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How To Say "Cheers!" In 50 Languages

Restaurants + Bars
by Lisa Lubin May 30, 2008
“Cheers!” is the most important word to learn before you travel to a new country. With Matador’s definitive list, you’ll be toasting new friends in no time.

The ancient Egyptians did it. The ancient Chinese did it. And so did the Greeks.

People around the world have been getting drunk for thousands of years. The act of ‘toasting’ and clinking glasses together has been taking place for so long that the origins of the ritual are quite blurry.

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

Most commonly the toast translates to ‘good health,’ something we all need after one too many shots.

Candy Is Dandy But liquor Is quicker.- Ogden Nash

When traveling, the act of sharing a libation with a local can help foster international good will. Learning how to say “cheers!” in the local language is important!

Here is an international “cheers!” cheat sheet for you to print out, laminate, tuck into your passport, or copy to your cell phone. Enjoy!

Afrikaans : Gesondheid! : (Ge-sund-hide)

Albanian : Gëzuar! : (Géschuar)

Arabic (Egyptian) : في صحتكم! : (Fee-sa-ha-tak)

Armenian : Armenia : (Gen-ots-it)

Azerbaijani : Afiyët oslun! : (Afeeyet Ohs-lun)

Basque : On egin! : (On egín)

Bosnian : Živjeli! : (Zhee-vi-lee)

Bulgarian : Наздраве! : (NAZ-dra-vey)

Chinese (Mandarin) : 乾杯! [干杯!] : (Gan BAY)

Chinese : (Cantonese) : (Gom bui)

Czech : Na zdravi : (NAZ-drah vi)

Croatian : Živjeli! : (ZHEE-vi-lee)

Danish : Skål! : (Skol)

Here’s to you and here’s to me, the best of friends we’ll ever be, but if we ever disagree, to hell with you and here’s to me


Dutch : Prosit! : (Prowst)

English : Cheers! Bottoms up! Down the hatch! Here’s mud in your eye!

Esperanto : Je via sano! Toston! : (YEH VEE-ah SAH-no/Tóston)

Estonian : Terviseks! : (Ter-vi-seks)

Ethiopian (Amharic) : Letenachin : (L’-TAY-nah-chin)

Farsi : (Ba-sal-a-ma-TEE)

Finnish : Kippis! : (KEEP-us)

Drink is the feast of reason and the flow of soul.–Alexander Pope

French : A Votre Sante! : (Ah Vot-ruh Sahn-tay)

Gaelic (Irish) : Sláinte! : (Slawn-che)

German : Prost! : (Prohst)

Greek : στην υγειά σας! : (Stin Eyiassou/Stin Eye-ee-yass-ooh)

Eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart. —Ecclesiastes 9:10

Hawaiian : Okole Maluna! : (Å’kålè ma’luna)

Hebrew : לְחַיִּים!/L’Chaim! : (Le Chy-em)

Hungarian : Egeszsegere! : (Egg-esh Ay-ged-reh)

Italian : Salute! : Cin cin! (Salu-tay/Chin Chin)

Japanese : /Kampai! : (Kam-pie)

Payday came and with it beer. -Rudyard Kipling

Korean : 위하여 (Chukbae) : (Sheet seki yah)

Latvian : Prieka! : (Pree-eh-ka)

Lithuanian i : sveikata! : (Ee sweh-kata)

Luxembourgish : Prost! : (Prohst)

Maltese : Evviva! : (A-vee-va)

The problem with some people is that when they aren’t drunk they’re sober. -William Butler Yeats

Mongolian : Эрүүл мэндийн төлөө! : (Erüül mehdiin tölöö)

Norwegian : Skål! : (Skoal)

Persian : به سلامتی! : (beh salamati)

Polish Na : zdrowie! : (Naz-droh-vee-ay)

Portuguese : Saúde! : (Sow-ooh-jee)

Romanian : Noroc! : (No-roak)

Russian : Будем здоровы! : (Boo-dem Zdo-ro-vee-eh)

Serbian : Ziveli! : (ZHEE-vi-lee)

Slovak : Na zdravie! : (Naz-drah-vee-ay)

Work is the curse of the drinking class. -Oscar Wilde

Spanish : ¡Salud!/Salut! : (Sah-lud/Sah-lute)

Swedish : Skål! : (Skol)

Thai : ไชโย! : (Chuc-dee)

Turkish : Şerefe! : (Sher-i-feh)

Vietnamese : Chúc sức khoẻ! : (chook-sa-koi-ah)

Yiddish : געזונטערהייט! Zei Gazunt! : (Zye GAH-zoont)

Zulu : Oogy wawa! : (oogee-wawa)

Undoubtedly you will be downing many more drinks in your lifetime – and making many toasts to international friends. Cheers!

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

Community Connection!

Check out Matador’s highly scientific rankings of the world’s Top 10 Rooftop Bars, and Top 10 Local Parties for ideas on where to get your international drink on. Flying solo? Read the Gutsy Girl’s Guide to Drinking Alone.

Still not sure where to travel next? Here are our equally scientific calculations on where to find the world’s Sexiest Women and Sexiest Men – and the Practical Guide To Hostel Sex.

Here’s to international relations!

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