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When someone turns 10, 20, 30, 40, 50... it is common in Germany to say that they are celebrating their "runder Geburtstag" which is usually celebrated in a larger way, inviting a larger circle of people, etc.

When I translate this into English, I usually say, "she is celebrating her rounded birthday" but I don't think people really understand that out of a German context.

Is there a common expression for this in English?

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closed as off-topic by Iris, Jan, Hubert Schölnast, Em1, Medi1Saif Apr 28 at 12:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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This is a very interesting question, but IMHO it's more about English than German Language and Usage. Maybe we get some more esp. colloquial variants from there, in addition to Takkat's nice answer? – tohuwawohu Oct 30 '11 at 9:21
Fully agree with @tohuwawohu here. As people at ELU may not be able/willing to translate from German there still may be some additional or better ideas there. – Takkat Oct 30 '11 at 10:40
No - it is not problem of the german term or language, but of the english term. Shall we translate German->French as well? German -> Latin, German -> Suaheli? It's off topic. -1 – user unknown Oct 30 '11 at 16:46
@userunknown: When one side is German it's reasonably O.K. Read faq before downvoting the question you don't like. Translation questions are completely on-topic. – user508 Oct 30 '11 at 20:22
@user508: The FAQ says: "Translations requests from German to English should be restricted to cases where a profound knowledge of German is needed for understanding a phrase or an idiom." As the brief summarization in the beginning of the question aptly demonstrates, the concept can be explained in a single English sentence, so no profound knowledge of German is required. – O. R. Mapper Apr 28 at 10:54
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Best English match to "Runder Geburtstag" may be

Milestone birthday

Colloquial (where "runder Geburtstag" may also be used) we may say

The big four-O (or any other number)

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I've only ever heard someone say "big <Number>-oh". I can't say I've ever heard someone say "milestone birthday", but I think it would be understood just as well. – Glenn Nelson Jun 23 '12 at 22:10

One (slang) of describing such a birthday is a birthday with a new "handle" (3-, 4,-, etc.)

This expression (and others connected with this question) is not all that common, probably because the basic idea is not as prevalent in America as in Germany.

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I would recommend just saying she is celebrating her 30th birthday, 40th birthday, etc. and likewise Happy 40th Birthday, Happy 30th Birthday, etc. I believe we (Americans at least) tend to more use the number, then have a special term for every birthday in that category. People understand from the number that it is rounded, and, therefore, a more "special" birthday.

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