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Photo: Star512. Feature photo: dleithinger.

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!

Photos left to right: Melody.loves.you, Bérenger ZYLA.

A-E
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

Photos left to right: Rein Rache, nany mata..

F-M
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 /
Fehn-eh-keg
Icelandic Skál Sk-owl
Irish Gaelic Sláinte Slawn-cha
Italian Salute /
Cin cin
Saw-lutay /
Chin chin
Japanese 乾杯
Kanpai (Dry the glass)
Kan-pie
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

Photos left to right: fihu, JMRosenfeld.

N-Z
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!

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About The Author

Kristin Conard

As a child, Kristin wanted to be a librarian, because she thought that the librarian was the one who got to write all the books in the library.

  • Tia

    Ofa atu – Tongan (The Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean)

  • Anya

    It’s a common belief that in Russia we say “На здоровье”, but actually it’s only the phrase we teach the foreigners. I’d say we don’t use anything like “Cheers” at all, because everytime we raise our glasses we come up with a different (long and boring) toast.
    So just don’t be misled :)

    • http://kristin5683.wordpress.com/ Kristin Conard

      It’s what the Russian hostels told me! :)

    • Alex

      Noooot exactly :P I’d say that the most polite and aristocratic way of saying “cheers” is “Vashe zdorovje”. Otherwise,Russians simply scream witty toasts, and not always long – that’s more about Georgians :D

  • http://www.hotelconnaught.com/ New Delhi Hotels

    Cheers to all………

  • Pingback: The advantages of being bilingual - Hostel Management Forums

  • phil t

    Another Polish phrase is “stol lat” (although I’m not sure about my spelling) which translates as “100 years”.

  • http://www.sophiesworld.net Sophie

    Skål, everyone!
    And… God jul ! (That’s Happy Christmas in Norwegian :)

  • http://www.theaussienomad.com Chris – The Aussie Nomad

    now there is a list of foreign phrases I can use

  • derzu

    we say “topa” in basque.
    urte berri on!

  • Al Destacamento

    Tagay is more commonly used as cheers in Filipino. Mabuhay is a greeting of welcome.

    • P.

      Yes, yes! That’s it! I was looking for the term. My Uncles usually say “Kampay” adopted from the Japanese ‘kan pie’ perhaps because of the influence of the japs from the japanese occupation. But the modern day way of saying cheers is really “Tagay!” or “Drink to that!” 

  • http://www.lubd.com Pang

    In Thailand, ppl almost use as ‘Chon’ for Cheers, but some can say like ‘Chok Dee’ but rare case :)

  • Alrex

    Romanian: Noroc!

  • http://www.Savvy-Writer.com Rebecca

    These are fantastic! Thank you for sharing. I was familiar with the Italian and Spanish ways to say cheers but now I know other ways. This list will come in handy when I travel.

  • http://jafdip.com Mikel King

    Selamat minum! – Malay

  • Geno

    Swahili: Afya! or Maisha marefu!

    It varies a little based on the country.

  • Rob Nunn

    Cheers for the great info!!!!!

  • marytrobot

    the places I’ve been in South America say “salud” but in Spain (castallan speakers) we would always say “chin chin” like “ching” in english without the “g”.

  • Stephen

    Great list!
    Only thing, the Korean is 건배 which would really be translated as geon-bae but is pronounced ‘kawn-bae’(eo sound is pronounced ‘aw’ and if ㄱ is at the start of the word, the prounciation tends more towards a ‘k’ sound than a ‘g’).

    Keep up the good word!

  • http://fitrayuda.net Fitra Yuda

    Indonesia please :)

  • m

    Thai speakers wouldn’t say “chok-dee” for a drinking toast. That means “good luck.” You would hear “Chai-yo” as a toast when drinking.

    • http://kristin5683.wordpress.com/ Kristin Conard

      Seems like there are a couple of options in Thailand from our commentors and our writers/editors in Thailand!

  • Pingback: ¡Salud! « The Global Film Initiative

  • Ly

    The Polish pronunciation guide is a little off.
    Na Zdrowie is said more like ‘nahz-droh-vyeh’.
    Also, you try to make it sound all like one word.

  • senem

    “şerefe” in Turkish!

  • Go_easter

    I don’t know which foreigner was first to decide that Russians say “Na Zdorovie” for cheers, but it’s amazing how this misconception continues from one article to the next. We just don’t say it. We don’t. We never do. Get it? :)

    With this, I’m not sure the other languages are correct, too. 

    • Vladimir

      Just was going to write that.  “Na zdorovye” is used like the English “you are welcome,” if ever. This expression is close enough to several common toasts (“budem zdorovy,”, “za vashe zdorovye,”) so it is accepted and understood when foreigners say it, but Russians themselves never use it when toasting.

      • http://tjournal.ru/ Никита Лихачев

        Tottally agree with Go_easter and Vladimir. Russians use neither “На здоровье” nor “Будем здоровы”. That’s just weird.
        To add value, I’d say we, Russians, always try to give a unique sense to a toast. E. g. when celebrating someones birthday, we say “За тебя!” (“to you!”), “За родителей!” (“To parents!”), or just to something that is close to the object of celebration. Say, having a party due to a big partnership launch, we say “За успех!” (“To success!”) or similar.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1178871210 Alysa M Allen

      Thanks for letting us Foreigners know :)

  • Vladimir

    Any turn of speech can be rendered incomprehensible, or even worse, misunderstood, if the accent is placed on a wrong syllable. Do I say TER-vih-sex, ter-VIH-sex, or ter-vih-SEX?

  • m7za

    filipinos say ‘cheers’.

    • http://twitter.com/xxxriainxxx xxxriainxxx

      True, We don’t say ‘Mabuhay’. Mabuhay is either welcome or long live.  We just say Cheers or ‘Itaas mo’  (Raise it)

    • Nintendo64

      yes we don’t use mabuhay … cheers or toast!

    • P.

      Yes, I agree. Cheers is widely-used her in the Phils. xxxrainxxx is correct, “Mabuhay” means “Long Live” usually it is used to welcome foreigners. If you want the native way of saying cheers, I believe it is “Kampay”. My Uncle said that the term came from the Japanese term “Kan pie” because many of our fore fathers fought during the Japanese occupation here in the Philippines. Hearing the term, they might have adopted, thus the word “Kampay” in a sentence used by my Uncles, they usually say “I-kampay mo!” which means “Raise the glass” and then drinking the whole liquor without a pause. 

      This is actually a nice idea, but I hope the errors can be corrected. :D 

      • P.

        Or better yet, the term “Tagay!” would be the most perfect way of saying “Cheers” “Drink to that” or “Raise your glass” 

  • Georgina Oglethorpe

    In Samoan it’s “manuia”. If you’re drinking the traditoinal ‘ava make sure to spill out a little on the ground first.

  • Jwwilson

    can you tell me what dziekuje means

    • Jtmidwest314

      I think you MAY be trying to say Thank you in Polish.  Someone help us out here :)

    • Csb

      It means ‘thank you.’

    • San

      Polish “dziekuje” means “thank you”

    • Ponny

      In Ukranian and may be some other languages it means “Thank you”. In Russian translation it is written “Дякую”.

    • molly

      means “thank you” in polish

    • reliable source

      it means “thank you”

    • Kuryozum

      dziękuję means thank You in polish

    • Anonymous

      thank you in polish, says google translator

    • Thekrolik

      it means “thank you” in polish. I have a question for Russians, what would you say at the wedding as a toast? i will be having many guests from all over the world and i’m trying to learn a toast in each language. thanks in advance

      ~ future bride

    • NHMayflower

      It means “thank you” in Polish.

    • Kukson

      @Jwwilson- means thank you

    • Pooter

      Could you mean ‘Děkuji’?  Thats ‘thanks’ in Czech.

  • http://twitter.com/WirelessLife Anthony Bartolo

    Maltese: Cheers = Aviva (a-VI-va)

  • Bob

    a lot of the phonetics are incorrect, but close

  • SAMNOMUS

    In Thailand, we do not say Chok dee for cheers but we say Duem or Chon.

  • jque

    In Breton

    written : yec’hed mat
    pronounced : yar mat

  • Dustin Steichmann

    tram phan tram is another vietnamese meaning 100% or drink it all. Koreans also say han chan hae, which means one cup.

  • Suzan

    “fe sehtak” means in your health not good luck.

    • Sabrine

      Exactly what I was going to say! We can also say it like this “be sahtek!” which means with your health.

  • H2opolochic213

    You should have Farsi on there as well. ‘Salamati’

    • Sam

      I’d add a “Be” to it, to make it “Be Salamati” as in To your health

  • Brookswift

    Don’t say cin cin (chin chin) in Japan, it’s very rude in Japanese.

    • Sasha Airesse

      teehee :) I can’t help but giggle when Giada says it on her show…It’s cute when she says it…but yes, it’s a totally different meaning in Japan.

  • None

    And in Arabic we say “نخبك” /No7′bak/ not “fe shtak”

  • Dobrinko7523

    “Sahha” in Maltese

  • Jeannette Fain

    In Swiss German:” Proscht” or “Proeschtli”

  • Bhavnarang85

    Punjabi – indian says “chakko makko thappo” – burrah

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689376268 Juan Segovia

    in spanish we say…. “a tomar y a mamar que el mundo se va a acabar” that means : “to drink and suck because the world is gonna die” 

  • Huisdiervanchia

    The Gaelic is pronounced “SHEN-ta”, not slawn-cha.

    • Maximilian Andreasson

      This is definitely not correct..it is much closer to “slawn-cha” than “shen-ta”..
      The problem is to write the “-cha” in English, because there is not a way to write it correctly phonetically. The “a” in “-cha” should be pronounced almost like you pronounce the “e” in “cake”.

    • incandescent2

      In Scottish Gaelic it’s pronounced slawn-jah, although pretty much nobody actually speaks Gaelic so most will say cheers or, at a push, mispronounce slainte as ‘slanj’

  • guest

    pretty good, bad pronunciations though :/

  • jorge

    @Juan Segovia, I’m Spanish and never heard that. Don’t use particular expressions from your hometown/area for a general case, you could confuse people.

    • Maximilian Andreasson

      Obviously he is just messing around…I’m not sure if you are bad at messing back or just stupid and don’t get it?

  • Cinollozowski

    In polish it should be  [Naz-droh-vee] :P

    • Ziz

      Almost there :D Polish version of ‘Cheers’ sounds more like: [Nah- zdrOh-veE(r)] ..that last ‘r’ is supposed to help catch the actual ending of the word in Polish, which comes close to the spelling of the word ‘veer’ as spoken by the British (i.e. without ‘r’ and without the initial stress on ‘ve..’, of course). Capitalised vowels refer to proper stress in Polish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DJ.Gemma Jemimah Gemma Chaisuk

    I thought in Thai it suppose to be “chon kew” which is kind of like Kunpie in Japanese. They say it before they drink like cheers :)

  • Yu-liang Kuo

    乾杯~~~

    • Hwang Shih Yun

      ho da la~

    • Kei Masuda

      乾杯、

  • Ramgopal Vallath

    The Hindi phrase we use is a bit more exciting!

    • Prabhash Rai Anand

      wht is that

  • John Forret

    “Slàinte mhath” in scottish gaelic, sounds like “slanj uh va”= good health.

  • Pantocrator Blade

    The real Serbian “Cheers” is ALMOST THE SAME + IN THE CYRILLIC LETTERS like a Russian… НАЗДРАВЉЕ

  • Jai Mi Joseph

    Prost!

  • Daniel Mateo

    na Zdravi¡ como cierra sus notas el filosofo Max.

  • Ronald Langeveld

    Gesondheid!

  • James Hansbro

    The phonetic pronunciation in Hawaiian is closer to the actual spelling. You just need to add an ‘okina before the first “o” and a kahakō above it so it looks like this: ‘ōkole maluna. However in all my years drinking with Hawaiian friends I’ve never heard anyone say this.

  • Jaime Blanco

    This is fucking awesome

  • Jennifer Williams

    I think I saw something similar to this on TravelExplosion.com the other day. Very cool and worth printing for keepsake.

  • Nick Dariece

    Cool list. Must’ve took a while to put it together! If this is all done from ‘top of the head’ knowledge then I’m really impressed. gān bēi In chinese actually means “bottoms up” and to just have a normal cheers is HeJiu which is basically just “drink alcohol” Not that it matters because in china beer is poured into small glasses perfect for BOTTOMS UP!
    Thanks for the post it’s could be a good reference for future travels.

  • Kia Abhari

    persian they say “Nush” Spelling & Phonetic Pronunciation same.

  • Kia Abhari

    persian they say “Nush” Spelling & Phonetic Pronunciation same.

  • Piyanan Kay Gerndee

    It should be “Chon Keaw” in Thai :)

  • Amy Frances Furness

    Geh-zoo-ah

  • Amy Frances Furness

    Gan bay

  • Amy Frances Furness

    Saw-lutay

  • Amy Frances Furness

    Na zdorovie

  • Amy Frances Furness

    Fe sahetek

  • Ramin Raminian

    how in the world you have not persian one? most important country in history and mother of a lot of language.

  • Ramin Raminian

    how in the world you have not persian one? most important country in history and mother of a lot of language.

  • Boris Krumov

    It really doesn’t matter after the 12-15-67-78th toast :)

  • Shmuel A. Goldstein

    BTW, The Yiddish is the same as Hebrew as anyone knows. Zei-Guzunt is usually just an expression of saying, “Be well” when saying goodbye to someone and is not used when saying “cheers”.

  • Chris Green

    In Zulu, one might say “Poo zimpy-la,” or my favorite, “Oogy Wawa!”

  • Kay Raynera

    In the Philippines, “Mabuhay” means “hello” and is not used when toasting. On most occasions, we simply say “cheers.” The closest Filipino word I can think of is “tagay” which literally means “to pour beer/alcohol into one’s glass.”

  • Skarma Gurmet

    Chhott in Ladakhi language!

  • Travel And Explore The Places Of The World

    Good to know for all travelers!

  • Travel And Explore The Places Of The World

    Good to know for all travelers!

  • Maximilian Andreasson

    In Sweden we say “SKÅL!” (The word does not actually mean anything). You drink, look the others in the eye as you would a polar-bear you are just about to slay with your bare hands (yes we do that all the time(national sport)) and then we smash our wooden cups together and drink it all (rinse and repeat until you can’t see or walk straight).

  • Bao bao

    In Thai we say Chon- Gjaw. its mean “raise your glass”

  • Phu Chai Aon

    in thai cheers is chun-gao, chok-dee has no meaning

  • Yasmeen

    Some information is wrong there – the Arabic (which is not only in Egypt but all Arabic speaking countries) means to your health not good luck. Also the Greek phonetics for the word Yamas is not written correctly.

  • little lisa

    when in Bavaria we toasted something like ‘dispespecial’…does anyone know what the correct spelling/meaning is?

  • http://www.cheapflightstrip.blogspot.in/ cheap flights Trip

    Great article. good work..

  • Robbo

    Cheerscünt – ‘Straya.

  • Deoksu

    In korean, we say 건배, 잔!, or 원 샷. Gun-bay (cheers), John! (glass), or one shyaht (one shot).

  • http://www.neeslanguageblog.com/ Teddy Nee

    Indonesian “Tos”
    Esperanto “Je via sano”

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