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10 Ways to Say ''Cheers!'' Around the World

10 Ways to Say ''Cheers!'' Around the World

The truth is that if you’re buying a round, you can get away with saying “cheers!” in English just about anywhere you might go. That said, there’s nothing like being a good guest in a country you’re visiting, and while you probably won’t be able to learn the language everywhere you might want to visit, you can always learn some useful phrases to show that you’re making an effort. Along with “thank you,” “this is delicious,” and “where’s the bathroom,” a great phrase to have on hand in the language of the country you’re visiting is a simple “cheers!”

10 Ways to Say “Cheers!” Around the World (Slideshow)

There are plenty of origin stories for the idea of saying “cheers” and clinking glasses. One (probably apocryphal, but very fun) story originates in the not-so-pleasant idea that your drinking partner may be trying to poison you. If you clink your metal tankard of beer hard enough against your drinking buddy/potential enemy’s, however, you’ll undoubtedly spill some of your drink into each other’s cups – so if your partner were trying to poison you, he’ll end up poisoning himself, too. Today, we usually sip from glass, which doesn’t respond quite so well to a hard crack, and we’re a little less concerned with the idea of being poisoned and considerably more worried about sharing germs with our friends, so we tend to just tap glasses for the sound of a light “clink,” rather than actively trying to slosh your wine into your friend’s.

Many of the simple “cheers!” in other languages are versions of “to your health,” and others are just quick phrases that simply mean “let’s drink!” None, however, are as weird or funny as the traditional English cheers, “Here’s mud in your eye!” About as strange as the actor’s “break a leg,” this little cheers is associated with the trenches of World War I, but actually originated before then. Nobody knows who first coined the term, but the phrase has been used as a wish for good luck and health for its recipients since the 1800s. Read on to learn some phrases you might want to incorporate into your next trip.


As Masha Vapnitchnaia discussed in“Drinking Like a Russian During the Sochi Winter Olympics,” toasts with vodka are an integral part of Russian drinking culture. There isn’t a direct transliteration of “cheers,” but the simplest toast — and one that’s often used — is to drink to someone’s health: за ваше здоровье. Don’t read Cyrillic? That’s cool, neither do we. It’s pronounced: "Za vashe zdorovye."


If you’re drinking in Brazil, chances are high that you’re going to encounter cachaça, a sweet, clear rum that is popular throughout the country. Be forewarned though: although the drink is served in a shot glass, it is not considered polite to shoot it back the way you might here in the States. You can sip it, or mix it into a caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail. When you cheers, you can say either “Saúde” (pronounce it saw-OO-jay) or “tim-tim,” (pronounced ching ching, similar to Italian).

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How to say ‘cheers’ in 50 languages

CHEERS! Here’s to you! Bottom’s up! The clinking of glasses can help cement friendships and celebrate new ones — it’s an expression of goodwill and one that every traveler should know.

So raise your glass to the Matador editors, to the tourism bureaus, and to the hostels around the world that helped me put together our collection of how to say “Cheers!” in 50 languages.

Remember to use these responsibly — in some countries, drinking is illegal. There may also be some regional and formality variations in pronunciation, but these should get the job done!

Language Spelling Phonetic Pronunciation
Afrikaans Gesondheid Ge-sund-hate
Albanian Gëzuar Geh-zoo-ah
Arabic (Egypt) فى صحتك: (literally “good luck”) Fe sahetek
Armenian (Western) Կէնաձդ Genatzt
Azerbaijani Nuş olsun Nush ohlsun
Bosnian Živjeli Zhee-vi-lee
Bulgarian Наздраве Naz-dra-vey
Burmese Aung myin par say Au-ng my-in par say
Catalan Salut Sah-lut
Chamorro (Guam) Biba Bih-bah
Chinese (Mandarin) 干杯
gān bēi
Gan bay
Croatian Živjeli / Nazdravlje Zhee-ve-lee / Naz-dra-vlee
Czech Na zdravi Naz-drah vi
Danish Skål Skoal
Dutch Proost Prohst
Estonian Terviseks Ter-vih-sex

Language Spelling Phonetic Pronunciation
Filipino/Tagalog Mabuhay Mah-boo-hay
Finnish Kippis Kip-piss
French Santé / A la votre Sahn-tay / Ah la vo-tre
Galician Salud Saw-lood
German Prost / Zum wohl Prohst / Tsum vohl
Greek ΥΓΕΙΑ Yamas
Hawaiian Å’kålè ma’luna Okole maluna
Hebrew לחיים L’chaim
Hungarian Egészségedre (to your health)
Fenékig (until the bottom of the glass)
Egg-esh ay-ged-reh
Icelandic Skál Sk-owl
Irish Gaelic Sláinte Slawn-cha
Italian Salute / Cin cin Saw-lutay / Chin chin
Japanese 乾杯
Kanpai (Dry the glass)
Korean 건배 Gun bae
Latvian Priekā / Prosit Pree-eh-ka / Proh-sit
Lithuanian į sveikatą Ee sweh-kata
Macedonian На здравје Na zdravye
Mongolian Эрүүл мэндийн төлөө / Tulgatsgaaya ErUHl mehdiin toloo / Tul-gats-gAH-ya

Language Spelling Phonetic Pronunciation
Norwegian Skål Skawl
Polish Na zdrowie Naz-droh-vee-ay
Portuguese Saúde Saw-OO-de
Romanian Noroc / Sanatate No-rock / Sahn-atate
Russian Будем здоровы / На здоровье Budem zdorovi/ Na zdorovie
Serbian živeli Zhee-ve-lee
Slovak Na zdravie Naz-drah-vee-ay
Slovenian Na zdravje (literally “on health”) Naz-drah-vee
Spanish Salud Sah-lud
Swedish Skål Skawl
Thai Chok dee Chok dee
Turkish Şerefe Sher-i-feh
Ukranian будьмо Boodmo
Vietnamese Dô / Vô / Một hai ba, yo (one, two, three, yo) Jou / Dzo/ Moat hi bah, yo
Welsh Iechyd da Yeh-chid dah
Yiddish Sei gesund Say geh-sund

Know how to say “Cheers!” in a language that’s not on the list? Please leave a comment below!

Explore the world party scene with 101 PLACES TO GET F*CKED UP BEFORE YOU DIE. Part travel guide, part drunken social commentary, 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die may have some of the most hilarious scenes and straight-up observations of youth culture of any book you’ve ever read.

Happy New Year’s Cheers!

“Cheers, y’all”. It’s something we say a lot in the South and especially here at Southern Distilling Company!

Here at the distillery, we’ve had the very BEST 2017 imaginable and we are so happy and thankful to have shared this with you all. While there are literally hundreds of ways to say “Cheers”, we wanted give a great big salute to not only those here in North Carolina and in the South (as well as Canada, Australia, England, Russia and New Zealand), but all over the globe! Whether the toast is to health or to life, we wish everyone a very *Happy New Year!*

Scottish and Irish: Sláinte! (pronounced “slawn-tcha”)
Hindi: Badhai Ho!
Spanish: ¡Salud!
Navajo: Ahóá!
French: À la vôtre! Or Santé!
Italian: Salute! Or Cin Cin!
German: Prost!
Dutch: Proost!
Chinese: Gan bei!
Japanese: Kampai!
Russian: Na zdorovje!
Hebrew: L’Chaim!
Swedish: Skål!
Thai: Chon! Or Chon Gâew!
Grecian: Geiá mas!
Brazilian: Viva!

How to Say 'Cheers' Around the World

When traveling to a different country, the first thing many people want to do is grab a drink.

That's why you'll want to know how to say "cheers" no matter where you are.'s new video translates the word in a number of different languages, including Spanish, Hebrew, French and Greek.

Watch the video above to ensure that when your glasses clink, you're saying "cheers."

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Where: Russia

Pronounced: zer z’derovijey [zə‿zdɐˈrovʲje]

Meaning “to health,” and not to be confused with “na zdorovye“, which actually means “you’re welcome”. Russians actually change their toast based on the celebration and who they are drinking with, so this term is, more often than not, used by tourists.

Where: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark

Pronounced: Skol [skɒːl]

If you’re looking for toasts with a unique history, head to the Scandinavian territories. “Skål“, which is used widely across Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, actually means “bowl” and harks back to the days when those gathered around the dinner table would drink from the same vessel. It is worth noting, however, that the Finnish prefer to say “kippis“, which comes from the German expression “die Gläser kippen“, or “knock back the glasses.”

In Denmark, you can also use the phrase “Bunden i vejret eller rester i håret“, which translates to “bottoms up, or the rest in your hair.”

Where: Russia

Pronounced: zer z’derovijey [zə‿zdɐˈrovʲje]

Meaning “to health,” and not to be confused with “na zdorovye“, which actually means “you’re welcome”. Russians actually change their toast based on the celebration and who they are drinking with, so this term is, more often than not, used by tourists.

Where: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark

Pronounced: Skol [skɒːl]

If you’re looking for toasts with a unique history, head to the Scandinavian territories. “Skål“, which is used widely across Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, actually means “bowl” and harks back to the days when those gathered around the dinner table would drink from the same vessel. It is worth noting, however, that the Finnish prefer to say “kippis“, which comes from the German expression “die Gläser kippen“, or “knock back the glasses.”

In Denmark, you can also use the phrase “Bunden i vejret eller rester i håret“, which translates to “bottoms up, or the rest in your hair.”

The Origins of Toasting Drinks

The ancient Egyptians did it. The ancient Chinese did it. And so did the Greeks. Evidence shows us that people around the world have been partaking in booze for thousands of years. Following suit, the act of ‘toasting’ and clinking glasses together, has been taking place for so long that its origins are quite blurry.

There are many debated theories out there—the most popular being the noise of ‘clinking’ was to ward off evil spirits. Another tale touts that by crashing glasses together, the libations in each glass would slosh into the others’ cup, therefore proving neither was poisoned.

Regardless, people all over the world continue to drink together and toast together. Most commonly the toast translates to ‘good health,’ something we all need after one too many.


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Learn how to properly ɼheers' around the world

How lucky are we to have two beer drinking holidays back-to-back?

Thursday, August 6 was National IPA Day and Friday, August 7 marks International Beer Day. Now, you could celebrate by drinking an international beer or you could take it one step further and learn how to act like an international beer drinker.

Sounds fun right? Use the video below as your guide and learn how to properly cheers in eight different countries.

Tiney Ricciardi. Though she was born in California, Tiney is a Texan at heart with two degrees from Dallas’ Southern Methodist University under her belt. Her passions for music and language have taken her across the world, from Peru to Switzerland and all corners of America. A self-proclaimed master of puns, she currently resides in East Dallas priming her online publishing skills and snuggling with her cats. Ask her where to find good music and good beer.

More items to explore


Cook debuts with an entertaining guide on how to give a toast in nearly 80 languages. . . . It's worth raising a glass to the enthusiasm and good nature of this fun project.


A fascinating, frivolous, and yet deeply serious engagement with language, alcohol, tradition, and ritual. Marvelously informative and highly entertaining, Cook blends his subject matter with the delicate hand of a master whisky maker. Eons of history and culture have been perfectly distilled into this remarkable and enchanting book.

About the Author

Brandon Cook is a writer and language enthusiast. He currently lives in Prague. Cheers! is his first book.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"Živjeli" or "U Zdravlje"
(zheev ye lee), (oo zdrav'lee)
("Cheers," "To Health")

A golden rule of Balkan toasts: if you've heard one "Zhiveli" you've heard them all. Croatians express their version of the staple Balkan toast with a different vowel on the middle syllable―zhivyeli, rather than zhiveeli. Croatians will also say "U zdravlje," as well as "Živjeli," but that's about it. But what could possibly account for this astonishing coincidence in Živjelis? Once upon a time in the early nineteenth century, a Serbian folklorist named Vuk Karadžić got the idea to simplify his native Serbian by introducing a simplified Cyrillic alphabet. Simplification in the name of standardization was a theme later taken up by the Croatian poet Ljudevit Gaj, who urged his countrymen to adopt as a literary standard a dialect spoken throughout the Balkans called Shtokavian ("Shto," meaning "what," the dialect literally translates into something like "what-ese"). The suggestion was debated, bandied about, tossed around, laid aside, taken back up, and finally, by the end of the 19th century, accepted as a pretty good idea. The result was later called Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian―a rather testy balance, like Lennon-McCartney. Later, this stylistic cobbling encompassed even more languages and became the eloquently termed Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian, or BCMS. By 2009, the former Yugoslavia was a puzzle-board of new and semi-newly independent countries and a national language was a patriotic hammer in the toolbox of independence. BCMS lost its hyphens as Bosnians claimed a Bosnian language, Serbians Serbian, Croatians Croatian, and Montenegrins Montenegrin. The separation is mostly political but there is a difference in the alphabet. Serbians use the Cyrillic and Latin, Bosnian Latin, Montenegrin nominally both, but leans towards Latin, and Croatian is strictly Latin. This might not seem like much of a difference, but take a moment to reflect on how the extra "L" in "traveller" or the "S" in "organise" immediately distinguishes a Brit from an American. Now as for drinks, the go-to liquor of Eastern Europe is rakia/rakija in all its forms (cherry, pear, plum, walnut, etc.). Too many shots and even the most resilient drinker may have trouble getting out of bed in the morning but if you're lucky, before bed your Croatian comrades will prescribe you a good dose of sage tea―Croatia's hangover remedy. In addition to some of the bluest beaches on the planet, Croatia has also got a flourishing wine market. While in Croatia, take some time to sample the dark red Plavac Mali (considered a relative of Zinfandel), white Pošip, or the dessert wine Prošek (no relation to Prosecco). If you're eating out, ask for a recommendation and you'll get something new every night. And while you're at it, why not supplement your language learning with the Serbo-Croatian/or BCMS, or just plain Croatian version of 'Bon Appetit: "Dobar tek."

Tasting Note: Rakia, Šljivovica fruit brandy, Karlovačko, Ozujsko, and Pan beers

Norwegian loan words are easily spotted in English. Fjord and floe take little linguistic training to recognize. There's a kind of curveball with the word ski, but slalom (not-too-fast downhill skiing) and klister (ski wax) are decidedly foreign, as is the skrei (crowd) of fish terms: brisling, krill, and lutefish. If you fall off your yngling (small boat) or wipe out trying to execute a complex Telemark (ski turn) you might say "Uff da!" and Norwegian even has its own term for a Benedict Arnold―a Quisling. This sounds a little humdrum but it ought to be mentioned that Norwegian also gave English its kraken and its narwhal, two sea-dwelling, alienesque creatures of mythological proportions. The kraken was a giant squid that dragged merchant ships to the bottom of the sea, according to Jules Verne, Herman Melville, and Captain Jack Sparrow. The narwhal is an arctic-dwelling whale masquerading as a unicorn. They're the ones responsible for all the unicorn horns you find in old museums. There's even a whole throne made of "unicorn horn" in Copenhagen. But back to the list. You might guess from it that Norwegians are a laid-back people with a fondness for skiing, sailboats, and salty fish and you'd be exactly right. Actually, according to the World Economic Forum, it's a close match between the Finns and the Norwegians deciding who are the happiest people in the world. While there are all kinds of hypotheses about what makes the world's happiest people (I imagine it has something to do with also being named one of Europe's most beautiful countries by Travel Away), there's an idea that Norway's restrictive alcohol laws might play a part. This starts with prices. A standard Norwegian beer generally costs between six and ten bucks. Young Norwegians usually avoid getting drunk at bars but when they go to supermarkets, they have to buy their beer before 8 pm. Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet)―the only outlet where you can buy stuff over 4.75 percent―closes even earlier, at 6 PM. That sounds awfully restrictive. Hell, it is restrictive, but Norwegians seem to like it this way: 80% of people voted to keep their Vinmonopolet, according to a 2016 survey. Does less opportunity equal less drinking? Logically yes, but drinking is still done with gusto, albeit more often at house parties and home settings. All the usual spirits are brought out for casual consumption, but for special toasts and holidays you may be introduced to Akevitt (from aqua vitae), a grain spirit flavored with anise, cumin, cardamom, caraway, fennel, or orange, and sipped, not chugged. For a quiet toast there's cheers with the simple skål but before you take shots, don't be freaked out if the Norwegians break out into song. Actually, feel free to join in: the most popular is "Ol, øl og mere øl" and the only thing you need to know before belting it out is that øl is "beer" and og mere, "one more." Happy countries, simple pleasures.

Watch the video: 70 People from 70 Countries Say Cheers in Their Native Languages. Condé Nast Traveler (December 2021).