4 Easy Ways To Say Cheers In Cantonese

The cities in Hong Kong are renowned for their fantastic nightlife. That’s why you will probably be hearing people say 乾杯! / Cheers in Cantonese a lot. When the sun goes down, Hong Kongers become energetic, and partying can be loud and noisy because it usually involves alcohol. No wonder why bars are mostly hidden in the cities’ skyscrapers.

According to South China Morning Post, almost half of the Hong Kongers who consume alcohol go binge drinking (劈酒 pek3 zau2). Binge drinking (劈酒 pek3 zau2) means that people drink a minimum of 5 cans of beers/ 5 glasses of table wine/ 5 pegs of spirits in one sitting. Despite the low alcohol consumption rates in Hong Kong compared to other countries, binge drinking is rising in Hong Kong. This is just proof that Hong Kongers often say Cheers in Cantonese.


Saying The Word “Cheers”


Raising glasses and saying Cheers has been a custom when drinking, but have you ever wondered why we do it? Do you also want to know how to say Cheers in Cantonese and different languages? We have the answer. But first, let us look back at why we are saying Cheers! when drinking.

“Cheers” came from an old French word “chiere,” which means “face” or “head.” As time goes by, the word’s meaning changed into “gladness,” which is used to encourage. These days, “Cheers” is used to wish good cheer and good health to those around us through a toast.

Different languages have their way of saying “Cheers.” Here are some:

  • Chinese (Mandarin) – 干杯 (gān bēi)
  • Portuguese- Saúde
  • Korean – 건배 (gun bae)
  • Japanese- 乾杯 Kanpai
  • Thai- Chok dee
  • Latin – Fremitus deinde!
  • Swedish/Danish/Norwegian: Skål! 
  • Spanish – ¡ Salud!
  • Polish- Na zdrowie
  • Vietnamese- Dô / Vô / Một hai ba, yo

Today, drinking is part of almost every celebration. Learning to say Cheers in different languages may be exciting but, always remember to use this responsibly as too much alcohol is bad for your health.



Cheers In Cantonese

Cheers in Cantonese

Like Mandarin, Cantonese is also a Chinese language widely spoken in countries like Hong Kong and Macau. These countries have a great culture and drinking etiquette that may make you fall in love with the country more. Nightlife is incredible in Hong Kong, so you may want to learn how to say Cheers in Cantonese:


1. 乾杯!(gon 1 bui 1!)

English Translation- Cheers! / Dry the cup

This is the common way to say Cheers in Cantonese. If you would like to drink with your friends while you are in Hong Kong, this is definitely one of the words that you should learn.

2. 飲杯!(jam 2 bui 1!)

English Translation- Cheers! / Drink cup/glass

This is also another way of saying Cheers in Cantonese. The Chinese character 飲  jam2  means drink, and 杯 bui1 means cup/glass.

3. 飲勝 (jam 2 sing 3)

English Translation– Bottoms up / Drink to victory

Saying “Bottoms up” is also one of the common ways to say during a toast. This is a way of telling people to finish their drinks.

4. 敬酒 (ging 3 zau 2)

English Translation: To drink a penalty toast after refusing to drink when toasted

Hong Kongers love drinking games (飲酒遊戲 jam2 zau2 jau4 hei3) as part of the fun. This Cantonese way of saying Cheers is the perfect word in this kind of situation.

Saying Cheers in Cantonese has been part of every fantastic nightlife moment. Saying Cheers has been customary for a reason. It is not just about some traditional beliefs but a symbolism of wishing someone good cheer. Whether you are a local or just having your trip, experiencing these fun moments in the bars is a memory that will last.


Other Cantonese Drinking Words And Phrases To Learn

Here is a list of additional Cantonese drinking words and phrases that may come in handy in drinking in the amazing bars in Hong Kong:

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
含酒精飲品 ham4 zau2 zing1 jam2 ban2 alcoholic beverages
威士忌 wai1 si6 gei2 whiskey
伏特加 fuk6 dak6 gaa1 vodka
rum酒 rum zau2 rum
香檳 hoeng1 ban1 champagne
啤酒 be1 zau2 beer
根啤 gan1 be1 root beer
雞尾酒 gai1 mei5 zau2 cocktail
 紅酒 hung4 zau2 wine
 甜酒 tim4 zau2 dessert wine
白酒 baak6 zau2 white wine
紅酒 hung4 zau2 red wine
 雄黃酒 hung4 wong4 zau2 realgar wine
 菊花酒 guk1 faa1 zau2 chrysanthemum wine
酒杯 zau2 bui1  wine glass
 杯子 bui1 zi2 drinking glass
啤酒節 be1 zau2 zit3 beer festival
 酒會 zau2 wui5 cocktail party
飲酒遊戲 jam2 zau2 jau4 hei3 drinking game
蒲吧 pou4 baa1 to hang out in bars
 啤一啤 be1 jat1 be1 to celebrate, to have a drink together
斷片 tyun5 pin2 blackout/passed out after drinking too much
你最鍾意邊種啤酒? nei5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 bin1 zung2 be1 zau2? What is your favorite kind of beer?
唔該,我可唔可以睇吓張酒單? m4 goi1, ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 tai2 haa5 zoeng1 zau2 daan12? Could I see the wine list, please?
 你鍾唔鍾意飲啤酒? nei5 zung1 m4 zung1 ji3 jam2 be1 zau2? Do you like beer?

If you come and visit Hong Kong, there will be times when you will get invited to hang out in bars and have some fun. Learning these words would definitely be helpful to communicate with the locals well. There are still many words and phrases to learn but your off with a good start.


Learn Cantonese Now!

If you want to go to Hong Kong and you don’t have any Cantonese phrases to bring with you, think again. Are you just going to bring your dictionary to understand everything that the locals are saying?

Learning a new language, like Cantonese, is not that easy at first. Chinese language, including Mandarin, has a very distinct spoken and written language. It will be really challenging for beginners, but with Ling App, we will take it one step at a time.

Ling App will give you language learning lessons that will make your language learning experience easier and more fun. Please take note that with a smartphone or computer, you can learn new languages conveniently. All you have to do is download the app, and you can start learning now. What are you waiting for? Reward yourself with something precious. Start learning Cantonese now!

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