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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Cheers! How to Propose a Toast Around the World

A fun way to learn about the people in the destinations you travel to around the world is to drop into a friendly local bar off the beaten tourist track and enjoy a sip of something the region is famous for. Let's call it: drinking regionally. To help you make friends, we've rounded up how to say "Cheers!" around the world.

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Cheers!-How-to-Toast-Around-the-WorldTatiana Ayazo/


Who doesn’t dream of living the good life in France? The food alone is well worth the trip since the French basically invented fine cuisine. They also invented a little bubbly liquid called Champagne! Just before your first sip, look at your friend in the eye and simply say their version of “cheers!”: à votre santé! Find out the French phrases every citizen of the world should know.

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Is it just us, or is the Italian bubbly treat called prosecco sweeping the nation by storm? It’s lovely anytime: brunch, to celebrate something, or just to slowly sip while catching up with a dear friend. It originated in Italy’s Veneto region but is now available all over the world and is usually much less expensive than its French counterpart. When in Italy, the most common toast is “salute” or “cin cin” (pronounced Chin Chin), which has its origins in China. However, do not use this as a toast in Japan. Apparently is a naughty term that could get you kicked out of a bar or possibly the entire country. If you find yourself in the land of the rising sun, stick with “kampai,” which means, “cheers!” Check out these other Italian phrases you need to know.

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The pristine, beautiful and always neutral country of Switzerland offers some very drinkable wines. Who knew? Here, you can go four ways with a toast since the country is multi-lingual. In German-speaking areas it’s, “Prost!” or “Zum Wohl!” In French-speaking areas say: “Sante!” And in Italian-speaking sectors, go with, “Salute!” Finally, in Rumantsch (which they speak in the Engadin) it’s simply, “Viva!”

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Nestled between France and Switzerland is the snazzy principality of Monaco, where the Champagne (and just about anything else you can think of) is always flowing. The most common toasts in Monaco, former home to Grace Kelly, are “Santé” (French) or “Salute” (Italian).

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If you haven’t been to Ireland—what are you waiting for? It’s the friendliest place (and one of the funniest) on the planet and the pubs are legendary, where locals and visitors gather to hoist a pint of Guinness or perhaps a wee sip of their famed whisky. The Irish language can be a bit tricky for visitors to grasp but, again, practice makes perfect. Simply say, “Itsw Slainte,” pronounced Slawn (to rhyme with pawn) cha (as in cha cha cha). Bottoms up!

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When traveling through Germany, it would simply be silly not to have at least one little sip of their famed beer—or maybe an entire stein (or two) full of the brew. The two most popular toasts are: Prost! and Zum Wohl! Wearing lederhosen to bars is optional…Here’s what to say after a sneeze around the world.

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No international destination is easier for people in the U.S. to visit than Canada. There’s so much to do (and drink) in this sprawling country, that it’s difficult to know where to begin. One great option is the maritime province of Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Ocean, where the most popular toast is simply, “Sociable!” Imagine a large group of Mounties in their snazzy crimson outfits lined up at a bar collectively saying: Sociable!

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If Central and Eastern Europe are on your bucket list, then be sure to head on over to Poland and its gorgeous capital, Warsaw, and the beautiful city of Krakow. According to our local tourism expert there, beer is the most popular drink, followed by mixed drinks and wine. The universal toast in Poland is “na zdrowie,” pronounced Naz-dro-vyeh. It means to your health!

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Great Britain

And last, but certainly not the least of fun places to sip local libations is Great Britain. While it is probably possible to order a mai tai somewhere in Scotland, it would be just plain crazy not to have at least one sip of their famed whisky. A classic Gaelic toast, which is still spoken is Scotland is, “Slainte Mhath,” which means, “good health.” Down in Wales, which offers countless local places to enjoy a pint or two, they say, “iechyd da,” which means good health in Welsh.