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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!
Cheers!
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. Most common nowadays in France is "À la tienne" (familiar) or "À la votre!" : to your (health) , the last word (health) being tacitly stated.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: RicRios

                                Yep, but it is spelled " À la vôtre ! " ("To yours!") and yes, health is almost always implied by the "la", health being feminine - "la santé", but technically it could also mean "joy" (la joie), "success" (la réussite) or "prosperity" (la prosperité) since they are also all feminine. Just a little nuance I thought I'd offer. Thanks RicRios.

                                1. re: duqc

                                  Posts separated by almost two years.
                                  Jeez!
                                  This sounds like a talmudic dialogue.
                                  (Perhaps I should've waited 'till after 2010 to post this one? )

                                  1. re: duqc

                                    Simply "Santé" is usually how it goes here in Quebec.

                                  1. re: phofiend

                                    Which you also say when someone sneezes.

                                    1. re: Hunicsz

                                      Funny, I was picking up some borscht this weekend at a Ukranian place and that's exactly what the cashier said to me when I sneezed. Being a Polish and Ukranian american we always used this for a toast, but never a sneeze.

                                      1. re: jenniebnyc

                                        In my Polish family, we say it for lots of stuff. Cheers, sneezes, congratulations. . .

                                    1. re: Non Cognomina

                                      Same in Swedish, and probably Norvegian, too. Skål!

                                      1. re: FoodWine

                                        Yes, same in Norwegian, but a longer version; Min skal, din skal, alle, vakre kvinner, skal! Me skal, you skal, to all the beautiful women skal!
                                        Finnish: Kippis!
                                        Russian Na Zdvovia of Za Vasha Zdrovia!
                                        German: Proust!

                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                          Proust slept in a bedroom lined with cork, but that's about the only way I could connect him to drinking.

                                          It's Prost, btw '-D

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            Danka, I guess I need some froodian therapy!

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              Hey, Proust did get drunk sometimes. (At least, his alter ego in Remembrance of Things Past did.) In one episode, he's about 15 and he's riding with is saintly grandma in a train and he insists on downing a bottle of some liqueur. His perceptions changed, he wrote, and became sluggish yet strangely pleasing. He notices his grandma is looking at him strangely. Though he doesn't write this, she's obviously thinking, "That little &*%#, he's DRUNK!!" (The grandmother was upset because her husband was forbidden liquor for health reasons but was often drinking it.)

                                      2. Korean cheers is very similar to the Chinese and Japanese versions, although I don't know the phonetic spelling

                                        I believe it's along the lines of kom bei

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: bitsubeats

                                          I believe it's Gun Bae...

                                          ETA: that's what I get for replying to a 5 year old thread...Ergh.

                                          1. re: cackalackie

                                            Same in Irish Gaelic - slainte - but pronounced "slawn-che". It means health.

                                            1. re: Siobhan

                                              I've heard it pronounced both ways in Scotland. Might be a matter of Highland vs Lowland. Even among those prefering the harder pronunciation, it tends to soften with heavy use ;)

                                              1. re: PDXpat

                                                I've heard that the best way to pronounce slainte is to say "It's a lawn chair" very, very fast. ;-)

                                            1. re: Infomaniac

                                              I just love the Internet. <vbg>

                                              I think I like Zulu best: Oogy wawa (ooggywawa or oogywawa)

                                            2. In french Québec, we say "Santé!"!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Frenchie

                                                A combination of Frenchie and RicRios above is what my bilingual Canadian grandmother says... A la votre sante. (sorry no accents)

                                                1. re: The Engineer

                                                  I've heard "A votre sante" but not with the "la".

                                                  1. re: southernitalian

                                                    His grandma or he has mixed 2 sayings: " À la vôtre ! "( "To yours!" (health is implied by "la", health being feminine) and " À votre santé ! " (To your health) which is often simply said as " Santé ! ". Hope this clears any confusion.

                                              2. Portuguese: Saude ("sah-OO-djee")

                                                  1. The Brickskeller in DC used to have a long list of these on their beer menu. The one that sticks out for me was to say cheers in Zulu was "Oogy-wa-wa."

                                                    1. In Esperanto:

                                                      Je via sano! (To your health!)

                                                      1. You can also say Wiwat (pronounced vivat).

                                                        1. Catalan: Salut! or txin txin!
                                                          Finnish: Kippis!
                                                          Basque: Topa!
                                                          Turkish: Sherefe!
                                                          Italian: Cent'anni or salute!
                                                          Schwyzerdüütsh: Prosit!
                                                          Cantonese: Gom beui!
                                                          Korean: Kampai!
                                                          Tagalog: Mabuhay!

                                                          Russian and Georgian: in formal drinking sessions there may be a tamada, who will make long toasts for you. While technically you can say "za mir" or "na zdorovye" few people actually do so.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                            "gunbae" is the standard toast for Koreans, but you also hear some other words such as "weehayuh" which means "for the benefit of"...once in a while you'll hear some crazy folks just say "jookja" which means let's all just die...

                                                            1. re: michaelyu

                                                              what does "dipshida" mean? my mom ways this is how you say cheers in korean, but I think she just made it up

                                                              1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                I've heard both in Soeul. Dip Shi Da and Gom Bai.

                                                                1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                  If I am correct, it sounds like "duep-shi-da" which means "let's eat" or "let's drink."

                                                                  1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                    She didn't make it up.
                                                                    dipshida - let's drink
                                                                    ta dipshida - drink it all

                                                                    1. re: hannaone

                                                                      Just got confirmation of this last night at a bar in the Songtan district of P'yongt'aek. I've been in Korea for a month shy of a year and have been using Gom Bai this whole time, but last night one of the Koreans I drink with told me that I shouldn't use Gom Bei because it is a loan word from Japanese and many Koreans and Japanese still hold on to animosities from the old wars and power struggles. He said to use DuepShiDa instead. Unfortunately I wasn't exactly thinking clearly enough to ask the exact meaning... it probably had something to do with how many times we yelled DuepShiDa before the night was over XD. Watch out for Soju! Its a NINJA!!!

                                                                2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                  "Kippis" is wonderful and informal; "Terve" (health) is as well. To be formal, one may say "Terveyhdeksenne" (Oh, please let my spelling be correct!), meaning "to your health." As with the previous post on Polish "cheers" this is also used for sneezes. Many Finns will also say "Skool" with the long "O" sound, as in Swedish.

                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                    Wow, I don't know if I could pronounce "Terveyhdeksenne" -- Finnish is a giant mystery to me.

                                                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                                                      Almost, Cay ;-) Just loose the "H". = Terveydeksenne. (which is both the formal and the plural way to say "to your health").

                                                                      But actually, it is much more common to just say: "terveydeksi" (for health, in general).

                                                                      P.S "terve" means either "hi" or "healthy", not health. Terveys = health.

                                                                    2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                      Yes, "kippis" is the informal Finnish way to toast
                                                                      and the more formal way to toast is to say: "TERVEYDEKSI" ( to health)
                                                                      or a to say : "SKOOL" ... a borrowed word from Swedish, obviously (spelled "skål" in Swedish).

                                                                      If you really want to get funny in Finnish, you can say: "hölökyn kölökyn".
                                                                      (haha, don't get me started, there are many funny things to say in this context in Finnish).

                                                                      1. re: FoodWine

                                                                        Oh, and
                                                                        French= À votre santé

                                                                        Estonian= Terviseks!

                                                                        A link to cheers in different languages:

                                                                        http://www.awa.dk/glosary/slainte.htm

                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                          :-DDD
                                                                          Pirrkola or PERRRKELE! haha!
                                                                          -Sorry Passadumkeg, I'm a little slow. Actually, I have hardly been on chowhound this summer. Seems like I missed a lot of fun puns,etc.
                                                                          I especially enjoyed the Probst v. Proust a a bit earlier.

                                                                          1. re: FoodWine

                                                                            Estonian = Tervist!
                                                                            We have been known to toast in other languages. I remember hearing "Skol" and "Prosit" said by my family as well. Both Sweden and Germany once ruled over the country.

                                                                            1. re: Sparky777

                                                                              For a Finn, the Estonian word for cheers , "TERVISEKS" sounds hilarious! (In finnish terve is healthy and seksi is, well, sex).

                                                                              Here is how it sounds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1psg0...

                                                                      2. In Slovenian Cheers is Na zdravje

                                                                        Delphine

                                                                        1. 'Op uw gezondheid' is fine for the Flemish (Dutch speaking) part of Belgium

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: lkv7

                                                                            the more informal Dutch expression is "Proost," with a long "o" sound. Similar to German.

                                                                          2. "Banzai" (to life) was used by the uncles, but obviously fell out of favor after WWII (albeit most of the uncles did fight on the US side). "Mabuhay" in Tagalog.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                              The generations up through WWII still use this one, right Sam? And I am sure we both still cringe when hearing it in mixed crowds (weddings, B-days, etc) - not PC with so many. I can still recall some guests' faces going blank, like they suddenly realized they mistakenly showed up for a Japanese Imperialist Revival meeting - I'm thinking the KKK scenes from Blazing Saddles or Oh Brother Where Art Thou. But knowing its true roots and how those generations perceive it, I'm okay with it.

                                                                            2. Yes, Herr Ubergeek, you are correct....a Neapolitan would surely say " a'salut' " and the proper response is usually
                                                                              " cient' anni "..or if you are from the port district, " a'do' va ! "...no one but a true Neapolitan would use that one.
                                                                              Now, here is one for you...what would a Sicilian use ? Can you guess ? :)

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Jimmy

                                                                                Jimmy, this one is a goodie and hilarious to boot. a do' va ! After a person toasts to good health, the response is sometimes a do' va ! If you un-conjugate this, you get "a dove va" (Translated: "where's it going?"). It's almost as if the person is asking ' where or to whom' is this good health going. I find this bold and pretty funny actually. The people toasting acknowledge the good health is going to themselves, so they say, a do' va !

                                                                              2. In Quichua, spoken in Ecuador (not to be confused with Quechua) you say: upishoun

                                                                                pronounced: oo-pee-joon (j like the 's' in pleasure)

                                                                                Perhaps it's the same or similar in Quechua, but I'm not sure

                                                                                Dave MP

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Dave MP

                                                                                  In *one* dialect of Ecuador, you can say "upishun" (we will drink), but the standardized form according to the Ecuadoran Ministry of Education is "upyashun".

                                                                                  In the Southern Quechua dialects (Bolivia, Ayacucho and Cuzco dialects in Peru), you say:
                                                                                  upyasun (we will drink)
                                                                                  upyasunchis (let's drink)
                                                                                  upyarikuychis (drink! -- as an order to multiple persons)
                                                                                  Literally: upya (drink) + ri (invitation) + ku (reflexive) + y (imperative) + chis (plural)

                                                                                  1. re: amosbatto

                                                                                    Cool! Yeah, the dialect I learned was from the area around Tena/Misahualli.

                                                                                2. In Swahili and many related languages:

                                                                                  Afya! (Health!)

                                                                                  Also used when someone sneezes.

                                                                                  Not really used very often, more likely to hear "Cheers" in East Africa.

                                                                                  1. In Polish, as on the Belvedere bottle, it's "na zdrowie," loosely pronounced in 3 syllables as "nah STRO vyuh."

                                                                                    In Gaelic, as on the Bennigan's commercial, it's "slainte," which as far as I can tell is said "slahn-cha," but someone else can correct me.

                                                                                    Of course, never forget "ein prosit". . . .Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi!! (And I thought The Man Show and frat boys made that up. . .)

                                                                                    Here's a bunch more:
                                                                                    http://www.awa.dk/glosary/slainte.htm

                                                                                    1. Anyone know why so many toasting phrases are also used for sneezes? I know that superstition often held that a bit of the soul might be released upon sneezing, hence the "Bless you" response in many cultures, but why does the toast overlap the ah-choo? I'm curious.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                        Both usually mean "to your health". In English, though, we don't say "to your health" unless it's formal, and we say "bless you" when someone sneezes, so the connexion is lost.

                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                          We grew up saying Gesundheit (German) for sneezes, didn't realize other people say "bless you" until HS or so. Now I use Salud (Spanish). My maternal great grandmother came from Germany as a young woman. I lived in Paraguay for a year as an exchange student. My husband and I don't drink alcohol but toast at the beginning of every meal we eat together with juice, smoothies, or whatever we're drinking. For that we use "cheers".

                                                                                        2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                          Either that, or I've also heard that the devil can sneak INTO you when you sneeze -- hence the blessing. And blessing/wishes for health often sound similar.

                                                                                          1. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                            In some cultures people were afraid that the soul would escape when one sneezed.

                                                                                          2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                            I remember a story about clinking glasses coming from the idea that the drinks should splash into another's to show trust that the drink wasn't poisoned. With that in mind, maybe the toast was a way to continue the questioning or line of trust.

                                                                                            1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                              Almost. Back in the days of ancient Greece, poisoning someone was easy with wine. It had sediment already, it was opaque...easy to hide poison. As a host, to reassure your guests that you weren’t poisoning them, you poured wine from a common cask or pitcher into your own glass, drank it before your guests, and when you didn’t fall dead on the spot, you hoisted your glass into the air, and it was that -- the hoisting of the glass -- that was the signal the host was still alive and that your guests could… drink…without…fear.

                                                                                              Jumping forward to Medieval times…poisoning in wine was still a problem. But if you were a guest and you trusted that the host wasn't going to poison you, you gave him a signal: you hoisted your glass and clinked your host's glass. The clinking was a sign of trust. But back then, the clink wasn’t really a clink – drinking vessels were rarely made of glass, they were usually made of wood or metal, so the clink was more likely a clunk, or a clank.

                                                                                          3. If the Romanian ex-bf wasn't pulling my leg, they say 'santate'.

                                                                                            The British (Geordie) semi-boyfriend says Cheers.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Louise

                                                                                              We say 'sanatate' which means '(to your) health', but also '(hai) noroc' (good luck). In Romanian, too, these apply to sneezing.

                                                                                            2. Here's another toast/ sneez saying:
                                                                                              In German "Zum Wohl" (roughly translated into "to your health")is used for toasting as well as when someone sneezed....

                                                                                              1. A question for the German toasters... Is "Zupa" appropriate? I remember a song with the words, "Ein, zwei, Zupa." After singing that, everyone takes a drink.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                  It's a drinking song of Bavarian origin (In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus -- "oans, zwoa, g'suffa" ("The royal brewery is in Munich -- one, two, let's drink"). Bavarians have an odd way of pronouncing our numbers, which are, as you noted "eins & zwei". Regional dialect....and g'suffa is really 'gesoffen'. Prost.

                                                                                                2. Scottish - "here's looking up your kilts!"

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: drobbia

                                                                                                    As a kilt wearing Scot I have had my fair share of people a) enquiring and b) investigating what is (or isn't) up my kilt. Can't say I've heard this as a toast though! Although the English of PG Wodehouse's era would have said "Bottoms' up" and while I suspect it was a reference to the bottom of the glass, it may well be linked to your suggestion!

                                                                                                    1. re: bolivianita

                                                                                                      Thanks, do you remember in Aymara of Guaranee?

                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        In Aymara you can say:
                                                                                                        umtasiñani (let's drink)

                                                                                                        I have no idea how to say this in Guaraní.

                                                                                                        In Quechua, you can say "upyaykurikuy", but that is an order to one person. If you want to say "let's drink", you can say:
                                                                                                        upyasunchis

                                                                                                        If you want to give an order to a group of people to drink, I suggest:
                                                                                                        upyarikuychis
                                                                                                        This literally means drink (upya) + invitation (ri) + reflexive (ku) + order (y) + plural (chis)

                                                                                                        If you want to add the "yku" suffix to intensify the pleasure of drinking:
                                                                                                        upyaykurikuychis

                                                                                                    2. In Lithuanian: "Sveikata" (to your health)

                                                                                                      1. Interesting that several of the toasts mentioned above are also the words to describe a sneeze. Funny story about this that was a regular occurance between my Lithuanian mom and Hungarian dad:

                                                                                                        In Lithuanian: thank you is prounounded "aachoo."

                                                                                                        In Hungarian a sneeze sound is pronounced "hopsi."

                                                                                                        In American a sneeze sound is pronounced "aahchoo"

                                                                                                        Whenever my Hungarian father tried to remember how to say "thank you" to his Lithunaian inlaws, he thought of the "sneeze" sounds, but obviously confused.....

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: MalibuAly

                                                                                                          They generally mean "good health".

                                                                                                        2. This thread was written up as a feature on slashfood.com

                                                                                                          http://www.slashfood.com/2006/10/31/c...

                                                                                                          1. Russian, like Polish and Ukrainian as a few posters already noted, applies the same phrase to sneezers and toasters alike.

                                                                                                            Russian- Naszdarovya!

                                                                                                            - Lea
                                                                                                            http://canada-eats.com

                                                                                                            1. My friends in Guatemala say:

                                                                                                              Salud y pesetas y el tiempo para gustarlos.

                                                                                                              Actually, one person will say "Salud y pesetas" and someone else invariably finishes the phrase.

                                                                                                              1. Alas, nobody actually says "na zdarovje" when drinking in Russia. They do say "za zdarovje," however. Actually, "za" plus anything works well. Russians usually do a series of toasts, the first of which is usually in honor of the occasion or a special person. The second might be to friendship ("za druzhbu"), peace ("za mir") or perhaps someone else in the room.

                                                                                                                But my favorite is the traditional third toast to love ("za l'ubof"), when everyone refrains from clinking glasses and there is a solemn, sentimental silence that only a true, tortured Russian soul can really pull off without giggling.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: lemonfaire

                                                                                                                  I was about to post the same response, but you've got it covered!

                                                                                                                  "Na zdarovje" is for food only, and it never fails to out foreigners immediately :). "(Za) vashe zdarovje" or "za vas" and the series- friendship, peace, life, love, happiness- you describe is more appropriate for drinking. In 1995, the NYT printed an interesting guide on Russian toasts: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

                                                                                                                  In Czech, however, we do say "na zdraví" (for toasts and sneezes).

                                                                                                                  1. Welsh for 'cheers' sounds like "Yacky dah". I don't know how it is spelled. Has writing reached Wales yet?

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: williamfisher

                                                                                                                      I mostly use the Welsh toast as I love the way it sounds - spelled lechyd da.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Linda VH

                                                                                                                        It means "good health" also, like most toasts. Not just "cheers."

                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                          In fact, the Chinese word gānbēi (干杯) literally means "dry cup", or less literally, "empty cup". No reference to health or happiness here...

                                                                                                                    2. Let me add some information for the Korean toast .. it is in fact 건배(乾杯) geonbae, which is a toast to one's health. In Russian, we said "to your health," Na Zdarovye!" It's interesting to see the similarities in languages. Cheers!

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                                                                                                                      1. re: shaxmatist

                                                                                                                        In Hungarian - "Bort, buzat, bekesseget, szép asszony feleskget" - (i think I have that right, if not, my apologies). "Wine, wheat, peace and a beautiful woman for a wife".

                                                                                                                      2. in thailand they say chok dee which means good luck.. we would always reply "flava flav"... they didnt get it, but we sure amused the hell outta ourselves

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                                                                                                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                            chuck d and flava flav = public enemy

                                                                                                                            1. My high-school boyfriend and his buddies you to say: "giddy up, get it in yer", which has stuck with me. And I know I've heard other Aussie's say it too; but it could be a localized colloquial as we're all from the same area and generation.

                                                                                                                                1. In Canada there was a push to use "Chimo" a traditional phrase from the one of the Inuit languages of the Arctic native people.

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                                                                                                                                  1. re: mexivilla

                                                                                                                                    Pronounced how? Is the ch pronounced as ch in chin or as k and is the i pronounced as long e or as short i?

                                                                                                                                  2. Skål! or, for shots, "Helan gå!"
                                                                                                                                    Heja blåvit! (ok, that's just what we Göteborskans say when we cheer on the hockey team- but we're definitely drunk/drinking while singing it).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                        Yes, Mexicans love to insult you pinche cabrones! I once heard this little ditty in Mexico when drinking:
                                                                                                                                        Por arriba --through up (raise the glass up)
                                                                                                                                        Por abajo -- through down (move the glass down)
                                                                                                                                        Al centro -- to the center (move the glass toward the center of the table)
                                                                                                                                        Al dentro -- to the inside (take a gulp)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: amosbatto

                                                                                                                                          That's "Arriba, abajo, al centro, adentro" or "pa' 'rriba, pa' 'bajo, pa' centro, pa' 'dentro."

                                                                                                                                          1. re: YjoanDarcY

                                                                                                                                            So how do you pronounce the 7 in that? :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                The 7 is an aspirated H, like the "ch" in the Scottish word "loch".

                                                                                                                                        1. You say "Noroc" in Romanian and "Gomer Juice" (phonetically spelled) in Georgian at a supra.

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                                                                                                                                          1. I've been wondering -- is there a distinction between Salute and Cin cin? Do you say one, or both?

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                              "Salute" (To health) or "Cin cin" or "Cent'anni" (A hundred years [of good health / luck]) (Italy)

                                                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toast_(h...)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: RicRios

                                                                                                                                                "Posts separated by almost two years. Jeez! This sounds like a talmudic dialogue.
                                                                                                                                                (Perhaps I should've waited 'till after 2010 to post this one? )." - Ric Rios, 5 oct 2008

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                  Now looking forward, Sam, to a post by Rav Huna bar Yehuda, in the name of Rav Sheishess, explaining the variations of "L'chaim" in 290 CE Babylonian aramaic.
                                                                                                                                                  Hey, time works both ways, ya'know.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: RicRios

                                                                                                                                                  An interesting link. But it's a little unclear -- is "cin cin" a form of "cent'anni" or is the toast "Cin cin cent'anni"?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                    Neither. The wiki article got them mixed up.
                                                                                                                                                    Salute & cent'anni are Italian, and stand alone.
                                                                                                                                                    "Cin Cin" adopted from "Chin Chin" (The sound made by the cups) (Argentina, United Kingdom, France and Portugal) < from same wiki article >.

                                                                                                                                              2. In serbian it would be written "ziveli" ( means let's live ) and i can't really explain how it would be pronounced haha

                                                                                                                                                1. " Zum Wohl " is what my uncle in Bavaria says. A retired Paratrooper (fallschirmjäger) from altenstadt Bavaria.

                                                                                                                                                  1. From my Finnish spouse: Kippis!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                        Bill,
                                                                                                                                                        Google Translate is to translations what Two Buck Chuck is to wine. Even worst.

                                                                                                                                                      2. A post from 2007 for the Greek translation is wrong. The post reads, "ya'sou! (greek)"

                                                                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                                                                        1. in Sinhalese ( Sri Lankan)

                                                                                                                                                          Jaya (Sanskrit जय) - meaning winning or victory
                                                                                                                                                          Ohng Ehenam - meaning 'well, here we go' / ' ok, shall we?' ( old rural people use mostly when drinking coconut toddy or kassippu ( Sri Lankan moonshine ). coconut toddy has much of a sweet taste while kassippu has a very strong taste like american moonshine. they drink it straight up ( neat) then eat either a red chili pepper, an onion slice , a garlic clove or a piece of dried fish. )