Last update on August 09, 2019
Sophie Pettit Written by Sophie Pettit

Be a true master traveller or expat, and learn how to say ‘cheers’ in the local language, wherever you happen to be in the world.

After you’ve properly greeted your friends at the bar, the next logical step is to share a drink together. And let’s be honest: fewer things are more satisfying than clinking your glass and joining in a ceremonious ‘cheers’. But to fully embrace the experience, it always helps to say these magic words like a local. 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

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

Did you know? The default toast in China is gān bēi, which literally means ‘dry cup’. Unlike in much of Europe, you will be expected to empty your cup after each toast is given, or at least give it your best effort.

Azerbaijani

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

Burmese

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

Filipino/Tagalog

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

Japanese

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

Korean

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

Mongolian

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

Thai

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

Vietnamese

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

Friends toasting with beer (Photo: Yutacar / Unsplash)

Did you know? The French follow a very strict set of rules when it comes to toasting. You must look the person you are toasting with in the eyes; you must also make sure you never add ice to your glass of wine or cross your glass with someone else’s. Lastly, you must also not put down your glass between the toast and the first sip, or you will be cursed with seven years of bad sex!

Armenian (Western)

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

Czech

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

Dutch

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

French

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

Galician

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

German

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

Hungarian

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

Polish

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

Russian

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

Ukrainian

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

Welsh

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

Bottoms up in Scandinavia and the Baltics

Raising a craft beer glass in Copenhagen

Did you know? The Danish word for cheers is skål, which also means ‘bowl.’ Some legends claim that Vikings would drink wine from bowls made of the skulls of their vanquished enemies. Luckily, there is no actual evidence to support this claim, but it might be wise to politely look your friend in the eye when you toast with them – just to be safe.

Danish

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

Estonian

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

Finnish

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

Icelandic

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

Latvian

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

Lithuanian

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

Norwegian

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

Swedish

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

Southern Europe: how to say cheers

Clinking wine glasses in southern Europe

Did you know? In Spain, the bad sex curse – which is associated with not looking the other person in the eye – also applies if you have the audacity to toast with water, so it might be wise to order Sangria!

Catalan

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

Italian

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

Portuguese

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

Spanish

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

Clinking glasses in Southeastern Europe

How to say cheers in southeastern European countries

Did you know? There is a theory that the tradition of clinking glasses and how to say cheers actually originated with the Ancient Greeks. The idea was that by clinking your glasses together, your drink would slosh into the other person’s glass and therefore if it was poisoned, they would be poisoned too.

Albanian

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

Bosnian

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

Bulgarian

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

Croatian

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

Greek

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

Macedonian

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

Romanian

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

Serbian

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

Slovak

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

Slovenian

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

Toasting in the Middle East

Friends having drinks outdoors in Tel Aviv

Did you know? The ancient Egyptians were extremely fond of beer and wine. In fact, financial records show that the thirsty builders of the Giza pyramids had a beer ration of over a gallon a day. Tutankhamun’s tomb even held 26 wine jars with vintages from 15 different winemakers.

Arabic (Egyptian)

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

Hebrew

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

Turkish

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

Yiddish

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

Raising glasses in the Pacific

Saying 'cheers' in the Pacific with tropical drinks

Did you know? The exotic colors and flavors that typify tropical cocktails were inspired by the palette of colors in the Hawaii sky and landscape. Popular ones include the Mai Tai, Blue Hawaii, Piña colada, Lava Flow, and Chi Chi.

Chamorro (Guam)

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

Hawaiian

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

South Africa: how to say cheers

Did you know? South Africa was the sixth-drunkest country in the world, according to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization (WHO). Statistics claim that the average South African guzzled up 30 liters of pure alcohol in 2016 alone.

Afrikaans

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.