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"Say cheese!" in different languages.


In English, when we take a picture we try to make people smile. So we ask them to say "Cheese!" because it makes your face look like a smile.

In Spanish speaking countries I've heard people say "whisky!" And in China they say "茄子(qiezi)!" (which means "eggplant").

What about in other languages? I'm especially curious about French, Arabic, and Russian since I'm learning those. But I'd like to hear about others too.




Smile in Russian communication is not a signal of courtesy.

In the American, English, German, Finnish communicative behavior smile is a

 signal of courtesy, so it is obligatory for the greeting and during polite conversation.

In Russian communication pending no smile at strangers A smile is a signal from Russian private arrangement to a person.

 Russian proverb "Know how to make a joke, learn and stop".

 But we say "Cheese", too, to make a smile.

In French we say "Ouistiti!" 

It's a kind of monkey

The statement above about Russian non-smiling habits looks too rigorous to me.

Yes, the majority of Russians are unsmiling, which takes foreigners aback.

One Serbian guy once asked me: "Why Russian people do not smile?". It

happened during hard times of the 90s. I replied that they are preoccupied

with their grave problems. He replied that smiling helps get rid of the


Why should we be so gloomy?

True, the loan English word "Cheese" is pronounced when sb. is taking a







good question! In persian we say "seeb" which simply means "apple", but not always, sometimes the photographer just asks the subjects to smile!

nice question :)

In Arab countries we don't have a special word used by photographers , they only ask people to smile! But if you want an Arabic word which makes the face look like a smile ,then try " Za ba dee" which is (yogurt) in English .

Keep smiling everybody :)

In Japan, we say "はい、チーズ" , which is totally the same meaning as "Say, cheese." 

Of course it came from English, and shows how our culture is affected by Western world.


Hi, Lilya from Russia! Thank you for your support. Very nice to talk with like-minded here.

Thanks, Alexandra. My pleasure.

In Poland we say "Ser" :) what means cheese.

Like the English way :) thx for sher

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