

    Saami (spoken in Lapland): Lihkolaš Ođđa Jagi!

    Malay: Selamat Hari Natal!

  • Ddisch

    This is great – love the additions by others as well.  How about adding 
    Vietnamese: Chúc mừng năm mới

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I6MO2SSKWOSAMJSZ5PCCG7FCRI J ROBERTS

    A  very happy safe new year to you all. http://www.reaph.com

  • http://www.theturkishlife.com/ The Turkish Life

    People in Turkey also say “İyi seneler” (happy years). “Yıl” and “sene” both mean year. Happy 2012!

  • Happiness

    Success only comes
    if a certain person is determined enough

    to achieve it. Anyone could have it as
    long as they do know how to motivate

    their selves to achieve their goals and

    Happiness
    .

  • Anonymous

    I WANT TO KNOW HOW TO SAY HAPPY NEW YEAR IN SINGARPORE PLEASE.

  • Slobodan Todic

    why don’t you use spoken language.

  • Mark Shoultz

    Happy New Year!

  • Mark Shoultz

    Happy New Year!

  • perla

    Philippines has 72 languages… here are two:
    Maligayang manibagong taon – Tagalog

    Ma-ayong bag-o nga tu-ig.- Hiligaynon

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