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Did you know that the first recorded toast in England took place in 450AD? (1)
It took place at a feast for the British King Vortigern. Renwein, the daughter of the Saxon leader, presented a goblet of wine to the British king with the words, “Louerd King, waes hael!” (meaning “Good health!”)
Legend has it the king was so enamored that he proposed marriage on the spot, but that’s another story for another time.
This may be the first recorded incident of a toast, but it’s a tradition that spans the globe. From Europe to far-flung corners of Asia, there’s a way to say cheers in different languages around the world.
Would you like to learn more about how to say cheers in different languages? You’re in the right place.
Read on to learn 32 different ways to say cheers—in whichever country you happen to land in!
Cheers in Different Languages (A-Z)
Wherever you’re traveling, there’s a way the locals say cheers. Here’s our round-up of how to make a toast or say cheers around the world.
If you find yourself in sunny South Africa, you’ll appreciate knowing how to say cheers in the common language.
Write it: Gesondheid
Pronounce it: ge-soond-hate
Before you kick back a glass of Albanian raki (grape brandy), make sure you get the salutation right first.
Write it: Gëzuar
Pronounce it: Geh-zoo-ah
You may not be able to write it in Arabic (without a little practice), but you should at least know it means “good luck.”
Write it: فى صحتك
Pronounce it: fe sahatek
Practice your Armenian toast before sampling a sip of Artsakh, the nation’s famous mulberry vodka.
Write it: Կէնաձդ
Pronounce it: genatzt
Although Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, alcohol is widely available. Try a bottle of Xirdalan, their locally brewed beer.
Write it: Nuş olsun
Pronounce it: noosh ohlsun
Newsflash: Bosnians party hard and love to drink—mostly because it’s so cheap. (2) Practice how to say cheers in Bosnian before you travel!
Write it: Živjeli
Pronounce it: Zee-veh-lee
From fermented fruit liquors to fine wines, Bulgarians know how to have a good time. Do you think they know it takes 600 grapes to make one bottle of wine?
Write it: Наздраве
Pronounce it: naz-dra-veyv
It’s been called Myanmar since 1989, but the people of this Southeast Asian land are still known as Burmese. Mandalay beer is their local brew, along with plenty of whiskeys and rums.
Write it: Aung myin par say
Pronounce it: au-ng my-in par say
If you visit eastern Spain or southwestern France, don’t be surprised to hear the locals speaking Catalan, another Latin-based language. Do make sure you’re prepared for some of the best (and cheapest) wine you’ve ever tasted! (3)
Write it: Salut
Pronounce it: sah-lut
10. Chinese (Mandarin)
Don’t worry if you don’t get the tone right. After a few glasses of Baijiu (the most consumed liquor on earth), no one will notice anyway. (4)
Write it: 干杯
Pronounce it: Gan-bay
Croatians say cheers with an expression that means, “Let’s live!” We’ll drink to that!
Write it: Živjeli
Pronounce it: zhee-ve-lee
Calling all beer lovers! Get on a plane and get to the Czech Republic stat, where they consume more beer per capita than any other nation. (5)
Write it: Na zdravi
Pronounce it: Naz-drah-vee
From flavored schnapps (Akvavit) to endless microbreweries to try, you’ll never go thirsty in Denmark.
Write it: Skål
Pronounce it: skoal
Visit the Netherlands and order an advocaat, the European ancestor of Amerian eggnog. Brandy, eggs, and sugar never tasted so good.
Write it: Proost
Pronounce it: Proost (just like it’s spelled)
Put this on your “need to know” list while visiting France—don’t break eye contact between the toast and your first sip. The French believe you’ll be cursed with 7 years of bad sex!
Write it: Santé
Pronounce it: Sahn-tay
You’ll find people speaking Galician in northwestern Spain while consuming copious amounts of “orujo,” the Spanish version of moonshine or “firewater.” Proceed with caution!
Write it: Salud
Pronounce it: saw-lood
No list of cheers in different languages would be complete without a nod to the fun-loving Germans. Meet them in a Biergarten and get ready to get your drink on.
Write it: Prost
Pronounce it: Prost
You’re sure to enjoy a glass or ten of licorice-flavored ouzo while you’re in Greece. Just don’t smash any plates afterward, as that tradition is now highly discouraged (or even banned) in many restaurants. (6)
Write it: ΥΓΕΙΑ
Pronounce it: ya-mas
Would you expect anything less than a beautiful way to say cheers from the island that brought us Mai Tais and Pina Coladas? Some say the colorful rum concoctions were inspired by the colors in the Hawaiian sea and sky.
Write it: Å’kålè ma’luna
Pronounce it: okole maluna
You won’t be able to leave Israel without sampling their potent, licorice-flavored arak liquor. Mix it with your favorite juice or soft drink and you’ll be saying cheers in Hebrew in no time.
Write it: לחיים
Pronounce it: l’chaim
21. Irish (Gaelic)
From whiskey to beer to coffee (and everything in between), there’s nothing the Irish won’t drink. Blend in like a local by practicing a little Gaelic before you arrive.
Write it: Sláinte
Pronounce it: Slawn-chuh
Italy is synonymous with wine, but did you know it also set the standard for the 750ml bottle? That’s the average lung capacity of a glassblower, who could make a bottle with a single breath of air! (7)
Write it: Salute
Pronounce it: Sah-loo-tay
The nightlife in Tokyo is insane, but what else would you expect in the world’s most densely populated city (over 37 million people)? (8) Live it up with sake, beer, plum wine, or one of their other famous fermented beverages.
Write it: 乾杯
Pronounce it: Kan-pi
If you find yourself on the wild steppes of Mongolia, be prepared for one of the strangest drinks you’ll ever try. Mongolians love their koumiss, made with fermented mare’s milk and served warm with yak butter. (9) (Bonus points if you finish an entire glass!)
Write it: Эрүүл мэндийн төлөө (Tulgatsgaaya ErUHl mehdiin toloo)
Pronounce it: tul-gats-gAH-ya
Their winters may be long, but the Norwegians keep plenty warm with an array of beers, ciders, and vodka. Learn how to say cheers in Norwegian the next time you pass through!
Write it: Skål
Pronounce it: Skowl
The Polish are so proud of their vodka they’ve dedicated a museum to it. It’s the perfect place to tour before or after indulging in a glass yourself.
Write it: Na zdrowie
Pronounce it: Nahz-droh-vee-ay
Sipping a glass of port wine at the seaside in Portugal is an experience you’ll never forget, even if you can’t remember how to say cheers in Portuguese. (Bonus tip: In Brazil, they say “Felicidades” instead).
Write it: Saúde
Pronounce it: Sow-ood-uh
What do you do when it’s dark for six months out of every year? Drink a lot (of vodka), of course! Don’t worry if you can’t say it right—everyone will appreciate your effort.
Write it: Будем здоровы
Pronounce it: Boo-dem Zdor-oh-vee
With 460 million native speakers around the world, you’re never far from someone saying cheers in the Spanish language. Practice your Spanish so you can join them next time!
Write it: Salud
Pronounce it: Sah-lood
How do you say cheers when you’re in the Philippines? Practice this word while knocking back a bottle of San Miguel.
Write it: Mabuhay
Pronounce it: mah-boo-hay
It’s one of the hardest languages in the world to master, but you can at least join your new Thai friends in a celebratory toast. Your Thai is likely to improve with each successive bottle of Leo, Chang, and Singha beer.
Write it: โชคดี
Pronounce it: chok dee
If you’re saying cheers in Ukraine, you’re probably drinking horilka, the nation’s national liquor. It’s distilled from grain, potatoes, or occasionally chili peppers, making it live up to the meaning of its name—”burning.”
Write it: будьмо
Pronounce it: boodmo
Saying Cheers in Different Languages: Bottoms Up!
No matter where you are in the world, there’s a way to say cheers in different languages.
The exact words may be different, but the spirit is the same. “Cheers” in any language implies a spirit of celebration and well-wishes for all in attendance.
So the next time you travel and enjoy a popular local drink, refer back to this list of words for cheers. You’ll be toasting and saying cheers in different languages before you know it!
Of course, all that drinking and toasting (in any language) can leave you with a headache the next day. Don’t let that happen to you!