Wednesday, March 18, 2015

J’ai soixante-quatorze ans aujourd’hui

It’s true.

I’m 74 years old today. Note that the French do not say seventy-four, they say sixty-fourteen. The French also say four twenties instead of eighty, but I don’t have to come to terms with that for several years yet. Six, I think. I was never that good at math.

I received text messages and phone calls from my children, and my wife took me out to lunch at an Italian restaurant. Nine people wished me a happy birthday on Facebook, and I received three real cards and one online card.

I think I will pretend that people all over the world are celebrating my birthday and wish myself a happy birthday in many different languages:

Joyeux anniversaire! (French)

¡Feliz cumpleaños! (Spanish)

Gute zum Geburtstag! (German)

Buon compleanno! (Italian)

Gëzuar ditëlindjen! (Albanian)

Gelukkige verjaardag! (Dutch)

Feliç aniversari! (Catalan)

Všechno nejlepší k narozeninám! (Czech)

Všetko najlepšie k narodeninám! (Slovak)

Tillykke med fødselsdagen! (Danish)

Hyvää syntymäpäivää! (Finnish)

Zoo siab hnub yug! (Hmong)

Boldog születésnapot! (Hungarian)

Furaha ya kuzaliwa! (Swahili)

Usuku olumnandi lokuzalwa! (Zulu)

Wszystkiego najlepszego! (Polish)

Grattis på födelsedagen! (Swedish)

And those are just some of the languages that use the same alphabet English does. I did not yet tell myself happy birthday in any languages that use a different alphabet (if that is the correct term) . Let me correct that oversight:

С Днем Рождения (Russian)

Χρόνια πολλά (Greek)

สุขสันต์วันเกิด (Thai)

生日快樂 (Chinese)

عيد ميلاد سعيد (Arabic)

जन्मदिन मुबारक (Hindi)

생일 축하 해요 (Korean)

お誕生日おめでとうございます (Japanese)

יום הולדת שמח (Hebrew)

ბედნიერი დაბადების დღე (Georgian)

Boy, that Tower of Babel incident really did a number on the human race, didn’t it?


  1. Hope you had the happiest of days Robert. Congratulations!

  2. And a belated happy birthday from Oz as well.

  3. People all over the world are celebrating your birthday ~ any excuse for cake! Happy Birthday from Far North Queensland Sir.

  4. I love it when you speak French ! Happy Birthday

  5. Belated birthday greetings old timer! I am surprised that Ellie took you to an Italian restaurant and not an Albanian one where you could have enjoyed a traditional Albanian dish such as Tavë kosi or Harapash which is essentially polenta with the intestines of lamb, butter, cheese and corn flour. I guess you are quite fond of lamb intestines which co-incidentally look like Italian spaghetti but in a slimy ash grey shade.

  6. Happy Birthday good sir!! Hope you have a lovely day *smiles and lets off party poppers*. A song now to dance around the living room to. X

  7. Thank you, one and all, for your good wishes. I do appreciate my little far-flung, worldwide circle of cyber friends more than you know.

  8. A belated happy birthday, my friend! May the coming year be one of adventure and laughter!