If you have decided to travel to Albania this summer and still don't know how to say cheers in Albanian, you are in the right place. Grabe a pen and take some notes about words you should learn before going to a bar, restaurant, or just visiting an Albanian home.
Before traveling to this interesting country in southeastern Europe, which overlooks the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, it's essential to learn a few of their more famous sayings. That is the best way to fit in as one of the locals. So, when you can speak with them in their native language, they appreciate it very much. What's more, there are chances that they open up their homes and share their strong drinks, good foods and great stories about their interesting country and beautiful people.
Ok, people, I think it's time to discover a word you'll use many times while visiting Albania. You still don't know what that word is? It's hard for me to believe that, but I will still tell you what that word is: Gëzuar! Gëzuar means cheers in Albanian. The ban on major public gatherings has not dampened Albania's enthusiasm to listen to the music, laugh, follow positive vibes, and drink a glass or two. That's the reason why you should learn to say:" Gëzuar!"
We already learned that Gëzuar means cheers in Albanian. However, there are 2 other ways to say the same thing:
Per shendetin tend (To your health)
This beverage is traditionally produced by people from the Gorani community in Albania and neighboring countries. Gorani sok is a fermented, gassy drink that's either non-alcoholic or has a deficient alcohol percentage. In order to produce the drink, the fruits are allowed to ferment inside sealed jars or bottles under anaerobic conditions.
The local population gathers a wide range of cultivated and wild fruits and berries from the mountainsides. Those gifts of nature can be used in the production of Gorani sok, including apples, bilberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cherry plums, rosehips, juniper berries, wild pears, plums, damsons (a small purple-black fruit similar to the plum), raspberries, sour cherries, hawthorn, and sloe.
This is a traditional alcoholic drink that has been exclusively prepared by the Shala people living in the Shala Valley in Northern Albania. To make the drink, the locals first need to gather the small reddish-purple fruits of the cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera) when ripened. The next step is to mash and allow to ferment in wooden barrels for up to three weeks. The final step is to distill it into a big copper pot.
In Albania, just like other countries in the Balkans, the production of homemade raki or rakija, including cherry plum raki, has long been a family tradition. This distilled spirit is typically consumed daily and during various social and festive occasions. Cherry plum raki is produced only for personal consumption and is not available in stores.
People in Albania also love to drink birre (beer). You can find a few beers that are produced in Albania. Those are Tirana, a blonde beer with a sweet taste, Elbar, and the best of all, Korça, produced in the city with the same name. Besides imported beers, these drinks can be easily found everywhere across the country.
Whether you love to drink verë e bardhë (white ) or verë e kuqe (red wine), you won’t be disappointed. The best is the merlot and the cabernet and some wines produced from local rrush (grapes) such as the wines of Korça and Shkodra. In villages, it is common that families produce their wine. Even though this wine has a bitter taste, authenticity lovers will be delighted.
Bozë has four ingredients: corn and wheat flour, sugar, and water. People from the Gorani people living in the mountainous Gora region situated between Albania, Serbia, and Macedonia have had a long-standing tradition of producing this type of millet beer. This beverage is made by fermenting millet (Panicum miliaceum, called prosok in the local language) with no added malt with an acidic flavor and a light alcohol content.
Renowned for their fermented beverage production, the Gorani people have commonly been called the bozadzij, meaning people who prepare boza.
The Albanian Bozë is slightly different from the Turkish, Bulgarian, or Macedonian boza.
This beverage can be also considered salty, liquid yogurt. It’s mainly consumed during the summer.
As I already said, Raki is not Albanian specific, it is popular all over the Balkans, and people often make it at home.
Although it can be produced from almost any type of fruit, in Albania, it is the most popular type of fermented cherry plum and grape that is distilled into a drink with approximately 20 percent alcohol.
Many Albanian families have smaller or larger vineyards and produce both wine and raki. But the latter has a special place in human lives because it is drunk at baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
Many Albanian women produce brandy even though it is considered a "drink for men" in a traditionally patriarchal society. Traditionally, women were taught to make brandy by their mothers-in-law, and they pass that knowledge on to their daughters-in-law. Because of that, Raki that local families produce is most popular since they give the brandy an extra dimension. They are more careful and taste more delicate.
One saying goes like this: “It would be a shame for any family not to have raki to offer to a friend. ” Raki is also a popular remedy to relieve sore throats or muscle aches.
Many doctors say: “small doses of raki can relieve painful menstruation or stress. It also indicates its antioxidant and disinfectant properties, but warns that it is not a drug to treat covid-19.”
There are many more words and phrases you will pick up while visiting Albania, but Gëzuar, Raki, Birre, Verë are a few of the most important ones that will ensure you have a great time during your journey.
If you want to learn Albanian numbers, pronouns or simply want to know how to speak the Albanian language, using language learning apps such as the Ling App can help you with that. This app is a great option to learn more phrases in Albanian that will make your stay in Albania more pleasant. You will be able to communicate with the locals without a problem.