us live in a time of crisis. All that wealth of information, and everyone keeps relying top top Hollywood for their Russian drinking slang. The words nazdrovye... Or nastrovia - or any combination of similar sounding letter - aren’t actual words!

Please, Hollywood (and the human being watching it), i beseech you: prevent butchering our language. It’s no asking much. Understand that we perform not have a singular ax we use for “cheers”. And also look - this renders us somewhat envious of various other countries. The Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or icelandic Skal (written “skål” or “skaal”), the German Prost, also the Ukrainian Bud’mo… wait, really? The Ukrainians have actually a word, and also we don’t? We’re practically the same people. Unfair! but such is the truth. I can say “cheers” in no less than 20 languages, however not in my native Russian.

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My favorite explanation because that this is that drinking is so ingrained in Russian society that we couldn’t have a singular word for “cheers” if us tried. I choose to romantically tie this through the stubborn individualism the the Russian spirit. Our huge country is so large and sparsely lived in for its dimension that developing a unified legacy would merely be as well cumbersome.

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True - us don’t have nearly the variety of accents within the language together the English do, and also you’d it is in hard-pressed to uncover stark differences in indigenous usage… apart from St. Petersburgers using completely different words because that “bread” and also “pavement” (they’re simply a whole city of people speaking wrong, pay no attention to them, they’re wrong!)

But ns digress... Earlier to “Cheers”. I doubt that huge distances and also the thin richness of reasons the Russians may discover to acquire f*cked up are what add mostly to there being different phrases weuse once drinking. Lock will, the course, rely on who you"re drinking with.


Valery Sharifulin/TASS

First things first, you’re not crazy: the phrase na zdorovye does without doubt exist. Yet the “to health” it translates to is a synonym that the expression “you’re welcome” or “not at all”. It’s used mainly when you give somebody some form of sustenance and also they give you thanks - specifically when you’re a guest in ~ a dinner, an especially one that’s in ~ the house of a close family friend or relation. Strangers will very rarely usage na zdorovye - it’s something either her mother, granny or your expanded family can say come you after ~ you’ve said, “Thank you, the was a wonderful dinner!” For various other situations, you might say nezachto (“not in ~ all”) or pozhaluysta (which have the right to simultaneously average both “please” and also “any time”) - these are your daily platitudes, your conventional responses come “thank you”.

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However, part evil heart at one point in time made decision to inject na zdorovye (written any variety of ways) into Russian drinking society - and it’s wrong. The most likely explanation is the they’ve heard who at a officially dinner speak vashe zdorovye (“your health”) and that in time acquired twisted up into na zdorovye. But understand: no one has actually been saying vashe zdorovye in the last 40 or therefore years: it’s as well polite.

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And here’s an additional thing: being too polite - even at embassy receptions - provides you an air of do the efforts too difficult in Russian culture. You may have also observed some Russian ladies speak of men trying to chat them increase in the street and attempting to come across as a 19th century gentleman. It’s tacky and cringy. No one likes it. Just as sticking her pinky the end in an effort to show up regal, if holding a champagne flute or a cup that tea. Don"t carry out it!

Instead, shot to ask her Russian friends and also acquaintances what they like to say among their nearest and also dearest, and just usage that. It’ll generally be among two things: either everyone just mumbles: Nu che? Davayte! (“Well? Let’s execute this!”) or Poyehali (“Let’s go/move!”), or something humorous pertaining come the background of that details group that people. Yet remember this: we carry out not - and also have never had actually - a singular phrase for “cheers.” following time somebody says nazdrovye, perform me a favor: slap them for me, and also transport them ago to their childhood!

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