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Oct 31, 2006 12:59 AM

How do you say Cheers in Every Language...

Having worked as a bartender and being a beer lover in general I tried to learn how to say Cheers! in every language I came across. Here's my progress so far. If you have one to add please post!
Chinese - Gan Bei
Japanese - Kanpai
Thai - Che Loong
Armenian - Ge Natz
Serbian - Ji Ve Li
Spanish - Salud
German - Prost

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      1. re: FlavoursGal

        Gah, I knew that one! Had to practice a little to get it nice and throathy.

      2. My uncle from France used to wish me, " A tes amours"- to your loves!

        1 Reply
        1. re: MRS

          usually used when one sneezes but I guess that would work, then you say
          "que les tiennes durent toujours" -may yours last always..
          cheers is usually 'tchin-tchin' which is like the sound of glasses 'clinking' together.

        2. My wife likes the English "Chin chin", of whose origins we know nothing at all...but one evening we were dining out with some friends, an artist originally from Alabama and his Japanese wife, and my wife raised her sake cup and said, "Chin chin!" whereupon Rie dissolved in helpless laughter. Turns out it's Japanese slang for human genitalia. So I decided at that point that one could assume that ANY word means something naughty in some language somewhere...

          18 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen

            In Italian, "Cin Cin" (pronounced "chin chin") is an informal/familiar toast.

            1. re: Will Owen

              ouch..just used "cin cin" with a japanese friend, b/c as non cogn. says it is an informal italian toast. don't want him to get the wrong idea though. he did not laugh, but did not repeat the toast either.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I don't use chin chin any more, wither. I was hosting a dinner for International clients years ago. My boss took the European table, and I was hosting the Japanese table. After dinner, it was usual for the host to give a toast. I stood up, and welcomed them all to the US ( we were at Camelback Inn in Scottsdale) I finished my toast with "chin chin". They all dissolved in laughter, and later told my boss ( who was Greek) what it meant. I was embarrassed- as I was the only female at the table. I still laugh when I think of it.

                1. re: macca

                  Hollering out those words to a bunch of Japanese business guys must have made you the focus of desire - I can see them now following you around like puppy dogs... :)

                2. re: Will Owen

                  I know Chin Chin as Italian.
                  The story I heard was that it came from the Italian peasants in the country. When they drank wine out of wooden cups, they would say chin chin to make the sound of glass wine glasses clinking. I use it all the time...but I guess I will refrain now knowing the double meanings!

                  1. re: Sebby

                    Heard that story too, Sebby. Pedantic, maybe, but the correct pronunciation for this toast is "Cheen, cheen" - not chin, chin.

                    Also, an earlier poster mentioned 'Salute'. Its more acceptable to say "To your health"
                    or "To our health" when toasting. Translated, that's "ALLA Salute".

                    And lastly, let's not forget, "Cent'anni" ... pronounced by some as CHENT-OHN. This toast is simply, "to us, living to the ripe old age of 100". Cento = 100, anni = years.
                    The correct pronunciation is chento-on-knee (Cento anni) or the conjugated version is also acceptable, (Cent'anni) chent-on-knee.

                    Grazie tanto.

                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      Yes, technically it's "alla salute" (ah-lah sah-loo-tay), but nobody, NOBODY I've ever met says that... in point of fact most people I know say "sah-LOOT" or "ah sah-LOOT".

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        What I' ve stated is correct. Grazie di nuovo, Das.

                        1. re: Cheese Boy

                          Sure, and you can sound like someone reading out of an Italian textbook. It's one of the problems with Italian -- there isn't really one single coherent Italian language, so no matter what you learn it gives you away as having learned a particular accent... "a'salut" is Napoletano, "alla salute" sounds vaguely Toscano.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            Das Ubergeek, you are such an expert in every culture, it's amazing. All I ever heard in Italy (and I only spent time with Italians in Tuscany and Naples) was "cin cin." Where did you hear your toasts?

                            1. re: fara

                              In Italy as well, though I plead ignorance of having been to Tuscany, since I have been only to Piemonte, Alto-Adige, Salerno and Sicily... perhaps the other toasts came after you'd had several starting with "cin-cin"?

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                When it’s done properly, Cin-Cin takes place in circle --
                                the first person toasts the person next to them, and then that person toasts the person next to them, and and so on
                                until the toast has gone around the entire circle.

                                The other component of Cin-Cin is that you must look into the other person’s eyes when you make your toast. Not just a glance…your eyes must actually register for a moment.

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  That's right- Italians always make eye contact when toasting, and "Cin- Cin" is often used in a familiar group setting.
                                  "Cent'anni" on the other hand, is typically used in honor of one person or specific people (birthday, wedding, etc.), as it does connote the idea of longevity. I have never heard it said, "Cento anni", as such numbers are compounded in Italian, as a rule.
                                  "Alla salute" is the grammatically correct way to write and say the phrase, "To health", but the toast is almost always condensed to "Salute" or "A'salute". However, if one were to exclaim "alla salute!" or "alla nostra salute" (to our health) among friends in Italy, it would not be considered strange.

                              2. re: fara

                                Salute is common in Tuscany and Umbria, where I've spent some time.

                        2. re: Cheese Boy

                          I know this topic is a blast from the past - But - I was looking up how to spell Cent'anni, when I stumbled upon this thread

                          And since my grandmother was from Sciacca Sicily and my dad speaks Sicilian I can say we have raised our glasses and used Cant'anni all the time - I was told it means a 100 years, only thing is I don't think we pronounced the i at the end,

                          So maybe it's a Sicilian thing - since you have spent time there & me being American Sicilian - that's what it could be

                          1. re: shiney39

                            Sure, I've heard "Cent'ann", as well. It is a leftover dialect thing, much like "A'saloot".

                        3. re: Sebby

                          We say Chin Chin in Brazil (although pronounced Cheen Cheen)

                        4. re: Will Owen

                          In English it's probably based on the sound of the glasses clinking.

                            1. re: Non Cognomina

                              How about the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where they're toasting with glasses filled with ouzo ..... that scene is hilarious. Opa!

                              1. re: Non Cognomina

                                Cheen Cheen is Japanese slang for male genitalia... unfortunately 'Opa' is remarkably similar to the word, "Opai" which is for a woman's breasts...

                                It's so hard to speak other languages in Japan, everything I saw gets mistranslated!

                              2. re: ziggylu

                                Yasou is a greeting which translates into, "hi there". The correct phrase is, "stin yamas" (στην υγειά μας) which directly translates to, "to our health".

                                Opa is typically not something that is said when toasting.