How to say cheers in different languages

Everyone knows that a great way to make friends with people is to drink with them. And an important part of learning a new language is how to say cheers in that language.

And I find this especially useful as someone who travels around a lot and likes to meet and hang out with international people.

Now if you’re meeting people and wanting to learn their language a great way to do this is to learn how to say cheers in their language. It’s always easy to bond over a drink!

So here are 11 ways to say cheers in different languages.


Cheers: Salud

Traditional Spanish drinks: Of course, we have the famous Sangria, which is normally made with red wine, fruits and orange juice. But I have two other favourites that I feel need a mention and those are Agua de Valencia and Tinto de Verano. Agua de Valencia is my personal favourite and can be found in Valencia but it is a lethal concoction consisting of orange juice, gin, vodka and cava or champagne. The orange juice is so sweet you don’t realise that you’re drinking two spirits and fizzy wine. Agua de Valencia is definitely made for a good but potentially dangerous night. Tinto de verano is similar to Sangria but uses also some carbonated drink: normally Sprite.


Cheers: Santé

Traditional French drinks: Not only are the French are famous for their amazing wine, which you have to drink while you’re in French, they are also the makers of Absinthe. Although, I’m not personally a fan, it is a fun spirit to try but I probably wouldn’t recommend drinking it all that often. The French are also responsible for some classic cocktails such as the Sidecar and the Libertine.


Cheers: Prost

Traditional German drinks: I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of Oktoberfest and therefore knows that Germany is famous for its beers, including Pilsener and Export. If you are lucky enough to get the chance to go and celebrate Oktoberfest in Germany, then make sure to order your beer in a stein. Another very famous German drink is Jägermeister.


Cheers: Salute or cin cin

Traditional Italian drinks: As well as its collection of delicious wines, Italy are also the creators of some pretty awesome cocktails, like the Bellini and the Martini. If you go to Italy make sure you try Campari, it’s an alcoholic liqueur used in lots of cocktails and it it really tasty. Drinking wine with meals is also incredibly common in Italy, it’s quite a big part of their culture and one of the reason I love that country so much; amazing food, wine with dinner, and they take it nice and slow.


Cheers: Saúde

Traditional Portuguese drinks: In Portugal, just like in other European countries, it’s not uncommon to enjoy a beer or a glass of wine, especially during dinner. Brazil is known for Cachaça, which is a distilled spirit from sugarcanes and Licor Beirão is a famous liqueur from Portugal, which is used in the cocktails Caipirão and Morangão.


Cheers: За здоровье! [za zda-ró-vye]

Traditional Russian drinks: The most popular drink from Russia is of course Vodka, but although the most famous, that is not the only drink that the country produces. Medovuha is a honey based alcoholic drink, that dates back to the 14th century and is known for being sweet.


Cheers: 干杯 (gānbēi) 

Ganbei may be the Chinese version of cheers, but it is usually said before you down your drink, rather than just taking a sip.

Traditional Chinese drinks: The traditional Chinese drink might be my least favourite but it’s something you just have to try. In China, there’s a drink called 白酒baijiu and it’s lethal. It’s basically a clear spirit and it’s very strong. Couple that with the custom of downing your drink after saying ganbei and you’re in for a heavy night. China also has famous beers, for example Tsingtao.


Cheers: 乾杯 Kanpai 

Just like the Chinese version of cheers, Kanpai is often met with finishing your drink.

Traditional Japanese drinks: I’m sure everyone has heard of the rice wine sake, even if you haven’t tried it yet. Japan is also gaining notoriety for its whiskey production, and is even beginning a strong competitor against famous Scottish brands. Other cool Japanese drinks you can try include yuzushu, awamori, atsukan and umeshu.


Cheers: ΥΓΕΙΑ, Yamas

Traditional Greek drinks: Ouzo is probably considered the most famous Greek drink. It is an anise-flavored aperitif and very popular in both Greece and in Cyprus. Ouzo isn’t really used in that many cocktails and is more often drank alone, although it does feature in the Cyprus cocktail the Ouzini.


Cheers: Proost

Traditional Dutch drinks: In the Netherlands, it is very common to drink beer. Some famous Dutch beers include Amstel, Grolsch and Heineken. The local spirit of the Netherlands is a type of gin called Jenever. This is juniper flavoured and traditionally served on ice.


Cheers: Na Zdrowie

Traditional Polish drinks: Traditional Polish drinks are quite similar to Russian drinks, in that vodka plays a big party in their drinking culture, a famous example of this being Żubrówka. And just like other countries, the Polish are also a big fan of beer.

Final thoughts

So there you go, now you can drink your ways to meeting international friends and make sure you learn their words for Cheers! And make sure you try some of the drinks from each country. Remember when we learn a new language, taking part in their culture is an important aspect of that and drinking their local beverages is a fun way to do that.

When you go to these different countries, it’s important to remember that they all have a different drinking culture and it might be useful to get on board with that way of drinking while you’re there.

I’m sure you’re all aware of the ‘brits abroad’ stereotype, where English people go on holiday to places like Spain and get ridiculously drunk then jump off their balconies. Well, if you want to learn the words for cheers in different languages to integrate more into the culture, then it might also be useful looking at how the locals drink and giving that a go.


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