Say cheese!

Jump to phrases

English-speaking photographers often ask people to 'say cheese' to get them to smile in photographs. This is because the ee in cheese, a close unrounded front vowel (/i:/), is hard to pronounce without a smile. In other language they might use words that contain this vowel, some other vowel pronounced with a smile, or words that people find amusing.

Language Phrase
Belarusian Усміхніся! (Usmіhnіs′a!) - sg
Усміхніцеся! (Usmіhnіćes′a!) - pl/frm
Bulgarian Усмивка! (Usmivka!) - Smile!
Зеле! (Zele!) - Cabbage!
Catalan Lluis
Central Dusun Ngingis!
笑 (siu) - laugh
小小 (síusíu) - a little
一 二 三 (yāt yim sàam) - one two three
茄子 (qiézi) - eggplant - used in China
七 (qī) - seven - used in Taiwan
笑一笑! (xiào yī xiào!) - smile
Coastal Kadazan Ngingis!
Croatian Ptičica (birdie)
Czech Vyletí ptáček!
Řekněte sýr!
Danish Sig 'appelsin' (say orange)
Dutch Lach eens naar het vogeltje!
(Smile at the birdy/little bird!)
Finnish Muikku! (vendance)
Sano muikku!
French Ouistiti ! (marmoset!)
Souriez ! (smile!)
Pepsi !
Le petit oiseau va sortir (The little bird is going to come out)
German Spaghetti
Käsekuchen (cheesecake)
Wo ist das Vögelchen? (Where's the birdie? - said to children)
Lächeln (smile)
Ameisen-Scheiße (ant shit)
Greek (Modern) Πες τυρί! (Pes tyrí!) - say cheese
Hebrew (say cheese - Tagid 'chiz') תגיד צ'יז
Hindi हसो (haso) - laugh!
डट दिखाओ (dat dikhao) - show your teeth!
Hungarian Csíz [tʃi:z] (small bird)
Icelandic Segðu sís!
Indonesian Katakan keju! (Say cheese!)
Buncis! (Green beans!)
Japanese Sei, no!
はい、チーズ! (hai, chiizu!)
Kannada ನಗಿ (nagu)
Korean 김치 (gimchi)
Norwegian Appelsin! (Orange!)
Spanish Patata (Potato - used in Spain)
Diga 'whiskey' (Say 'whiskey' - used in Latin America)
Persian (Farsi) apple - (sib) سیب
Polish Uśmiech proszę! (Smile, please!)
Portuguese Digam X (say X [ʃiʃ] - used in Brazil)
Olha o passarinho (Watch the birdie)
Romanian Zâmbeşte! (Smile!)
Russian Скажи 'изюм!' (Skazhi 'izyum!') - Say 'raisins!'
Улыбнитесь! (Ulybnites'!) - Smile!
Улыбочку! (Ulybochku!) - A little smile!
Slovenian Sir! [si:r] (Cheese!)
Swedish Säg omelett! (Say omelette!)
Tamil (formal) சிரி (siri) - smile, laugh
Telugu నవ్వు (navvu) - laughter
Thai เป๊ปซี่ (pepsi)
Turkish Gülümseyin! (Smile!)
Ukrainian Посміхніться! (Posmikhnit'sya!) - smile
Auxiliary and constructed languages
Esperanto Ĝis!
Talossan Ditz "wisky"


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.

Get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime (UK)