Congratulations in Italian: How to Express Happiness and Celebrate Life Achievements

Congratulations in Italian: How to Express Happiness and Celebrate Life Achievements

Italians are happy people who love to enjoy the good things in life, they also like to celebrate milestones and special occasions.

Life milestones and achievements are often celebrated and acknowledged by heartfelt expressions of congratulations. To help you celebrate with your new Italian-speaking friends, you should learn a few ways to properly say “congratulations” in Italian.

Here are some common ways to express your congratulations in Italian. We’ve also included some tips to help you decide which one you should use given the situation you find yourself needing to celebrate.

1. Congratulazioni

Translation: Congratulations

If you were to use a translation app to try and figure out the word for congratulations in Italian, the first answer you are likely to get is “congratulazioni”.

This Italian word is the translation for “congratulations”, it is considered the formal way to express your happiness upon hearing that something good has happened to someone else.

If you want to use this Italian word to acknowledge someone’s achievement, you usually specify what you are congratulating them on. Here are some examples:

Italian: Congratulazioni per la promozione di lavaro!

English: Congratulations on the job promotion.

Italian: Congratulazioni per il vostro matrimonio!

English: Congratulations on your wedding!

2. Felicitazioni

Translation: Congratulations

This is another common way to say congratulations in Italian. It comes from “felicità” the Italian word for “happiness”

You can say “felicitazioni” if you want to express your joy or happiness for someone, so it is a way to offer your sincere congratulations. 

3. Complimenti!

Translation: Well done!

If you feel that “congratulazioni” is too formal, you can always just say “complimenti”.
This word can be used to congratulate someone on their good fortune. It is appropriate for use on almost any occasion. 

If you want to use this word to say congratulations, you should usually specify what it is you are congratulating them on. For example:

Italian: Complimenti per il vostro matrimonio! 

English: Congratulations on your wedding!

You might also hear a native Italian speaker say this if they want to compliment someone. In this case, it’s similar to saying that they did a good job. Just say “complimenti” and add what they did that was praiseworthy.

For example, if you just heard your classmate sing and they were good, you can say:

Italian: Complimenti, tu canti molto bene

English: Nice job. You sing very well.

You can also mention what you are congratulating them for first, such as the following example:

Italian: Ho visto che hai preso un bel voto all’esame. Complimenti!

English: I saw that you got a good mark on your example. Congratulations!

4. Bravo/a

Translation: Good job.

Similar to “complimenti”, this Italian word is usually used when you want to congratulate someone for an achievement or a display of prowess or skill

If you’ve watched Italian movies, you might have heard or seen this word uttered when people are applauding a performance, such as after a play or after someone has sung a song. This is also how it is often used in real-life situations. 

Remember, Italian is a gendered language, so it is “bravo” if you are congratulating a male performer and “brava” if they are female.

5. Auguri

Translation: Well wishes.

This Italian word for congratulations is commonly heard when the speakers are wishing each other the best. It is also used to acknowledge that something good and happy has happened.

“Auguri” is commonly used to greet or acknowledge someone when it is a special occasion such as their birthday or a holiday.

For example, if someone has a birthday, you might hear people saying:

Italian: Tanti auguri a te!

English: Happy birthday to you!

Incidentally, the “Happy Birthday Song” in Italian is called “Tanti auguri a te”. The melody is usually the same as the English version, just keep repeating this phrase.

6. Auguroni!

Translation: Well wishes

This is almost the same as “auguri” but considered more emphatic. You use this word when you want to wish someone the very, very best.

Going back to the birthday greeting example, you can say:

Auguri di buon compleanno. 

This is the equivalent to:

Happy, happy birthday.

7. Tanta felicità

Translation: Lots of happiness

This is another way to say congratulations in Italian and wish someone the very best. It can be used in a variety of situations. 

Similar to how “bravo” or “brava” alone can tell a performer “congratulations”, “tanta felicità” can be used on its own to express your congratulations and well wishes. No need to specify what you are congratulating them on.

So, if you approaching a new graduate, for example, just say “tanta felicità” and it’s understood that you are congratulating them on their accomplishments and wishing them well. 

8. Congratularsi

Translation: To congratulate

This is the Italian verb for “to congratulate” and you can use it to express your congratulations.

Here are the most common ways to use “congratularsi” when you want to congratulate someone.

  • Mi congratulo con te (singular informal) – I congratulate you
  • Mi congratulo con lei (singular formal) – I congratulate you
  • Mi congratulo con voi (plural) – I congratulate you

9. Molte congratulazioni

Translation: Many congratulations

This is the Italian equivalent to the English phrases “many congratulations” or “my sincere congratulations”.  You can use this phrase if you feel that a plain “congratulazioni” doesn’t properly express the depths of your emotions.

10. Tanti complimenti

Translation: Many congratulations

Much like “molte congratulazioni”, this is just a more intense and heartfelt way to use “complimenti” to express your congratulations.

11. Mille congratulazioni

Translation: A thousand congratulations.

This is another way to say that you are very, very happy for the person that you are congratulating.

Translation: Many 

Congratulations During Special Occasions: 17 Specific Phrases You Can Use

Here’s a bit of a cheat sheet of phrases to say “congratulations” in Italian for specific times in your life.

1. Buon compleanno! 

Translation: Happy birthday

When to use it: When someone has a birthday.

2. Buon anniversario!

Translation: Happy anniversary

When to use it: When you want to congratulate someone on a life milestone.

3. Tanti auguri per una vita felice insieme!

Translation: Many wishes for a happy life together

When to use it: When a couple has announced their engagement or when you want to congratulate a recently married couple.

4. Congratulazioni per il tuo fidanzamento.

Translation: Congratulations on your engagement (single)

When to use it: When you want to congratulate someone on getting engaged.

5. Congratulazioni per il vostro fidanzamento.

Translation: Congratulations on your engagement (couple)

When to use it: When you are talking to a newly engaged couple and want to congratulate both of them. 

6. Evviva gli sposi!

Translation: Long live the bride and groom!

When to use it: When attending an Italian wedding. 

7. Congratulazione di matrimonio

Translation: Congratulations on the marriage.

When to use it: When addressing a newly married couple.

8. Congratulazione di nozze

Translation: Congratulations on the wedding

When to use it: When addressing a newly married couple.

9. Felicitazioni/auguri/congratulazioni per la tua gravidanza 

Translation: Congratulations on your pregnancy.

When to use it: When you have heard that someone is pregnant.

10. Congratulazioni/congratulazioni per la nascita

Translation: Congratulations on the birth.

When to use it: When you have heard that someone has a new baby.

11. Tanti auguri alla nuova mamma

Translation: Congratulations to the new mother

When to use it: When congratulating a woman who has just given birth.

12. Auguroni al nuovo arrivato

Translation: Well wishes for the new arrival! (son)

When to use it: When congratulating someone on the birth of a boy

13. Auguroni alla nuova arrivata 

Translation: Well wishes for the new arrival! (daughter)

When to use it: When congratulating someone on the birth of a girl

14. Congratulazioni/auguri/congratulazioni per il Battesimo

Translation: Congratulations on the baptism.

When to use it: When a baby has been baptized. 

15. Congratulazioni dottore

Translation: Congrats graduate!

When to use it: When someone has graduated from college or university.

16. Complimenti per il tuo nouvo lavoro!

Translation: Congratulations on getting a new job!

When to use it: When someone has been newly hired.

17. Congratulazioni/Auguri per la pensione

Translation: Congratulations on your retirement.

When to use it: When someone is retiring from a job.  

Conclusion

Italian’s love having a reason to celebrate and, if you decide to travel or work in an Italian-speaking area, you're bound to find yourself invited to weddings, birthday parties, and other events where it’s important to know how to say “congratulations”. 

How do you say congratulations in Italian?

1. Congratulazioni, 2. Felicitazioni, 3. Complimenti!, 4. Bravo/a, 5. Auguri, 6. Auguroni!, 7. Tanta felicità, 8. Congratularsi, 9. Molte congratulazioni, 10. Tanti complimenti, 11. Mille congratulazioni

What does Aguri mean in Italian?

Well wishes. This Italian word for congratulations is commonly heard when the speakers are wishing each other the best. It is also used to acknowledge that something good and happy has happened. “Auguri” is commonly used to greet or acknowledge someone when it is a special occasion such as their birthday or a holiday. For example, if someone has a birthday, you might hear people saying: Italian: Tanti auguri a te! English: Happy birthday to you! Incidentally, the “Happy Birthday Song” in Italian is called “Tanti auguri a te”. The melody is usually the same as the English version, just keep repeating this phrase.

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