All languages have their own way of fare un brindisi, or toasting the health of other people. In English, we say Cheers!, in Japanese they say Kampai! and in French you’ll hear À votre santé! but what about Italian?
Well, a favourite amongst learners is the onomatopoeic expression Cin cin! (pronounced chin chin).
Learn with this video: Cin cin!
Cin cin comes from the Cantonese qǐng qǐng (请请). It was used amongst Chinese sailors as a cordial greeting. The expression was later adopted by European sailors and merchants. It became popular in Italy because it reminds Italians of the sound that wine or beer glasses make when they clink together.
Cin cin is often immediately followed by the expression alla tua salute (you singular) or alla vostra salute (you plural) which both translate as to your health. Note that it is perfectly acceptable to leave out the word salute and simply say alla tua / vostra since the meaning is implied.
Allora, cin cin ragazzi, alla vostra (salute)!
Well, cheers guys, here’s to your good health!
Alternatively you can say salute (health) on its own without cin cin or alla tua / vostra.
Salute ragazzi! Che questo viaggio sia pieno di emozioni!
Cheers guys! We hope that this trip will be full of excitement!
A funny anecdote: I once used this toast with a group of friends in Japan, only to be met with some very bemused looks. I later discovered that the word chin in Japanese denotes a certain male body part!