One Translation That ALL Backpackers Must Learn..

As a backpacker you travel to gain new cultural experiences, new insights into the world, and to embrace the wonders of nature and mankind with all five senses. But most of all, you travel for the people: the people who make you laugh; the people who make you question life; the people that divulge hidden treasures of the road; and the people that make you realise we really are just one global family. And whether it be that sand-surfing Peruvian Mayor you met in Arequipa; that Qatari stoner you found on Australia’s Gold Coast; or that broke movie extra you befriended in Toronto, there’s nowhere better to bump into this myriad of characters than in the local drinking establishments littering our little planet.

But being able to chink glasses with your new companions will only be truly complete when accompanied by the correct phrase for that time and place. ‘Cheers’ may cut it for a while but we can do better than that guys! So whether it be in the native tongue of the people surrounding you, or the language of the soil you are currently standing on, this short guide should give you most of the translations necessary to raise a cold one to new acquaintances. A toast to the road!

North America 

French – Santé (Sahn-tay)

English – Cheers, Get it down you, chug, bottoms up.

South America

Spanish – Salud (Sah-lud)

Portuguese – Saúde (Saw-OO-de)


Bulgarian – Наздраве (Naz-dra-vey)

Croatian – Živjeli (Zhee-ve-lee)

Czech – Na zdravi (Naz-drah vi)

Danish – Skål (Skoal)

Dutch – Proost (Prohst)

Estonian – Terviseks (Ter-vih-sex)

Finnish – Kippis (Kip-piss)

German – Prost (Prohst)

Greek – ΥΓΕΙΑ (Yamas)

Icelanic – Skál (Sk-owl)

Italian – Salute (Saw-lutay)

Latvian – Priekā (Pree-eh-ka)

Norwegian – Skål (Skawl)

Polish – Na zdrowie (Naz-droh-vee-ay)

Sweden – Skål (Skawl)

Turkish – Şerefe (Sher-i-feh)


Japanese – 乾杯 (Kan-pie)

Mandarin Chinese – 干杯 (Gan bay)

Russian – Будем здоровы (Budem zdorovi)

Thai – Chok dee (Chok dee)

Vietnamese – Dô (Jou)

So there you go. I hope this mini-arsenal of sayings will come in handy at least once in a while, and from experience I find people are genuinely touched when you try adopt some of their cultural habits. But if you do happen to meet some local on your next adventure who tells you a more traditional or colloquial way of making a toast then please drop me a line in the comments section below.




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