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Birthday / Anniversary

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by tuan, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. tuan

    tuan New Member

    Paris
    French/France
    Dear All,

    Could you please let me know the difference between birthday and anniversary (in english). I think the birthday is the date of birth, and the anniversary is the day we make a party to celebrate, am i right ?

    many thanks
    tuan
     
  2. savannah Senior Member

    English, USA
    Anniversary--when used without any other qualifying phrase--generally refers to a wedding anniversary, e.g. I just had my 5th anniversary. People would assume if you said that, you meant your wedding anniversary. There's no connection to whether or not an actual party or celebration was held.

    However, anniversary is used in other places with other phrases to indicate an annual commemoration of some event. E.g., The college just celebrated its 250th anniversary. Or We're celebrating the 35th anniversary of the signing of the treaty.
     
  3. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    Pour le dire en français :
    Anniversary = anniversaire (de tout type)
    Birthday = anniversaire de la naissance de quelqu'un, et rien d'autre.
     
  4. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    Could any native confirm what Fred C said?
    I've been taught the same thing, I read birthday used about an event in this post.

    Thanks.
     
  5. pmqs

    pmqs Senior Member

    Portsmouth, England
    English - South
    Yes, anniversary is just the date this year on which something happenned in a previous year, no matter what really. Birthday is only the date of birth.

    ie 3 year anniversary of when I started working here
    ...today is our business' 150th anniversary (because only animals/humans are born)
    it's my birthday tomorrow.
     
  6. USMeg Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    English/USA
    Birthday is almost exclusively for people. Festivals aren't "born." It's not clear in the linked text whether the third "birthday" of the festival would be the third or fourth celebration. Curiously, the actual day of one's birth is not counted in one's birthdays. :)
     
  7. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    Not that curious; you need to live or exist for one year, to be one year old!
     
  8. pmqs

    pmqs Senior Member

    Portsmouth, England
    English - South
    It's getting rather picky...
     
  9. In flight Junior Member

    Canada, French
    Just as an aside, in some Asian cultures, people count the time of conception in their age. So unless one asks a person's date of birth, he will declare his age more or less one year older than counting from that date.....
     

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