When hoisting a mug of brew at Oktoberfest in Germany, the word you'll be searching for is, "prost!"
One of the words we always recommend travelers learn before arriving in a new country is how to say cheers. It's a small gesture that the locals will appreciate, and it shows politeness and a willingness to understand the culture. Plus, drinking with the locals is one of the best aspects of travel, so you'll want to know what to say in case you're lucky enough to be invited to join in with a couple of drinking sessions.
If you're in a country with a particularly difficult toast to pronounce and have to resort to saying, "cheers!" don't worry about offending. It's a universal term that is understood the world over, so if in doubt, go for that. After hearing the locals toast several times in a country, you should be able to pick it up and pronounce it correctly for the duration of your trip!
If you're keen to know exactly what to say when drinking in a new country, check out these drinking toasts in other languages:
- Afghanistan: ښه صحت ولری (kah-seh-hat-well-ah-ree)
- Albanian: Gëzuar (gehz-oo-ah)
- Arabic: بصحتك (be-suh ha-ti-ka)
- Armenian: Առողջութիւն: (arh-ogh-choo-tchoon)
- Aruban: Salud: (sah-lood)
- Bangladesh: জয় (joe)
- Belgian: Sante (sahn-tay)
- Bosnian: Živjeli (nahz-drahv-lyeh)
- Brazilian: Viva (vee-vah)
- Burmese: Aung myin par say (ong-miyne par-say)
- Cambodian: ជល់មួយ (jul-moo-ee)
- Catalan: Salut (sah-loot)
- Chinese (Mandarin): 干杯 (gān bēi)
- Croatian: Živjeli (zee-vuh-lee)
- Czech: Na zdravi (nahz drah-vee)
- Danish: Skål (school)
- Dutch: Proost (prohst)
- Finnish: Kippis (key-peese)
- French: Sante (sohn-tay)
- Gaelic: Sláinte (sow-day)
- Georgian: გაგიმარჯოს (gah-gee-mar-choss)
- Greece: Yamas (yah-mas)
- Hawaiian: Huli pau! (hoo-lee pow)
- Hebrew: לחיים (l’chaim)
- Hungarian: Egészségedre (egg-esh ay-ged-ray)
- Icelandic: Skál (school)
- Italian: Salute (sah-loot)
- Japanese: Kanpie (kan-pie)
- Korean: 건배 (guhn-bay)
- Latvian: Priekā (pree-ah-kah)
- Lithuanian: I sveikatą (ee sweh-kata)
- Maltese: Saħħa (Sah-hah)
- Norweigan: Skål (school)
- Mongolian: Эрүүл мэндийн төлөө (eh-rool meen-teen too-soh)
- Polish: Na zdrowie (naz-dro-vee-ay)
- Portuguese: Saúde (saw-ooh-day)
- Romanian: Noroc (no-rock)
- Russian: Будем здоровы (va-shee zah-da-ro-vye)
- Serbian: živeli (zee-vee-lee)
- Slovakian: Na zdravie (zaz-drah-vee-ay)
- Slovenian: Na zdravje (naz-drah-vee)
- Spanish: Salud (sah-lood)
- Swedish: Skål (school)
- Thai: Chok dee (chock-dee)
- Turkish: Şerefe (sheh-reh-feh)
- Ukrainian: будьмо (bood-mo)
- Vietnamese: Yô (yo)
- Welsh: Echyd da (yek-id dah)
- Yiddish: Sei gesund (say geh-sund)
(Hear how the words are pronounced with Forvo—more on that below.)
More Language Learning Resources
Learning key words is an important component of trouble-free travel abroad, but always one of the highest hurdles: despite seemingly endless resources for travelers, it's exceedingly tough to master a new language, and it's made even trickier if you're going to be visiting several countries and attempting to communicate in all of them.
There are two resources that can tremendously improve your language skills while traveling.
The first of these is the Google Translate app for phones. It has a real-time translation feature using the camera of your phone, which is fantastic for understanding menus and signs as you travel. Simply open the app, tap on the camera icon, and then hold your phone so the text is being shown on the screen. Within seconds, Google Translate will change the language to your selected one and tell you what every single word means.
The second app is Forvo, which is a website that pronounces practically every foreign word you'll come up against. Before I arrive in a country, I'll look up the most important words I'll need (hello, thank you, please, goodbye, sorry, and—of course—cheers) on the site and practice my pronunciation.
It's one of the easiest ways to ensure I'll be understood by the locals.