Congratulations are in order on many occasions in life. There are exams, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and many other opportunities where you want to express your best wishes. So, today we’ll take a look at congratulations in German.
If you are looking for a special message for an anniversary or similar event, you have come to the right location! There are contemporary, caring and individual congratulations for many different occasions in life in this article. For those of you who are in a hurry, we recommend that you go straight to the topic overview.
We provide you with various text patterns, even in combination with sayings or wisdom, so that you can find your own individual words and texts with ease. Browse and read at your leisure and be inspired, or simply adopt the examples as they stand.
Table of Contents
- General Congratulations in German
- Happy Birthday in German
- German for Birth of a Baby
- Wedding Wishes in German
- Wedding Anniversary – German best Wishes
- Confirmation / Communion Wishes in German
- Best Wishes in German on a Driving License
General Congratulations in German
These are the basic phrase you can use on most occasions. Combine them with the particular event and you have a perfect German congratulation.
- Herzlichen Glückwunsch
Glückwunsch means congratulation (singular), and herzlichen stands for warm, cordial or heartfelt. It’s quite common in German to use this form and you don’t have to worry about seen as a miser, if you only send a single congratulation. But if it makes you feel better, you may use the plural form and send many best wishes in German: Herzliche Glückwünsche!
- Ich wünsche dir alles Gute
I wish you all the best! Please note that is the informal variant. In a business setting or when you’re not too close to the recipient, you would choose the more formal Ich wünsche Ihnen alles Gute!
- Wir gratulieren von Herzen
We congratulate you from the bottom of our heart.
- Alles Liebe
You want to send someone near and dear to you some love? Then this is the perfect phrase to do so.
- Viel Glück
We all can do with some luck sometimes, especially when there’s an exam ahead. And this the German expression to send some good luck!
- Viel Erfolg
Maybe luck isn’t what you have in mind, as you believe more in hard work. Well, then send this phrase for success, e.g. to a student leaving home to go to university or to a friend starting a new business.
Happy Birthday in German
There will be another article on birthday wishes in German later. For now we’ll simply name two possibilities:
- Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag
Probably the most used phrase. Translates as “cordial congratulations to your birthday.”
- Alles Liebe zum Geburtstag
“All (my) love for your birthday.” Obviously, this phrase is less formal and better suited for family and close friends.
German for Birth of a Baby
Welcoming a newborn is universally seen as one the happiest moments a couple may experience in their life. The feelings and emotions connected to this event are so strong, that we are not only deeply touched by human babies, but often feel very strongly about the offspring of our cats, dogs and other pets as well.
- Herzlichen Glückwunsch zur Geburt eurer Tochter / eures Sohnes
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter / son
- Ich freue mich mit euch über diesen neuen kleinen Erdenbürger
I am delighted with you about this new small earth-dweller! The German expression Erdenbürger is a bit unusual. You might also translate it as citizen of the world. Generally speaking it means any of us, as we all live on planet earth. But it’s often used to describe a newborn.
- Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne.
This is a well-known line from the poem Stages by author and poet Hermann Hesse.
In each beginning dwells a magic force.
It’s not a wish as such, but is well suited for a birth and can be nicely combined with one of the other congratulations.
- Das größte Glück ist manchmal ganz klein.
The biggest happiness is sometimes very small.
- Glück kann man nicht kaufen, Glück wird geboren.
Bliss can’t be bought, bliss has to be born.
- Mit großer Freud’ haben wir vernommen,
dass bei euch ein Baby angekommen,
unser aller Sonnenschein.
Dass es gesund und froh gedeihe,
sich selbst und euch des Lebens freue,
dies soll unser Glückwunsch sein.
This is a poem by the German Shakespeare (so to speak) Johann-Wolfgang von Goethe.
With great joy’ we have heard,
that a baby has arrived at your home,
the sunshine of us all.
That it thrives healthy and happily,
rejoices in itself and in your life,
this shall be our congratulations.
Wedding Wishes in German
- Unsere herzlichen Glückwünsche zu eurer Hochzeit
Our cordial congratulations to your wedding
- Viel Glück und Segen auf euren gemeinsamen Wegen
Good luck and many blessings on your joint paths
- Wir gratulieren herzlichst zu Eurer Vermählung und wünschen Euch, dass Ihr gemeinsam alt, grau und glücklich werdet!
We wish you all the best to your wedding and wish you to grow old, grey and happy together!
The word Vermählung is a bit old-fashioned, but it’s related to the German words for spouse Gemahl / Gemahlin (male spouse, female spouse). So it’s still perfectly ok to use it.
- Unser Leben kann nicht immer voller Freude, aber immer voller Liebe sein.
This quotation stems from the 13th century theologist and philosopher Thomas Aquinas (German: Thomas von Aquin). It means, “Our live can’t always be full of joy, but it can always be full of love.”
- Die Liebe ist wie ein Regenbogen – sie verbindet Himmel und Erde miteinander
Love is like a rainbow, it connects heaven and earth.
Wedding Anniversary – German best Wishes
After the wedding come the wedding anniversaries. So here are some examples of proper congratulations in German on a wedding day.
The term wedding day is as ambiguous in German as it is in English. But usually it refers to a wedding anniversary, not to the actual wedding. But maybe that’s just because there are bound to be more anniversaries than the one unique event. Most of our wishes can be used on either occasion.
- Alles Liebe zu eurem Hochzeitstag
Our love to you on your wedding anniversary.
- Zum Hochzeitstag das Beste, das wünschen wir euch sehr. Zum Hochzeitstag das Beste. Und davon noch viel mehr.
For your wedding day the best, we wish you very much. For your wedding day the best. And much more of it.
- Zu eurem Hochzeitstag wünschen wir euch ganz viel Liebe, gemeinsame Zeit und viele weitere Jahre, die mindestens so toll werden wie die ersten!
On your wedding day we wish you lots of love, time spent together and many more years just as wonderful as the first ones.
- Aus Liebe macht man komische Sachen – manche heiraten sogar! Gut, dass ihr das gemacht habt. Macht weiter so, ihr Spaßvögel – alles Liebe zum Hochzeitstag!
People do the weirdest things out of love – some even get married! Good thing you did that. Carry on you jokers – lots of love on your wedding anniversary!
- Mit einem Kuss fing alles an! Und jetzt seid Ihr … Jahre verheiratet! Unser Rat „küsst weiter“!
It all started with a kiss! And now you are married for … years. Our advice, “keep on kissing!”
Confirmation / Communion Wishes in German
Germany is a a predominantly Christian country (about 55% of the people are members of an organized Christian church). The North and East are mainly protestant, whereas the South is predominantly catholic. And a minority are members of other Christian so-called Freikirchen (free churches).
Each of these Christian institutions has it’s own way to welcome teenagers into the community of the grown-ups. The protestant call this celebration Konfirmation, the Catholics Kommunion.
- Zu deiner Konfirmation / Kommunion wünschen wir dir Gottes Segen
To your confirmation / communion we wish you God’s blessings
- Meine herzlichen Glückwünsche zu deiner Konfirmation / Kommunion
My cordial congratulations to your confirmation / communion
Best Wishes in German on a Driving License
We will close our blog post about congratulations in German with some congrats to someone who just passed his driving license. It’s a unique event in anybody’s life (well, usually), so you probably won’t need it too often. But it’s always good to be prepared, so here we go.
- Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Führerschein!
Cordial congratulations on your new driving license!
- Zum Führerschein wünsche ich Dir, dass Du nie schneller als Dein Schutzengel fährst und immer heil ankommst!
With your new driver’s license, I wish you you’ll never drive faster than your guardian angel and will always arrive safely!