Is "Happy New Year!" more commonly translated as "¡Feliz Año Nuevo!" or "¡Próspero Año Nuevo!"? Are the two basically synonyms, or is there a difference between the two?


I'd say "Próspero Año Nuevo" is more formal and not really use in speech. You'll find it in Xmas cards, etc.

"Feliz Año Nuevo" is used but for a more informal form you can just say "Feliz Año". "Feliz Año" is what you hear everywhere these days in Spain.

¡Feliz Año!

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Si sólo estás felicitando el nuevo año, como en "Happy New Year!", lo más habitual es decir "¡Feliz Año Nuevo!" o simplemente "¡Feliz Año!".

No obstante, al felicitar en la misma frase tanto la Navidad como el Año Nuevo, es cuando se dice "¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!", en parte para desear prosperidad además de felicidad, pero más que nada porque decir "feliz" dos veces no queda tan bien.
Esta última fórmula es más formal, y se parece un poco a la canción: "We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". En realidad, "¡Próspero Año Nuevo!" por sí solo no se suele decir, es siempre como parte de esta fórmula.

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I would say Happy New Year! should be translated as ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Próspero año nuevo should be translated as Prosperous new year.

It's very common to say Te deseo una feliz navidad y un próspero año nuevo (I wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.)

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  • I can't recall ever hearing "Prosperous New Year" in English and I don't see why there's more need to translate literally when it comes to this phrase. But maybe they do say this in English in other countries? – hippietrail Dec 26 '11 at 20:41
  • @hippietrail I haven't heard "Prosperous New Year" used before either (except for myself) but omitting prosperity or translating it as happiness is, in my opinion, a drastic change. I am okay, for example, with translating "run-of-the-mill" as "normalito" since the meaning is preserved but that's not the case here. – Icarus Dec 27 '11 at 9:44
  • But I don't think we're translating the words, we're translating a greeting. For instance, you can't translate "echar de menos" if you translate the words. – hippietrail Dec 27 '11 at 12:42
  • @hippietrail If I want to wish you both, happiness and prosperity on the coming year, how should I phrase it? – Icarus Dec 27 '11 at 14:11
  • Well in that case it wouldn't be a set phrase in either language so you would just translate it literally. – hippietrail Dec 27 '11 at 14:25

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