How To Say “Cheers” In Different Languages



How To Say “Cheers” In Different Languages


With the prospect of countries now possibly opening up for travel for overseas visitors, you may be thinking of your first trip away for some time. Depending on where your travels take you, you may have the chance to sip a glass of wine or beer with the locals.

Or, here in Thailand, we may be welcoming back visitors from many other countries, all being well. You could soon be making new friends over a glass of something refreshing, hopefully in The Londoner!

Either way, you’ll probably want a toast handy in the language of your companions. Raise a glass and learn how to say “Cheers!” in these different languages:



Chok Dee Krap (If you are male)
Chok Dee Ka (If you are female)

It is a wonderful way to wish anyone the best of luck. It is also used in social situations when sharing beverages together. Like when people in Western countries say “cheers”, Thais say “chok dee“.  Another common way to say cheers is “chon gâew”. “Chon” means to crash or collide and “gâew” means glasses. So literally to collide the glasses together. “Chaiyo!“ is the Thai equivalent to the English “hip hip hooray!”, which you can often hear at birthday toasts and other celebrations.


Unlike in English, French has formal and informal verb forms. “À votre santé I” is the formal version, best used with new travel buddies or a host family. If you are with closer companions, you can opt for the more informal version,” À ta santé! ” Translates to “To your health!”


Salud”. Similar to the French toast, this Spanish “Cheers” wishes “good health to everyone!”. A longer toast is commonly used in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries: “Pa’ arriba, pa’ abajo, pa’ centro, pa’ dentro”. “Put your glass up, put your glass down, glasses to the center, now drink!”

By the way, take care. Superstition in Spain has it that toasting with only water will lead to seven years of bad luck in the bedroom!

Scottish and Irish Gaelic

If you find yourself in a “houff” (a pub in Scotland), or in a “teach tábhairne “(a pub in Ireland), or even just with our General Manager Alex, “slàinte” (“Health!”) is the proper toast to make. Pronounced a bit like “slawn-che”. Just know it’s customary to buy a round for everyone in the group. Once the glasses are empty, the next toast-er may (or may not!) return the favor.


While Italians have many ways to toast a glass of local wine, “Salute” or “Cin cin”, pronounced “Saw-lutay” or “Chin chin” is usual. “Cin cin” is the more common and, little known fact, the phrase comes from China: “qingqing”, or “please please,” said before meals.


The toast travelers will hear when nursing glasses of “baiju” (a type of spirit) or beer in China is “ganbei” or “dry cup”. Custom dictates that you down your drink in one gulp to show appreciation. Another tip to know before drinking with Chinese: to show extra respect, hold your left hand under your glass and make sure to keep your glass lower than the most senior person’s.


The easiest way to say “Cheers” in Japanese is with an enthusiastic “Kanpai!” (sounds like “gahn-pie”). Say it while gently touching your glasses (or sake cups) together before taking your first sip.


Prost!” = “Cheers”. If there is one German phrase you can learn, let it be this one! “Prost!” is a toast that works for any social drinking occasion, and is easy enough for everyone to pronounce.


Skol!” (written “skål“) is the Danish/Norwegian/Swedish word for “cheers,” or “good health,” a salute or a toast. In Scandinavia wooden bowls were filled with beer and passed from person to person at community gatherings like weddings. “Skål” means a bowl, so from that tradition of passing the bowl, the term “Skål” is now also a toast — ”Cheers!”

Click here to see a fuller list of ways to toast in different languages.

One last tidbit for you: Why “toast”? The term “to toast”, as in drinking to one’s health, comes from the literal practice of dropping a piece of toast in your drink. In the 16th century, it was common practice to add a piece of spiced toast to wine. The bread would help to soak up some of the acidity and improve the flavour of poor wine.

So, wherever you are enjoying a drink, raise your glasses and say “Cheers!” in your chosen language, to help cement friendships and celebrate new ones, or just as an expression of goodwill. And do drink responsibly.



Note: our definition of drinking responsibly is not having anything left in your glass or the bottle!



What You Need To Know About Ordering and Buying Wine in Thailand




These days, there is an abundant choice of wine in Thailand. Driven by a very large and buoyant tourism market (at least up until the last year) and increased awareness and consumption of wines by Thais, Thailand’s wine culture is growing.


Consumption of alcoholic beverages across Thailand is around 3.5 billion litres per year. Around 75 per cent of volume consumed is beer, followed by locally produced white spirits. Imported wines account for around 1.5 per cent of alcohol consumption – but between 10 per cent to 15 per cent value.

In general, Thais prefer strong, bold, punchy and heavier wines. The best-selling varieties are Shiraz and Shiraz blends. Imported wines come from France, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Chile, Spain, South Africa, and other countries.


Before any wines can be imported into Thailand, each individual wine label must be registered with the Excise Department of the Ministry of Finance in Thailand. Once the registration is complete, an import permit will be issued allowing that particular company to import the wine. Only a Thai company can register a wine and apply for an import permit.

New arrivals into Thailand are usually shocked by how much more expensive wine is in Thailand compared with their home country. It is typically sold in supermarkets and wine stores at a local equivalent retail price range of 300 baht (c. US$10) to 600 baht (c. US$20) – and upwards. When ordered in a restaurant these retail prices can be more than doubled.


This is almost entirely due to Thailand’s heavy and complex alcohol excise and tax regime. In addition to import tariffs, imported wines are subject to a whole range of other duties, fees and taxes:

  • Alcohol Excise tax: the rate is 1,500 baht per litre of alcoholic content for a wine bottle not exceeding 1,000 baht (retail). Wine priced higher than 1,000 baht (at retail) will be taxed at 10 per cent of its price plus 1,500 baht per litre of alcoholic content.
  • Surcharge / Special duty (US$ 10 per import lot)
  • Customs Fee US$ 50
  • Municipal / interior tax: 10 per cent
  • Health support project: 2 per cent, based on CIF/FOB value
  • Public broadcasting subsidy: 2 per cent
  • Elderly foundation tax: 1.5 per cent
  • Value added tax (VAT): 7 per cent, based on retail price.

This regime results in most imported wines being very heavily taxed. Australian, New Zealand and Chilean wines can often be cheaper because of free trade agreements which have allowed lower import taxes and tariffs on imports from these countries.

In addition, it is not always clear exactly what wine you are paying for. Even local residents find the wine labelling system confusing.

Bottles of genuine 100% grape wine feature a blue excise stamp on the cap.


Locally blended wines have an orange stamp.


Local blends are made from about half real wine and the other half fruit wine in order to reduce tax from, say, 60 % to 25 %. On the front label nothing is written in English to inform you about this. Only the word Fruit Wine on the label on the back of the bottle, written in small font-size. Legally the label must state the fruit with which the wine is blended, and this is usually written in Thai to conform to the law.

So, after you learn about this you will look carefully for the blue or orange stamp on the cap. If you want 100 % imported grape wine you will choose those bottles with blue stamps. If you want to restrict your budget, and it is acceptable to you that you will drink half grape wine, then you will pay around 300 Baht for an orange stamp.

For example, in the photo below, the label says that it is Cabernet Sauvignon from California. But the orange stamp tells us that it is a blend of this wine and other fruit. So on the back the label says that it is Red Fruit Wine.


However! Take a look at the photo below showing two bottles of blue-stamped wines. The one on the left is Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay. But what is the one on the right? A closer inspection reveals that it is some white wine from Australia with no mention of grape variety, although vintage 2012 is stated. From the back label we can see that this wine was blended with fruit wine made from passion fruit. It was imported from Vietnam.


So, when ordering or buying wine in Thailand, do take care to check exactly what it is you are paying for. If you cannot read Thai, ask a Thai person to explain that important back label for you.

Here at The Londoner, we have an excellent selection of top-class imported wines. If you are not sure what to choose, our knowledgeable manager can help you to decide.

You can even bring your own wine in to enjoy with your meal. We charge a very reasonable 500 baht corkage fee.