If I were having a drink with a person from Russia, and wished to say the equivalent of “cheers” in Russian, I was under the impression that the correct expression was na zdorovye. There are lots of websites out there that give toasts in assorted languages, and most of them list this one (albeit in a wide variety of English transliterations). But one site I came upon claims that this is “an incredibly widespread myth,” and that no one in Russia actually uses na zdorovye this way. Furthermore, it states that there is no generally used Russian toast, although “sometimes” budem zdorovye is used (which seems very close to na zdorovye anyway). So–any Russian speakers out there, is this correct? If so, what do you say?
na zdorovye = “to health”
budem zdorovye = “let us be healthy”
NFI how common each is.
That’s the line used in Fiddler On The Roof, when the Russian soldiers join in on the song “To Life”. Whether or not it’s accurate, that may be the reason it’s widespread.
I can tell you that in Poland “na zdrowie” is often used as “bless you”-type phrase.
Belvedere Vodka had a pretty heavy ad campaign based on this saying a year or so ago.
I’ve never heard “na zdorovye” used as a toast. To me, it’s always been what my grandmother said when I thanked her for dinner.
My native-speaking friends say a more common toast would be za vashe zdorovye (meaning literally the same thing).
Vashe zdorovye - to your health
za zdorve (sic) - to your health (consumables - drinks, etc)
Perhaps one of the Russian speaking SMDBers here that’s played Jagged Alliance can tell me what Ivan’s saying, too?
I lived in Russia and I have heard this as a toast although it is not as universal as cheers. More often, I would hear “to the future.”
za zdorove… :smack:
In my experience, na zdorovye is used as Crescend’s grandmother used it - as a sort of alternative form of “you’re welcome”, with a sense of “may it do you good”. (I’ve even heard this when bumming cigarettes!)
(Za) vashe zdorovye - the “Za” is often elided - is indeed the default toast. In anything but the most casual, drinking-to-get-drunk situations, though, a more elaborate toast is necessary.
So the consensus seems to be that I’d be on safer ground saying za vashe zdorovye. Thanks, folks.