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How do you make a toast in Europe?

Proposing a toast can be a way of making new friends and acquaintances, especially when you’re abroad. It can be a great ice-breaker when you find yourself sitting next to strangers, paving the way for an exchange of stories: hence, a toast has always symbolised conviviality. Which is why it’s important, when you’re travelling, to learn the various expressions that are the equivalent to Italy’s classic “cin cin”.

For example, if you find yourself in company in one of Munich’s old beer taverns, you can get the ball rolling with a latinate “prost”, while if you’re sipping a fine wine on a Parisian boulevard you can rely on the more elegant “santè”.

Toasts are a little trickier in the Spanish capital, cradle of la movida: “arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro”. But beware of using the same terms in the Basque country, as you could find yourself in hot water. There, it’s much better to proclaim “osasuna”.

In Scandinavia you can raise a glass with the utterance “skål”, while, a little further east, fellow drinkers will be impressed if your repertoire includes “na zdrowie”.

If you happen to be in Budapest and wish to make a good impression, try raising a toast to “kedves egeszségedre”, although in this case it’s perhaps easier to opt for the internationally recognised “cheers”.

Having made a toast, all that remains for you to do is to share your most fascinating anecdote.

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