Celebrating the new year is something that pretty much everyone does no matter where they are from or what religion they have. Because of this it’s a great idea to learn exactly how to wish someone a “happy new year” in French as you never know who you might run into during that time of year.
USING BONNE ANNÉE TO SAY HAPPY NEW YEAR IN FRENCH
Literally translated as “good year”, bonne année is no doubt the answer that you’re looking for in this article as it’s what the vast majority of people use when they want to say “happy new year”. You can use it in pretty much any situation and you don’t have to worry about formality.
The great thing about bonne année is that there isn’t really any true alternative to it so you don’t have to worry about whether you are saying the right there or not.
We’ll go over a few different ways you can use bonne année as well as a few other things you can say after the new year, but bonne année is by far the most important thing you should know.
USING BONNE ANNÉE À TOI / BONNE ANNÉE À VOUS
We’ve already gone over that bonne année can be used to wish anybody a happy new year, however sometimes you may want to be more specific with who you are speaking to. If this is the case and you are speaking to one person in an informal situation then you can say bonne année à toi which is like saying “happy new year to you”.
If you are in a more formal situation or just speaking to more than one person then you can say bonne année à vous. If you’re new to the French language then you should know that the word vous means you in informal situations or when speaking to multiple people even if the situation is informal.
USING JE TE SOUHAITE UNE BONNE ANNÉE / JE VOUS SOUHAITE UNE BONNE ANNÉE
Just like in English you don’t actually have to use the word “wish” to wish someone a “Happy New Year” in French. However sometimes you may actually want to. In this instance you can say Je te souhaite une bonne année in informal situations or Je vous souhaite une bonne année in formal ones or when you are speaking to multiple people.
You will see these phrases used both with and without the word une and although it doesn’t really make a difference in the overall meaning of the phrase you should keep in mind that you’ll hear both.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN SAY TO WITH SOMEONE A HAPPY NEW YEAR
There are a few other phrases that you can use around this time of year that you may come across or even want to use yourself. You’ll see them listed below.
Bonne et heureuse année – (literally) Good and Happy Year
Je vous souhaite une très bonne année / Je te souhaite une très bonne année – I wish you a very happy new year.
Meilleurs Vœux – Best Wishes
Meilleurs Vœux pour le Nouvel An – Best wishes for the new year
Bonne année à vous et à tous les vôtres – Happy New Year to you and yours