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あけましておめでとうございます

English translation: (a) happy new year

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Japanese term or phrase:あけましておめでとうございます
English translation:(a) happy new year
Entered by: xxxjsl
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00:41 Jan 6, 2003
Japanese to English translations [Non-PRO]
/ New Year Greetings
Japanese term or phrase: あけましておめでとうございます
I wonder if the following understanding is correct?
1. Happy New Year!
2. A Happy New Year to You!
3. I wish you a Happy New Year!
My question is about the presence or absence
of the indefinite article 'a'.
Thank you.
Itasan
Local time: 13:31
Necessary in sentences, not always necessary as a greeting message
Explanation:
Basically, if you want to use it as a greeting message, i.e., for a postcard of a greeting card, you may say "A Happy New Year" or "Happy New Year". This is the same phenomenon as articles, "a", "an", and "the", are often omitted when they are used as book titles, not in sentences. In fact, if you look at cards sold in U.S. stores, some have "A Happy New Year" and others have "Happy New Year".

So, 2 can be said with an article, "a". In the Google research, we can find 15,200 examples of "happy new year to you", and, 3,630 examples out of 15,200 are "a happy new year to you".

As for 3, it has to have an "a", since it is used in a sentence. In Google, as well, we can find 1,650 examples of "I wish you a happy new year", but there are only 123 examples of "I wish you happy new year". However, "I wish you happy new year" could be possible, if you have a comma after "you", if you quote "happy new year", or if you distinguish them by using upper-case letters like "Happy New Year", as you see in the examples.
Selected response from:

xxxjsl
Local time: 13:31
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3Necessary in sentences, not always necessary as a greeting messagexxxjsl
5 +1noun or not?
William Clough


  

Answers


2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Necessary in sentences, not always necessary as a greeting message


Explanation:
Basically, if you want to use it as a greeting message, i.e., for a postcard of a greeting card, you may say "A Happy New Year" or "Happy New Year". This is the same phenomenon as articles, "a", "an", and "the", are often omitted when they are used as book titles, not in sentences. In fact, if you look at cards sold in U.S. stores, some have "A Happy New Year" and others have "Happy New Year".

So, 2 can be said with an article, "a". In the Google research, we can find 15,200 examples of "happy new year to you", and, 3,630 examples out of 15,200 are "a happy new year to you".

As for 3, it has to have an "a", since it is used in a sentence. In Google, as well, we can find 1,650 examples of "I wish you a happy new year", but there are only 123 examples of "I wish you happy new year". However, "I wish you happy new year" could be possible, if you have a comma after "you", if you quote "happy new year", or if you distinguish them by using upper-case letters like "Happy New Year", as you see in the examples.



    Reference: http://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%22I+wish+you+happy+new+yea...
    Reference: http://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%22I+wish+you+a+happy+new+y...
xxxjsl
Local time: 13:31
PRO pts in pair: 1098
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Shinya Ono: Admirable work to start off the New Year, daisuke-san!
1 hr
  -> Thanks, and "a" happy new year to you all.

agree  Peter Coles: This is also correct for British English.
6 hrs
  -> Thanks for your comment.

agree  yamamoto
6 days
  -> thanks
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
noun or not?


Explanation:
I agree with Daisuke's assessment. I would add, however, that it depends largely on how you plan to use it in a sentence. "Happy New Year" is fine by itself as an expression of the sentiment. The article "a" essentially turns the entire phrase into a noun for the purposes of sentence structure (e.g., "Did you have a happy New Year?")

Generally speaking, unless the context is very formal, it is normal to use "Happy New Year" by itself in the same way as "Happy birthday" or any other holiday. When referred to as the subject or object in a sentence, the "a" becomes necessary.

Hope this helps!

William Clough
United States
Local time: 00:31
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  mora339: Sounds natural
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Mora!
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