So I've seen "I wanted to wish you luck" translated as both "Ich wollte dir Glück wünschen" and "Ich wollte Ihnen Glück wünschen".
Just to confirm, the first, with dir, is informal, but is the second with Ihnen formal, plural or both?
Still horribly confused by the nine thousand words German uses for "you"...
"I wanted to wish you luck" = "Ich wollte dir Glück wünschen" (informal singular)
"I wanted to wish you luck" = "Ich wollte euch Glück wünschen" (informal plural)
"I wanted to wish you luck" = "Ich wollte Ihnen Glück wünschen" (formal singular or plural)
The formal "Sie" and its forms do not distinguish between singular and plural. You cannot tell without context, if one addresses only one or several persons in a formal way.
wollte is past tense (Präteritum) of wollen. See http://konjugator.reverso.net/konjugation-deutsch-verb-wollen.html (NB: wollte is also Konjuktiv II, and I think that's the tense used in this instance.)
- wollen ==> "to want"
- möchten ==> "to wish" or "would like", pretty much the Konjunktiv form of mögen, "to like"
I find them similar & difficult as well.
I'm pretty sure they're not the same. "Glück wünschen" would mean "to wish someone luck". So that implies it's for something in the future. "Gratulieren" would be to congratulate someone. It implies something good has happened (in the past).
For example, someone says, "I just had an interview for a job. I hope I get it." In response someone might say, "Good luck".
Later the person who had the job interview might say, "I got the job!" And your response would be "Congratulations."