dismount to toast to my friend?

Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
The context is like this: In ancient China, I see off my friend on a horse, so I get down from the horse and drink with him, which is a very common scene in parting. This express that I wish him well and want to see him soon. In this context, is it appropriate to say I dismount and toast to him. I mean would it sound unnatural to toast to someone outdoors?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I don't recall seeing people riding horses in Hong Kong, but if you were astride an equine or any other beast and wanted to dismount for whatever reason, that word is appropriate.

    In the U.S., however people are toasted (we don't toast to people) normally at some sort of gathering, e.g. picnic, dinner, etc. where horses are not invited. :)

    If, however, you're talking about using the term "dismount" when you're not mounted on anything, that would sound very strange.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thanks for your reply. Actually, I mean in ancient China, it is natural for the Westerners to visualize such a scene?
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    How about dismounting to toast my friend, which depicting a outdoor activity in ancient China. Does this make sense?
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Interesting. In traditional British culture, when the upper classes went hunting (some still do) on horseback they would drink from a "stirrup cup" just before they go. This is the only toasting outdoors situation I know of that involves horses. Of more use to you might be the equally traditional idea of the "parting glass", a final drink between friends as they take their leave, especially before a journey. So "they dismounted and drank a parting glass" might work.
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes. I would expect "with my dear friend" because I would assume they drink together, but I don't know the ancient Chinese convention, so you must decide.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The reason why I choose "for" because I drink in order to see him off. "For" would indicate my intention. However, I am not sure it is appropriate in English.
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In which case "I drink to my friend" would indicate the intention of 'toasting' someone. For example, we might say "to your good health" when raising a glass in someone's honour who was present. Or "we drank to the memory of our brother" in the case of someone who was dead. Perhaps it needs to be something like: "With a parting glass, I drank to my dear friend". Or "I drank a parting glass to my dear friend's honour" or even "I dismounted and drank a parting glass to honour my good friend". English is not as concise in its expression as Chinese and sometimes needs more words to say things.

    I'd better stop now :)
     
    Last edited:

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    How about "I dismount and drink to my friend". I want to make the sentence concise while leave the latitude for the reader to visualize the scene.
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    That would do nicely. The simplest solutions are usually the best but they can take time to be arrived at.
     
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