How to Order a Beer in Fifty Languages


“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” –Dave Barry

If there’s one universal constant in human society, it has to be alcohol. Rare indeed is the culture that hasn’t worked out the tricksy process of fermenting and/or distilling some type of vegetable matter — be it malted barley, potatoes, honey or grape juice — into a brew containing a significant percentage, as the dictionary puts it, of an “organic compound in which a hydroxyl group is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group.” In other words, booze.

Among the mildest and most variable of these alcoholic beverages is that fine elixir known as beer. A true beer connoisseur would never pass up an opportunity to try the local brew, no matter where on Earth where they found themselves, and so it behooves the serious beerologist to know how to order a beer in as many languages as possible. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a handy guide on how to order a beer in 50 different languages. Where the pronunciation isn’t obvious, or in which the term is normally written in non-Roman characters, we’ve rendered it phonetically. Cheers!

One beer, please!

AfrikaansA beer, ah-suh-bleef!
AmericanBrewski here, please!
ArabicWaheed beera, meen fadleek!
BasqueGaragardo bat, mesedez!
BelarusianAd-no pee-vah ka-lee lah-ska!

“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” — Frank Zappa

BengaliEka handoiya, doya koray!
BulgarianEdna beerra, molya!
CatalanUna cervesa, si us plau!
CheyenneNok hee-sevo-tamah-peh, mas-eh-met-ah-no!
ChineseChing gay woh ee bay pee joh!

“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'” — Jack Handy

CzechPee-vo, pro-seem!
DanishYay vil geh-neh heh en url!
DutchUn beer, ahls-yer-bleeft!
Egyptian (Ancient)Wekha henqet!
EsperantoUnu bieron, mi petas!

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” — Abraham Lincoln

EstonianOoks ur-loo, pah-lun!
FinnishO-loot moolek kee-tos!
FrenchUne bière, s’il vous plait!
GermanEin Bier, bitte!
GreekMee-a beer-a paraka-loh!

“Remember: I before E, except in Budweiser.” — Anonymous

Hawaiian‘Ekahi pia, ho’olu!
HindiEka biyara, krupaya!
HungarianEdj pohar shurt kayrek!
IcelandicAy-dn byohr, tahk!
InterlinguaOn bira, per favor!

“He was a wise man who invented beer.” — Plato

IrishByohr awoyn, lyeh doh hull!
ItalianUna birra, per favore!
JapaneseBee-ru ip-pon, ku-da-sai!
KoreanMayk-joo hahn-jahn, joo-se-yoh!
KurdishDan min yek bire!

“Give me a woman who loves beer, and I will conquer the world.” — Kaiser Wilhelm

Lakota (Sioux)Wan-jee m’nee-pee-gah, ee-yo-kee-pee!
LatinCervisiam, sodes!
LithuanianPra-shau vie-na, al-lows!
NorwegianEhn url, tahk!
Old EnglishAn beor, nu!

“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?” — Stephen Wright

Pig LatinOne-ay eer-bay, ease-play!
PolishYed-no peev, proshe!
PortugueseUma cerveja, por favor!
RomanianOh beh-reh ver rohg!

We old folks have to find our cushions and pillows in our tankards. Strong beer is the milk of the old. — Martin Luther

Scots GaelicLyawn, mahs eh doh hawl eh!
Serbo/ CroatianYed-no pee-vo, mo-lim!
SloveneEno pee-vo, pro-seem!
SpanishUna cerveza, por favor!
SwahiliMoja pombe, tafadhali!

“I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.” — Shakespeare, Henry V

SwedishEhn irl, tahk!
TwiMah-me bee-ye bah-ko, mee pow-che-oo!
TurkishBeer beer-ah, luht-fen!
WelshKoo-roh ohs gwel-ookh-un-thah!
YiddishA beer, zeit a-zoy goot!

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.” — Dave Barry


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