Food & Drink

Bottoms up: how to say cheers in 50 different languages

Take your cultural integration one step further by learning how to say ‘cheers’ in the local language, wherever you are in the world.

How to say cheers

Updated 15-5-2024

After you’ve greeted your friends at the bar in the proper local fashion, the next obvious step is to enjoy some drinks together and join in a ceremonious ‘cheers’. But to truly feel integrated into your new home, it always helps to say these magic words in the local lingo. So to help raise your spirits, here’s how to say cheers in 50 different languages around the world. Bottoms up!

How to say cheers in Asia

Did you know? When toasting in China, people typically say gān bēi, which literally translates to ‘dry cup’. This is because, unlike in many European countries, you are expected to empty your cup after each toast – or at least give it your best effort.

Craft beer in Asia
A group of friends toasting a round of beer (Photo: Elevate / Unsplash)


How to write it: Nuş olsun
How to say it: nush ohlsun


How to write it: Aung myin par say
How to say it: au-ng my-in par say

Chinese (Mandarin)

How to write it: 干杯 (gān bēi)
How to say it: gan bay


How to write it: Mabuhay
How to say it: mah-boo-hay


How to write it: 乾杯 kanpai (dry the glass)
How to say it: kan-pie


How to write it: 건배 (geonbae)
How to say it: gun bae


How to write it: Эрүүл мэндийн төлөө (Tulgatsgaaya ErUHl mehdiin toloo)
How to say it: tul-gats-gAH-ya


How to write it: โชคดี (chok dee)
How to say it: chok dee


How to write it: Dô / Vô / Một hai ba, yo (one, two, three, yo)
How to say it: jou / dzo / moat hi bah, yo

Toasting across Europe

Did you know? The French take toasting very seriously and will get upset if you don’t follow their simple rules. For instance, you must always look the person you are toasting in the eyes, never add ice to your glass of wine, and avoid crossing your glass with someone else’s at all costs. And if you want to avoid being cursed with seven years of bad sex, you must never put your glass down without sipping it first, after someone makes a toast.

European craft beer
Friends toasting with beer (Photo: Yutacar / Unsplash)

Armenian (Western)

How to write it: Կէնաձդ
How to say it: genatzt


How to write it: Na zdraví
How to say it: naz-drah vi


How to write it: Proost
How to say it: prohst


How to write it: Santé
How to say it: sahn-tay


How to write it: Salud
How to say it: saw-lood


How to write it: Prost or Zum wohl
How to say it: prohst or tsum vohl


How to write it: Egészségedre (literally, ‘to your health’) or Fenékig (literally, ‘until the bottom of the glass’)
How to say it: egg-esh ay-ged-reh or fehn-eh-keg

Irish Gaelic

How to write it: Sláinte
How to say it: slawn-cha


How to write it: Na zdrowie
How to say it: naz-droh-vee-ay


How to write it: Будем здоровы (budem zdoorovy)
How to say it: boo-dem zdo-ro-vee


How to write it: будьмо (bud’mo)
How to say it: boodmo


How to write it: Iechyd da
How to say it: yeh-chid dah

Bottoms up in Scandinavia and the Baltics

Did you know? The Danish word for cheers is skål, which also means ‘bowl.’ This is thought to be due to the fact that Vikings would (supposedly) drink wine from bowls made of the skulls of their sleighed enemies. While we will never know the truth behind this claim, it might still be wise to maintain eye contact with your companion when you toast with them!

Raising a craft beer glass in Copenhagen


How to write it: Skål
How to say it: skoal


How to write it: Terviseks
How to say it: ter-vih-sex


How to write it: Kippis
How to say it: kip-piss


How to write it: Skál
How to say it: sk-owl


How to write it: priekā or prosit
How to say it: pree-eh-ka or proh-sit


How to write it: į sveikatą
How to say it: ee sweh-kata


How to write it: Skål
How to say it: skawl


How to write it: Skål
How to say it: skawl

Southern Europe: how to say cheers

Did you know? If you want to avoid having bad sex for seven years in Spain, then make sure you toast with a proper drink – and never water. What a great excuse to order another Sangria!

Clinking wine glasses in southern Europe


How to write it: Salut
How to say it: sah-lut


How to write it: Cin cin or Salute
How to say it: chin chin or saw-lutay


How to write it: Saúde
How to say it: saw-oo-day


How to write it: Salud
How to say it: sah-lud

Clinking glasses in Southeastern Europe

Did you know Poisons have played an important role in Greek history, and one theory claims that clinking glasses together and saying cheers originated with the Ancient Greeks. It was thought that clinking your glasses would allow for some of your drink to flow into the other person’s glass. Therefore, if it was poisoned, they would fall victim, too!

How to say cheers in southeastern European countries


How to write it: Gëzuar
How to say it: geh-zoo-ah


How to write it: Živjeli
How to say it: zhee-vi-lee


How to write it: Наздраве (nazdrave)
How to say it: naz-dra-vey


How to write it: Živjeli (literally, ‘let’s live’) or Nazdravlje (literally, ‘to good health’)
How to say it: zhee-ve-lee or naz-dra-vlee


How to write it: ΥΓΕΙΑ (short for ‘to your health’)
How to say it: ya-mas


How to write it: На здравје (na zdravje)
How to say it: na zdra-vye


How to write it: Noroc or sanatate
How to say it: no-rock or sahn-atate


How to write it: Живели (živeli)
How to say it: zhee-ve-lee


How to write it: Na zdravie
How to say it: naz-drah-vee-ay


How to write it: Na zdravje (literally, ‘on health’)
How to say it: naz-drah-vee

Toasting in the Middle East

Did you know? The ancient Egyptians loved their beer and wine. In fact, financial records suggest that the builders of the Giza pyramids had more than a gallon a day of beer rations. Tutankhamun’s tomb even contained 26 jars of wine from 15 different winemakers. Drinking on the job, ay!

Drinks in Tel Aviv

Arabic (Egyptian)

How to write it: فى صحتك: (literally, ‘good luck’)
How to say it: fe sahetek


How to write it: לחיים (l’chaim)
How to say it: l’chaim


How to write it: Şerefe
How to say it: sher-i-feh


How to write it: Sei gesund
How to say it: say geh-sund

Raising glasses in the Pacific

Did you know? The vibrant hues of the Hawaiian sky and landscape are thought to be the inspiration behind the exotic colors and flavors of the tropical cocktails that we know and love today. The Mai Tai, Blue Hawaii, Piña colada, Lava Flow, and Chi Chi are among the most popular concoctions.

Saying 'cheers' in the Pacific with tropical drinks

Chamorro (Guam)

How to write it: Biba
How to say it: bih-bah


How to write it: Å’kålè ma’luna
How to say it: okole maluna

South Africa: how to say cheers

Did you know? According to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), South Africans are the sixth-highest consumers of alcohol. In fact, statistics suggest that the average South African drank up to 30 liters of pure alcohol in 2016 alone.


How to write it: Gesondheid
How to say it: ge-sund-hate

Always remember to use these expressions responsibly; drinking is illegal in some parts of the world, after all. There may also be some regional and formality variations in how to say cheers, but these should get the job done.