How to Say Cheers in Portugal: A Guide to Portuguese Toasts
When visiting Portugal, there’s one thing you must learn to do properly – say cheers! Toasting is an essential part of Portuguese culture, and it’s important to know the right words and etiquette to make a good impression. In this article, we’ll guide you through the different ways to say cheers in Portugal and provide answers to seven frequently asked questions about Portuguese toasts.
Portugal is famous for its warm and welcoming people, and saying cheers is a way to connect with locals and immerse yourself in their traditions. So, let’s dive into the various ways to raise your glass and celebrate in Portugal!
1. “Saúde!” – This is the most common way to say cheers in Portugal, which translates to “health.” It’s a simple and widely used toast that you can confidently use in any social setting.
2. “Viva!” – Meaning “long live,” this toast is often used to celebrate special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries. It’s a lively and enthusiastic way to raise your glass and join in the festivities.
3. “Tim-tim!” – Similar to the English “cheers,” this onomatopoeic expression is widely used in Portugal. It’s a playful and informal way to toast, often accompanied by clinking glasses together.
4. “À nossa!” – This phrase translates to “to us” and is commonly used when toasting with a group of friends or family. It signifies camaraderie and togetherness, emphasizing the bond between the participants.
5. “Feliz Ano Novo!” – This expression, meaning “Happy New Year,” is reserved for toasting on New Year’s Eve. When the clock strikes midnight, raise your glass and wish everyone a prosperous year ahead.
6. “Bom apetite!” – Although not strictly a toast, this phrase is customary before starting a meal. It means “enjoy your meal” and is a polite way to acknowledge the delicious food and the company you’re sharing it with.
7. “Eu brindo a…” – If you want to make a personalized toast, you can start with “Eu brindo a…” which means “I toast to…” followed by your desired sentiment or person. It’s a heartfelt way to express your wishes or gratitude.
Now that you know how to say cheers in Portugal, let’s address some frequently asked questions about Portuguese toasts:
FAQ 1: Do I have to clink glasses when toasting in Portugal?
Answer: While clinking glasses is common, it’s not obligatory. If you prefer not to, a simple raising of the glass accompanied by eye contact and a smile is perfectly acceptable.
FAQ 2: Can I say cheers in English instead?
Answer: While many Portuguese people understand English, it’s always appreciated when visitors make an effort to use the local language. Saying cheers in Portuguese shows respect for the culture and will likely earn you a warm response.
FAQ 3: Are there any toasting customs I should be aware of?
Answer: Yes, it’s polite to maintain eye contact with everyone at the table while toasting. Also, never cross arms with someone while clinking glasses, as it’s considered bad luck.
FAQ 4: Can I toast with any type of drink?
Answer: Yes, you can toast with any beverage of your choice, whether it’s wine, beer, or even non-alcoholic options. The spirit of the toast is more important than the drink itself.
FAQ 5: Is it customary to give a toast at a formal event?
Answer: While it’s not expected, giving a toast at a formal event is a thoughtful gesture. Keep it concise, express your gratitude or wishes, and raise your glass to honor the occasion.
FAQ 6: Should I wait for everyone to have a full glass before toasting?
Answer: It’s not necessary to wait for everyone to have a full glass. Just ensure that everyone has a drink in hand, and raise your glass together when making the toast.
FAQ 7: Are there any toasts specific to certain regions in Portugal?
Answer: Yes, Portugal has diverse regions with their own unique traditions. In Porto, for example, it’s common to say “P’ra cima!” which means “To the top!” while toasting.
By familiarizing yourself with these various ways to say cheers in Portugal and understanding the customs surrounding toasting, you’ll be able to fully embrace the Portuguese culture and create memorable experiences with the locals. So, the next time you find yourself in Portugal, raise your glass high and confidently say, “Saúde!”