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Drinking Toasts in Other Languages



Dancing at Oktoberfest in Germany

Dancing at Oktoberfest in Germany

© Rainer Kiedrowski, courtesy German Tourism Board
When hoisting a mug of brew at Oktoberfest in Germany or worldwide, the word you'll be searching for is probably "Prost!" Drinking toasts in other languages are certainly a simple way to practice actually speaking a word or two of another language -- hey, whatever works! Learning a new language is extremely challenging, yet knowing the lingo is so key to trouble-free travel that anything helping you get the words out is a good thing.

Before we get to all the drinking toasts in other languages (or all of them that we know, anyway), get some background on the real German deal: About's Guide to German has tried to trace the etymology of the word "toast" in this context and supplies a few traditional German toasts besides, should you care to be super prepared for Oktoberfest. Check it out:

No matter where in the world you are, a cheerful "Cheers" will be understood when accompanied by a raised glass and a smile -- some things transcend language barriers. While doing the sort of in-depth research required of an intrepid traveler, you may have been taught a few toasts in other languages -- if you've got one (or care to correct our own recollections of how to say "Cheers!"), please share it!

Drinking toasts in other languages:
  • Spanish: Salud
  • Dutch: Proost
  • French: Sante
  • Italian: Salute
  • Gaelic: Sláinte
  • Bosnian: Živjeli
  • Chinese (Mandarin): 干杯 (gān bēi)
  • Czech: Na zdravi
  • Danish: Skål
  • Finnish: Kippis
  • Hebrew: לחיים (l’chaim)
  • Hungarian: Egészségedre
  • Icelandic: Skál
  • Polish: Na zdrowie
  • Portuguese: Saúde
  • Romanian: Noroc
  • Swedish: Skål
  • Thai: Chok dee
  • Yiddish: Sei gesund

(Hear how the words are pronounced with Forvo -- more on that below.)

More Language Learning Resources

Learning key words, is a key component of troublefree travel abroad, but always one of the highest hurdles for us: despite seemingly endless academic endeavor, we never master any foreign language and, in fact, tend to mixmaster the few of which we do know bits.

Hearing words spoken, and in different accents, can make all the difference in getting understood by getting it right on foreign soil (because that's when your tongue tends to tie and you start in with the loud and slow thing). Try Forvo, a cool online deal that lets you hear words pronounced:

More language and travel resources:

BONUS: Reader Feedback -- What's Your Favorite Language Tool?

And about drinking in general -- yep, it's a whole different world outside the US of A (even in US territory Puerto Rico!). Most drinking ages worldwide are at maximum 18, if not less, which makes sense, since folks are generally considered adults the world over at 18. And provided you act like a grown up, you can probably be served a cerveza with that enchilada anywhere, regardless of your age, and certainly a glass of vin with your boeuf bourguignon. Learn more about the drinking age in the country/countries you'll be visiting:

Related Reading : Language and Travel | Yo Suis Perdu | Student Travel Guide to Munich Travel

Photo © Rainer Kiedrowski, courtesy German Tourism Board

Return to: Best Travel Phrasebooks | Language and Travel | Study Abroad | Student Travel 101

"Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages." -- Dave Barry

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