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How to Say ‘Cheers!’ Around Europe


How to Say 'Cheers!'
I travel a lot, and people always ask me how I can get through all of these place, when I only speak English. Nearly every country in Europe has it’s own language!

I always tell them that in or before each country, I try to learn the basic phases to get me by. Yes, you can go virtually anywhere on just English, but how fun is that?

Below I have compiled the basics of what I’ve learned. I think the word “toilet” is nearly universal, so we can skip that one, and get to the really important stuff. Here’s how to say “Cheers!” in some of the European countries I’ve been to. That should get you by and ensure you make good friends.

Austria-    Prosit

Bosnia-    Zivjeli

Bulgaria-    Na zdrave (to your health)

Croatia-    Zivjeli

Czech Rep-    Na zdraví (to your health)

Denmark, Sweden, Norway-    skaal / Skål
Bunden i vejret eller resten i håret (Bottoms up or the rest in your hair.)

Netherlands- (Flemish)- Proost. Proost, Geluk, or Gezondheid (to your health)

Uk- Cheers, cherio, Here’s mud in your eye

Estonian- terviseks (to your health) it’s pronounced tervy-sex. Which gets turned into dirty-sex, if you’re me and think you’re funny.

Finnish. Kippis. Maljanne

France-    A votre sante
(À votre) santé (to your health) À la votre (response “And to yours”)

Ireland, Gaelic-    Sláinte (to your health)

German- Prost

Greece-     Eis Igian

Hungary-    Kedves egeszsegere (to your health)

Italy    – Cin cin (formal) Salute (informal)

Latvian-    Uz veselibu

Macedonian-    Na zdravje! (to your health).  -OK, a lot of East Europe sounds like this..

Poland- Na zdrowie. Vivat
Na zdrowie (to your health) -see what I mean!?

Portuguese-    Saude (to your health)

Romanian-    Noroc (“Good luck”)

Russian. Na zdorovje. Spasibo- thank you

Serbia-    Zivio Ziveli -pronounced ‘zjee-ve-lee’, meaning ‘Let’s live long!’

Ukraine- ‘Budmo!’. This means “shall we live forever”

 

That should do for now, and please, when you’re drinking a Saku in Estonia, say the cheers my way, and then tell me about it! Do you know how to say cheers in another country that I didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments!

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21 Responses to How to Say ‘Cheers!’ Around Europe

  1. Rachel March 3, 2013 at 13:53 #

    As a native British English speaker, ‘I can tell you I’ve never once in my life heard ‘Here’s mud in your eye’, and ‘Cherio’ is ‘Cheerio’ which is a way of saying goodbye which is becoming archaic and falling out of use.

    • Nomads March 6, 2013 at 21:04 #

      So what do you say Rachel? Just Cheers?

      • Rachel July 15, 2013 at 14:44 #

        Just ‘cheers’, or if in Welsh speaking company, ‘Iechyd Da’ which is ‘Good health’ in Welsh. Pronounced, ya(Like yak)- chi (similar to key)- da (as in dark)

    • Patty Shayler April 8, 2013 at 10:48 #

      I live in Somerset England and I hear Cheerio quite a bit :)
      Patty
      http://www.Guatemalazest.weebly.com

  2. Aryn March 4, 2013 at 01:57 #

    “Here’s mud in your eye”, lol how does an expression like that even start??
    Aryn recently posted…Weekly Wonder: Socks in the LouvreMy Profile

  3. Giorgio April 4, 2013 at 10:08 #

    Italy: It’s the other way around. “salute” (means health) is formal, “cin cin” is informal, used mostly in the North.
    You may add: “skål” for Sweden

  4. Jeremy Fischer April 9, 2013 at 07:55 #

    In Finnish you can also say Hurken Gurken, which you would say when you are drinking beer with a group of friends. I probably totally misspelled it though :)
    Jeremy Fischer recently posted…Hitchhiking with a CriminalMy Profile

  5. TwoNomadicBrits May 11, 2013 at 09:05 #

    Cheerio is definitely goodbye :) my husband and I quite often say ‘cheers big ears’ but that’s probably just us!
    ‘Bottoms up’ (as in show the bottom of the glass as you drink) is another expression in the uk which can follow saying cheers – ie cheers, now lets drink!
    Brits also say cin cin (you’re not going to hear that everywhere though)

  6. Kimmy @ AfterGlobe May 27, 2013 at 15:48 #

    Great idea to learn a few words and phrases to the country you’ll be visiting. Lol @ Cheers being one of the most important.
    Kimmy @ AfterGlobe recently posted…Whale Watching in Lahaina Harbor- Photo EssayMy Profile

  7. Adelina June 18, 2013 at 17:31 #

    In Hungarian, it is normally just “egészségedre.” Kedves makes it unnecessarily polite and no one would say that. The same word is used to excuse someone after they’ve sneezed. And if you clink glasses, its important to look people in the eye.
    Adelina recently posted…A Visit to the Richmond Night MarketMy Profile

  8. zof July 6, 2013 at 15:37 #

    Na zdrowie!;-)
    zof recently posted…Berlin Goes ArtsyMy Profile

  9. Emma July 12, 2013 at 04:14 #

    @ Jeremy Fischer – not quite sure what you mean ;) “Hölkyn kölkyn” is something you could say, but I mean Kippis would be mostly used! Sometimes we say Skol also in Finland (comes from Swedish), and there are probably regional things to say that I’m not even aware of! “Maljanne” is way too polite, and I never heard / used it anywhere either- so if you wanna play it safe go with the simple Kippis! :)

    @ Nomads – Cool article! These are some of the most important things to learn if you want to get along with locals…;)

    Cheers & happy weekend to all!

  10. Spotpanda September 2, 2013 at 15:06 #

    In Austria = Prost

  11. Barbara Cacao September 18, 2013 at 06:21 #

    What a super useful list, thanks for sharing!

    As an Austrian, I like the fact you are distinguishing the German and Austrian way of saying ‘cheers’. Strictly spoken, though, Austrians only say ‘Prosit’ on New Year’s Eve (at least in Eastern Austria). For the rest of the year, we do say ‘Prost’ like in Germany.
    Barbara Cacao recently posted…Vienna Art | Controversial Art Every Traveller Should SeeMy Profile

  12. Paola October 14, 2013 at 04:45 #

    It would be better to have a pronounciation guide too! :)

  13. madli November 17, 2013 at 09:26 #

    Heey, I have another one, in Lithuania they say į sveikatą, which is pronounced something like izveikata. Btw, great article, thanks for sharing!
    :)

  14. Yes, it is true November 26, 2013 at 09:30 #

    In Latvia they actually say Prieka more often (meaning – for happiness) then Uz veselibu (for health). Uz veselibu are used only on birthdays when it is said you have to drink for the health of the person who has birthday.

  15. Vicky January 7, 2014 at 04:41 #

    In Turkey it’s “Şerefe,” pronounced “sheh-reh-feh,” or as I remember it, just mumble “shut-yer-face” quickly, dropping the ‘t’ and the ‘ce’ at the end. My Turkish friends can’t tell the difference :)
    Vicky recently posted…Baking badMy Profile

  16. Abdulla January 12, 2014 at 01:05 #

    In Turkish : Şərəfə (Sherefe)

  17. Jessie January 16, 2014 at 18:09 #

    You forgot little Malta!! Saħħa!
    Jessie recently posted…Thakhek, Laos: The Bermuda Triangle of Rock ClimbersMy Profile

  18. Tara February 23, 2014 at 12:00 #

    People of the former Yugoslavia are multilingual – cheers is the same in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia. :-) I think its the same in Montenegro too.

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