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RiverTea said

Tea in other languages

We are talking about tea varieties, companies, recipes and so on, but have you ever wondered how do we say “tea” in other languages? In Romanian is “ceai”, for instance, while in Spanish is “té”. How about other tea words from other languages?

48 Replies
sandra said

thee in Dutch. :)

i believe the world tea is almost universal, like mama.

RiverTea said

Indeed. It seems the word is either “te/tea” or “cha/chai” which makes it easy for us to find our favorite drink whenever we travel abroad.

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Emily M said

Tee in German.
It does seem very universal.

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cha in Japanese.

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momo said

thé in French, te in Swedish, tee in Finnish, tè in Italian!

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Angrboda said

Te or The in Danish. Both spelllings are correct, but the latter more common. I prefer the former myself. The h is silent.

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Dinosara said

τσάι (tsai) in Greek

This topic made me look up the etymology of tea:

tea (n.)
1650s, earlier chaa (1590s, from Portuguese cha), from Malay teh and directly from Chinese (Amoy dialect) t’e, in Mandarin ch’a. First known in Paris 1635, the practice of drinking tea was first introduced to England 1644.

The distribution of the different forms of the word reflects the spread of use of the beverage. The modern English form, along with French thé, Spanish te, German Tee, etc., derive via Dutch thee from the Amoy form, reflecting the role of the Dutch as the chief importers of the leaves (through the Dutch East India Company, from 1610). The Portuguese word (attested from 1550s) came via Macao; and Russian chai, Persian cha, Greek tsai, Arabic shay, and Turkish çay all came overland from the Mandarin form.

RiverTea said

Etymology indeed and a little bit of tea history and culture. I find really useful this detailed information. Thanks!

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Fiddling said

Tea is chaai (چای) in Persian.

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Serenity said

In ASL (American Sign Language):
http://lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-signs/t/tea.htm

Thanks! Thats awesome!

RiverTea said

Indeed! Thanks for sharing!

so cool! makes me feel thirsty..and im already drinking tea! haha

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Also “cha” in Korean, written 차
(as a tea addict, it was something I looked up right away once I started studying korean)

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ashmanra said

чай In Russian, pronounced “chay.”

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