The Word For Tea Around The World

29Aug06

How do you say tea in…..?

Here’s a list of words for tea in various languages.

Afrikaans: tee

Armenian: te

Bengali/Bangla: cha ( চা )

Chinese (Cantonese): cha ( 茶 )

Chinese (Mandarin): chá

Croatian: čaj

Danish: te

Dutch: thee

English: tea

Esperanto: teo

Finnish: tee

French: thé (thanks sulz)

German: Tee (thanks Arlen)

Greek: Tsai (thanks Stefania)

Hindi: chai ( चाय )

Hungarian: tea (thanks Kozonithy)

Italian: tè

Icelandic: te

Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia): teh

Japanese: , ちゃ(pronounced “cha” – thanks Es)

Korean: 茶,차 (pronounced “cha” – thanks Es)

Luxembourgish: Téi (thanks Isabelle)

Maori:

Macedonian: чај (pronounced “chai” – thanks Gorazd)

Malay: teh

Norwegian: te

Persian: chay (thanks shirin)

Polish: herbata

Portuguese chá (thanks sulz)

Romanian: ceai (thanks capstan)

Russian: чай (pronounced “chai” – thanks Arlen)

Slovak: Čaj (thanks Mirka)

Spanish: té

Swedish: te (thanks Trey)

Tagalog: tsaa

Thai: ชา (pronounced “chah” – thanks Brad)

Turkish: çay

Vietnamese (North): chà

Vietnamese (South): trà

Wolof: achai (pronounced “uh-chuy” – thanks Dom)

Welsh: te

Yiddish: tey

Zulu: itiye (thanks Jesse)

Is your language missing? Please leave a comment and add it in!

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31 Responses to “The Word For Tea Around The World”

  1. romania – ceai

  2. You’ve inspired me to do some research on whether or not the ancient Greeks and Romans had a word for tea proper. I’ll have a look.

    Also–love your new colour scheme–very cheerful!

  3. capstan: Thanks – your word has been added.

    Tess: I’m looking forward to what you come up with. And thanks for the compliment.

    Incidentally (and this has little to do with my post), the word “tea bag” was first recorded in 1940. Seems awfully late, don’t you think? The source for this nugget of information is the online etymology dictionary.

    Btw, are any of you having problems with wordpress marking things as spam that aren’t spam? Tess – your comment (and my reply) were both marked as spam so I had to go in and “de-spam” them. Strange – I wonder if it’s just me, or if this is a temporary glitch in their spam filter.

  4. Re: Greek/Latin words for tea–

    As far as I can tell, tea proper wasn’t known very well, or possibly at all, to the ancient Greeks and Romans. They drank tisanes–primarily mints and camomiles, it seems, along with other herbal remedies–but I can’t find any references to tea. I’m curious now, though, as I know they had access to all sorts of Eastern luxury goods, including silks, spices, etc. Perhaps there just wasn’t a demand for it? Or, perhaps, they considered it just another tisane and it therefore had a generic name I can’t track down. I’ll be sure to ask one of my old Classics professors when next I drop them a line.

    Re: “spam” comments–
    I have this trouble if somebody links in the body of their comment, which is no great shock and is most likely a good thing. Haven’t had to moderate many others, though. Hopefull it’s just a temporary thing for you.

  5. I think you’re right – I don’t think the ancient Greeks had much contact with the Chinese.

    I found this comparative analysis of early China and Greece that *may* provide some insight.

    http://www.amazon.com/Way-Word-Science-Medicine-Greece/dp/0300101600/

    You’re right about the links in comments. I’ll have to go despam this one now!

  6. In Hungary: tea

  7. You’ve left out Italian : té
    I really enjoyed the above page ( while drinking tea too right now )
    all the best,
    Ernesto

  8. Hello Ernesto,

    Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the comment.

    I think you may have missed Italian…it’s right under Hungarian (and above Icelandic.

    Enjoy your té!

  9. french: thé

  10. Can’t believe I missed that one. Thanks!

  11. 11 Arlen

    German tea should be capitalised; ie. `Tee’.
    In Russian, it’s чай (pronounced `chai’).

  12. 12 shirin

    persian:chay

  13. portuguese: chá

  14. 14 Gazzimoto

    I often say Tea… I Love Tea. Really great to know how Tea is said in multiple languages.

  15. In the Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish), the word for tea is simply “te” [teh].

  16. in luxembourgish:

    Téi

  17. 17 Brad

    In Thai it’s ชา “chah” (just like in many other Asian languages.

  18. 18 Mirka

    Slovak language – Čaj

  19. 19 Gorazd

    Macedonian – чај (pronounced: chai)

  20. 20 stefania

    Greek – Tsai

  21. 21 Es

    Korean & Japanese – Cha

  22. 22 Jesse

    Zulu: itiye

  23. 23 Dom

    Wolof: achai (pron: uh-chuy)

  24. Foochow = ta

  25. 25 anne

    hebrew = תה (pronounced te)

  26. 26 Vivian

    Arabic – Chai

  27. Malayalam – Chaya


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