Published: July 28 2023
If you're seeking a swift answer to the question, "How do you say cheers in Hungarian?" the response is "Egészségedre". Expressing universally acknowledged sentiments, it literally translates as "to your health." Now, let's delve into the pronunciation, usage, and the significance of this ubiquitous Hungarian toast.
The word 'Egészségedre' is often used when raising a glass in Hungary, whether it be a glass of their renowned Tokaji Aszú wine, frosty beer, or a shot of the fiery Unicum. As is the case in many cultures, toasting is considered a gesture of goodwill, expressing good health, happiness, and prosperity towards others.
Although for non-Hungarian speakers, pronouncing 'Egészségedre' can at first seem like quite a linguistic challenge, breaking it down into syllables can certainly help. The word is pronounced as [ɛɡeːʃːeːdɾɛ]. You might want to think of it as "Egg-esh-ayg-eh-dreh", with the emphasis being on the first syllable.
The Unique Hungarian Toasting Tradition
Understanding how to say "cheers" in a language is one thing, but learning about the country's toasting rules and traditions is equally vital. Fascinatingly, Hungarians have a unique toast-clinking rule that you might want to memorize.
Contrary to many cultures where it's customary to tap glasses together, Hungarians typically avoid clinking beer glasses or bottles. This peculiar custom stems from the defeat of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 when Austrian generals allegedly celebrated their victory by clinking their beer glasses. As a mark of respect for the fallen heroes, Hungarians vowed not to clink glasses for the subsequent 150 years. Plausibly, the vow has expired, but the tradition still lingers.
Other Hungarian Toasting Phrases
Besides 'Egészségedre', there are other phrases used while drinking in Hungarian society, especially for informal occasions or among close friends. 'Fenékig!', literally meaning 'Until the bottom!', is one such popular colloquial phrase. It's equivalent to the English 'Bottoms up!'
So, if you find yourself in a Hungarian bar, a local celebration, or simply wish to impress Hungarian friends, remembering the convention, 'Egészségedre' can take your social skills up a notch. Don't forget to respect the unique Hungarian toast-clinking tradition. However you choose to raise a glass, always remember that the spirit of the toast is universal.