How to Say Cheers in Russian

People hands Clinking glasses with vodka and wine

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Contrary to popular belief, Russians don't say na zdarovye when raising a glass to toast. Instead, there are many other ways to say "cheers" in Russian, some of which are so elaborate that they require days of preparation. Below are the 12 most popular and easy ways to say toast in Russian.

01
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Будем здоровы!

Pronunciation: BOOdym zdaROvy

Translation: Let's be healthy

Meaning: To our health!

One of the most straightforward and versatile ways to say Cheers in Russian, Будем здоровы is suitable for any type of situation, whether it's raising a toast with colleagues or family.

Example:

- Друзья! Будем здоровы! (drooZYIA! BOOdem zdaROvy)
- Friends! To our health!

02
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За твое/Ваше здоровье

Pronunciation: za tvaYO/VAshe zdaROvye

Translation: To your (singular/plural/respectful) health

Meaning: To your health!

Another popular way to say Cheers is За Ваше здоровье (plural you) and За твое здоровье (singular you). It sounds similar to на здоровье (na zdarovye) which is what non-Russian speakers often erroneously think is the most common Russian toast. However, на здоровье actually translates as you're welcome, especially when thanking someone for a meal. Try not to confuse these two expressions as they don't mean the same thing.

03
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За любовь

Pronunciation: za lyuBOF'

Translation: To Love!

Meaning: To Love!

За любовь is a universal and very popular toast suitable for all situations.

Example:

- Я предлагаю выпить за любовь. (ya predlaGAyu VYpit' za LYUbof')
- Let's drink to love!

04
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За тебя/за Вас

Pronunciation: za tyBYA/za VAS

Translation: To you!

Meaning: To you!

A very easy toast, за тебя/за Вас is very versatile and can be used in all social settings, from the very formal to the most informal. It is common to say it while raising the glass towards the intended person or people, indicating that the toast is for them.

05
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За успех

Pronunciation: za oospeh

Translation: To success!

Meaning: To success!

A celebratory toast used particularly when someone has achieved an important goal or when setting off on a quest, it is very versatile and can be used both with colleagues and with your loved ones.

Example:

- Поднимем бокалы за успех! (padNEEmem baKAly za oosPYEH)
- Let's raise our glasses to success!

06
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Поехали!

Pronunciation: paYEhali

Translation: Let's go

Meaning: Let's go!

A very informal way to say cheers, this toast literally means let's go and is used when drinking with close friends and family.

07
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На посошок

Pronunciation: na pasaSHOK

Translation: For the cane/staff

Meaning: One for the road!

Used to accompany the very last drink before the guests leave or the party stops, На посошок literally means to go with the cane or staff, and is equivalent to "one for the road".

Example:

- Так, давайте быстренько на посошок. (tak, daVAIte BYStryn'ka na pasaSHOK)
- Right, let's have a quick one for the road.

08
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Горько!

Pronunciation: GORka

Translation: Bitter taste

Meaning: Time for the newlyweds to kiss

No Russian wedding can be complete without this toast. Literally translating as "bitter," the expression is used as an encouragement for the newlyweds to kiss in order to "sweeten" the bitter taste. Горько is usually shouted out by someone and the rest of the party join in, continuing until the beginning of the kiss, at which point everyone begins to count out loud how long the kiss will last.

09
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Будем

Pronunciation: BOOdym

Translation: We shall be, let's

Meaning: Let's go!

Будем is a shortened version of Будем здоровы and means let's go.

10
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За дружбу

Pronunciation: za DROOZHboo

Translation: To friendship

Meaning: To friendship!

Another popular toast, За дружбу is suitable to all situations, although it is mostly used in the more informal settings.

Example:

- Давайте выпьем за дружбу! (daVAIte VYpyem za DROOZHboo)
- Let's drink to friendship!

11
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За счастье

Pronunciation: za SHAStye

Translation: To happiness!

Meaning: To happiness!

This is a versatile and easy to remember toast that you can use in any situation, including weddings and birthday celebrations, as well as general drinking.

Example:

- Махнём-ка по рюмочке за счастье! (mahNYOM ka pa RYUmachke za SHAStye)
- Let's do a shot to happiness.

12
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За верных друзей

Pronunciation: za VYERnyh drooZYEY

Translation: To loyal friends!

Meaning: To loyal friends!

Used when drinking among friends, this toast is a great one to remember.

Example:

- Выпьем за верных друзей! (VYpyem za VYERnyh drooZEY)
- Let's drink to loyal friends.