How to Say Cheers in Tagalog Language

September 18, 2020

Have you ever heard a Filipino ask “tara, inom tayo?” In this article, we will walk you through the concepts of drinking in the Philippines and how you can express cheers in the Tagalog language. Whether you are learning this word as a way to connect with your Filipino friends or just mainly tired of saying the plain-old “cheers”, you do not have to worry anymore because we got you covered. Prepare to “Filipinize” yourself with our smart list of Tagalog vocabulary for drinking below.

Don’t we all just love drinking? For most of us, this can be a passage rite by which people can form strong bonds with colleagues and friends as they are downing alcoholic beverages. Its very concept plays a major role in the country since alcohol is more commonly consumed on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, ceremonies, and even fiestas. In the Philippine drinking culture, friends usually gather around the table and will receive a drink from a single “tanggero.” A tanggero is a person who is assigned to refill drinks and pass the shot glass around to every person at the table.

 

How to Say Cheers in Tagalog

Google Translate may say that “tagay” is the official equivalent for cheers. But in reality, the Tagalog language actually does not have an equivalent for the aforesaid English word. Rather, Filipino locals use encouraging words such as to take a “shot” or “chug” as one down an alcoholic beverage.

English Tagalog Example:
Cheers/chug Tagay! “Tama na yan. Tagay!”

Translation: “Stop it. Chug the drink now!”

Cheers/shot Shot na! “Huwag mo na siya isipin. Shot na!”

Translation: “Stop thinking about him/her. Take your shot now!”

 

If you are actually drinking in the Philippines, do not be surprised as some of the locals actually have drinking sessions with only one shot glass being passed around- everyone is expected to drink from that shot glass! Traditionally, drinking sessions are commonly partnered with sumptuous food or “pulutan.” The cult-favorite dishes are Sisig (made with chopped pork, onions, and chilies), Tokwa’t Baboy (tofu and pork), Chicharon (fried pork rinds or belly), and pork barbecue.

Unlike in the manner we say thank you with formal and informal situations, we do not have to add the word "po" when chugging alcohol with the elderly and people of authority. This suggests that the vocabulary words in this article are not as complex as learning "magandang umaga" in Filipino. With that being said, you may simply, sit back, relax, and have a good time as you say "tagay!".

The Concept of Drinking in the Tagalog Language

In the Tagalog language, the most common translation for the verb “drink” is “inom.” This basically refers to the act of swallowing liquids and alcoholic beverages. This word is so unique that it can be used to express different scenarios in reference to drinking. For instance, adding the conjugation “-an” to the word “inom” can significantly change the meaning of this word. Take note of our examples below.

Usage Tagalog Example:
Drinking session Inuman “Kailan ba ang susunod nating inuman?”

Translation: “When is our next drinking session?”

The cup where one drinks Inuman “Harold, paki-abot naman ang inuman.”

Translation: “Harold, please pass to me the cup?”

The act of drinking Inuman “Maaring mong inuman mo ang tasa.” 

Translation: “You may drink from the cup”

*Note: Have you ever heard a Filipino ask you out by saying “tara na at mag-inuman?” The word “mag-inuman” is a variation for the word “inuman” which directly translates “to drink together.”

But that’s not all! There are other ways by which you can express your desire for drinking in the Tagalog language. The words below are the Filipino slangs which you can use to sound more native.

Tagalog Example
Toma “Jason, tumigil ka na sa pag-toma!”

Translation: “Jason, you should stop drinking.”

Laklak “Lumalaklak nanamn siya ng alak!”

Translation: “He is downing gin again!”

Barik “Babarik ka nanaman ba?”

Translation: “Are you going to drink again?”

Tagay “Tara, tagay tayo?”

Translation: “Do you want to come and drink?”

 

Beverages in the Tagalog Language

Now that you know the basics, you might be wondering what exactly are the beverages you can pair with “inuman.”

Basically, a quick Google search might tell you that “serbesa” is the Tagalog counterpart for the English word “beer.” Sounds familiar? Well, “serbesa” actually came from the Spanish word “cerveza” which also refers to the same thing. We did not add it to the list since native Filipinos do not actually use this word anymore.

English Tagalog
Water Tubig
Coffee Kape
Chocolate Tsokolate
Tea Tsaa
Milk Gatas
Beer Bir
Gin Alak
Wine Mamam
Coconut wine Tuba
Sugarcane wine (from Ilocos) Basi
Rice wine (from Banaue and the Mountain Province) Tapuy
Nipa palm wine Laksoy
Coconut vodka (from Luzon island) Lambanog

*Note: Tuba, Basi, Laksoy, Tapuy, and Lambanog are some of the leading indigenous alcoholic beverages that are exported from the Philippines.

Sample scenario

Now let us say a native suddenly comes to you for a quick chat. A typical conversation may be structured in the format below.

English Translation Tagalog
Person 1: How are you?

Person 2: I’m good.

Person 1: I’d like to get some beer.

Person 2: Do you want it with ice?

Person 1: Yes. Thank you. Cheers!

Person 1: Kumusta?

Person 2: Mabuti naman po.

Person 1: Pabili ako ng bir.

Person 2: Lalagyan ko ba ito ng yelo?

Person 1: Oo. Salamat! Tagay!

 

Learning Basic Phrases in the Tagalog Language

If you enjoyed this post, then you will surely love the Ling App. The Ling App is the best companion of language enthusiasts and travelers who is challenging themselves to learn various languages. In order to establish a more meaningful connection with the Filipinos, using a dedicated app for learning Tagalog proves to be one of the best methods in learning sentence structure and vocabulary words based on contexts. Aside from being an entertaining platform, did I also mention that the app can significantly help you hone your reading, writing, and listening skills?

With your newfound vocabulary in expressing cheers in the Tagalog language, you are one step closer to achieving full Tagalog fluency! Remember that the key to learning a language is time, continuous practice, and consistency. With that being said, if you want to further master the language and make meaningful connections with the Filipino people, be sure to check out the Ling App. The Ling App features fun mini-games and quizzes that can motivate you to practice and learn more about the language day by day.

 

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