Do you want to learn how to say cheers in Spanish-speaking countries? If you plan to travel, some of the most basic terms you should know are those you would use at a celebration with friends. After all, a toast is a social activity carried out in many countries representing honor, friendship, and good things to come.
During your trip, you will enjoy gatherings with family or friends to celebrate Christmas, the New Year, or birthdays, where people usually toast. Undoubtedly, during your experience with native Spanish speakers, you will begin to pick up several new phrases for your vocabulary, including the typical terms for making toasts used in different Spanish-speaking countries. But it will always be better if you arrive in the country with little initial knowledge.
Do you want to learn the most common ones across Hispanic countries? Keep on reading this guide from Ling!
First things first! Let’s learn about the Spanish word to say “cheers” and its meaning and origins.
How To Say Cheers In Spanish?
Translation: “Health”/”To your health.”
The Spanish word for “cheers” is “¡salud!”, pronounced sa·lood. The literal translation of this word is “health.” People use this term during toasts as they are honoring someone while wishing them health and overall wellbeing. It can also be used for a situation that has brought good things to someone.
The long version of the term is “a tu salud” (to your health).
Example of “salud” when toasting:
“¡Un brindis por la recién graduada! ¡Salud!”
(A toast for the recently graduated! Cheers!)
Fun fact! You may also hear people saying “salud” slightly differently when someone sneezes. In that context, the word is the equivalent of saying “bless you” in English.
You have probably heard this word used in the context of toasting before. But there are so many unique and fun ways to toast while drinking with your Spanish-speaking friends. Let’s learn the most common cheers in Spanish.
2 Most Common Phrases To Toast In Hispanic Countries (For All Celebrations)
The following words and phrases are commonly used across all Spanish-speaking countries, and therefore everyone will understand the meaning.
1. “¡Por… (Alguien/Algo)!”
This phrase is ideal when you are at gatherings or celebrations, and the special occasion deserves a toast. For example, perhaps your friend just graduated from university or is getting married. In that case, you would stand up, hold your cup high, and then make a toast to them. Similar to how people toast to honor someone in other countries.
To get people’s attention at that moment, you can say, “Quiero hacer un brindis, por favor” (I want to make a toast, please). Then you may continue, “por mi amiga, quien se acaba de graduar” (to my friend who just graduated).
After that, everyone will say the name of the person you just honored followed by “¡Salud!” and then clink their glasses.
You can also use it when you want to toast to something, such as a new job, a trip, or a significant achievement in your life.
This phrase is one of the most common and often used in celebrations in Spanish-speaking countries.
¡Por los novios (To the newly-wed)
¡Por mi nuevo trabajo soñado! (To my new long-dreamed job)
2. Arriba, Abajo, Al Centro, Y Adentro!
Translation: “Up, down, center, and in.”
Variation: “Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro”.
Most Spanish-speaking countries use this phrase at parties and celebrations. So, you will most likely find different ways of saying the same phrase in each country. For instance, in this case, the variation has the same meaning as the original, but it adds pa’ which is the shortened form of “para” (to).
So what is the meaning? Younger generations commonly use this way of saying cheers in Spanish to animate the celebration and continue drinking, aiming to make others drink shots. It can instantly hype people up!
The fun part of it is that you don’t only have to say the words; you have to mimic what you say. How? See the example below:
“Arriba”(up). Everyone has to raise their glasses high.
“Abajo!”(down). They lower their glasses.
“Al centro!”(to the center). Put your glasses to the center, directing the rest of your friends, who are doing the same, so all glasses are close together. It is the toasting action, but without touching each other’s drinks.
“¡Y adentro!”(in). Everyone finally gets to drink their one shot.
Try to build up all your energy for that “adentro” so that you can drink the whole glass!
Other Funny Toasts In Spanish!
These are traditional phrases that people use in celebrations. Even though some of these phrases are outdated and not commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries, they are still fun to learn about! However, remember that in some cases, the literal translations won’t do justice to what they want to convey since many of these phases are rhymes. Let’s see their translations.
- “Estiro el brazo, doblo el codo, y me lo tomo todo!”. (I stretch my arm, bend my elbow, and I drink it all!) A term that is also used to drink a shot.
- No creerse que brindar es cosa sencilla, pero como tengo buena compañía y una buena silla, beberemos y disfrutaremos por un día. ¡Salud! (Not believing that toasting is a simple thing, but since I have good company and a good chair, we will drink and enjoy ourselves for a day. Cheers!)
Drinking And Toast Etiquette
Now that you know some useful phrases to say cheers in Spanish, you also need to know the most essential and basic etiquette. It is probably the same as in your country!
- Eye contact when toasting. When toasting, always look at the eyes of the person you are clinking your glass with. Don’t avoid eye contact, or you will have bad luck!
- Empty glass? Pour some more alcohol, or don’t toast at all! Clinking glasses while they are empty can also bring you bad luck.
- Wait until everyone says ¡salud! Drink after the person finishes saying the reason for toasting. Will it also bring bad luck? No! In this case, it is more about having good manners.
You are ready to say cheers in Spanish-speaking countries! Now you can toast as locals do! Having these phrases in your vocabulary will help you feel closer to the country’s culture that you are visiting and enjoy their drinking traditions even more. ¡Buen viaje! (Good trip!)
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