Here’s A Helpful Map Showing How To Say “Merry Christmas” In Over 40 European Languages

Published 4 years ago

There are numerous different languages spoken in Europe and knowing a few basic phrases is always useful when traveling. And while learning phrases like “Hello” and “Where can I find the restroom” should most likely be on the top of your list, there’s another one you should know if you’re visiting Europe during the winter holidays – “Merry Christmas”.

To help save you the time on googling how to say the phrase in each of the many different European languages, Czech linguist Jakub Marian created a useful and informative map with all the information you could need. Check it out below!

More info: Official site | Twitter | Amazon

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This map shows how Europe says Merry Christmas

The colors Jakub used for his map weren’t chosen at random – all of them represent the etymological roots of the phrase. Red, for example, represents the Romance languages. They use a Latin-based word to describe the birth of Christ. The green color up North, however, base their “Merry Christmas” phrase on the Old Norse pagan festival called “jól”.

On his website, Jakub explains that he grouped the German, Czech and Slovak languages together because the latter two languages adopted the old German word for “holy night”. He also explains how even though Romanian and Hungarian languages are from different language families, the way they say “Merry Christmas” seems to originate from either Proto-Slavic or Latin.

The many European countries celebrate Christmas differently – in some, it’s not even over yet. Russian Orthodox Christians, for example, will only be celebrating the Nativity on January 7th due to the different ceremonial calendar they use.

Some former Soviet-controlled countries where Christmas celebration used to be banned, for example, had Christmas merged with New Year’s Eve.

Jakub even listed the phrases for you convenience:

AlbanianGëzuar Krishtlindjet
BasqueEguberri on
Belarusianз Калядамі or з Божым Нараджэннем (z Kaljádami or z Bozym Naradžénnjem)
BretonNedeleg laouen
BulgarianВесела Коледа or Честито Рождество Христово (Vesela Koleda or Chestito Roždestvo Hristovo)
CatalanBon Nadal
CroatianSretan Božić
CzechVeselé Vánoce
Danish God jul or Glædelig jul
DutchVrolijk Kerstfeest
EnglishMerry Christmas or Happy Christmas
EstonianHäid jõule
FinnishHyvää joulua
FrenchJoyeux Noël
GalicianBo Nadal
GermanFröhliche Weihnachten or Frohe Weihnachten
GreekΚαλά Χριστούγεννα (Kalá Christoúgenna)
HungarianBoldog karácsonyt
IcelandicGleðileg jól
IrishNollaig Shona + Dhuit (singular) or Daoibh (plural)
ItalianBuon Natale
LatvianPriecīgus Ziemassvētkus
LithuanianLinksmų Kalėdų
LuxembourgishSchéine Chrëschtdag
MacedonianСреќен Божиќ or Христос се роди (Sreḱen Božiḱ or Hristos se rodi)
Malteseil-Milied it-Tajjeb
NorwegianGod jul
Northern SamiBuorit juovllat
RomanianCrăciun fericit
OccitanBon Nadal
PolishWesołych Świąt (Bożego Narodzenia)
Portuguese: Feliz Natal
Russianс Рождеством (Христовым) (s Roždestvóm [Hristóvym])
Scottish GaelicNollaig Chridheil
SerbianSrećan Božić or Hristos se rodi
SardinianBona Pasca de Nadale
SlovakVeselé Vianoce
SloveneVesel božič
SpanishFeliz Navidad
SwedishGod jul
TurkishMutlu Noeller
Ukrainianз Різдвом (Христовим) (z Rizdvóm [Hrystóvym])
WelshNadolig Llawen

You can find more of Jakub’s books and map prints on his website.

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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christmas, Countries, facts, interesting, interesting facts, Jakub Marian, languages, linguistics, maps, Merry Christmas, trivia
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