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Tea in languages

A_User
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I've been looking up words for "Tea" in various languages, and so far, all of them except Polish have been related to either "tea" or "cha". Polish is "herbata". :-) Does anyone know of any other languages with a different word for tea?

2 years ago

75 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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From Dictionary.com:

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.

I'd guess most languages it's a version of either tea or chai. Other places didn't grow it to have their own names for it, so when they started importing from China they imported the name with them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
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Interesting! :-) Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonFiore
DonFiore
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Burmese: lakhpak (with Burmese letters)
Hawaiian: kī (because they don't have t)
Ojibwe: aniibiishaaboo
Romani: drab (medicine?)
Wolof: àttaaya

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tea

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Whoa, neat! Do you speak Ojibwe, or did you just look it up? If you do, how would you pronounce aniibiishaaboo?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonFiore
DonFiore
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Unfortunately, I don't speak any of those languages. I just picked the outliers from the linked wiktionary page.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Ah, I see.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nishnaabenini

aniibiishaaboo (in my area the initial 'a' is dropped) is pronounced: 'uh - nee - bee - shaw - boo' < the 'boo' can be pronounced like you think (almost like a ghost says 'boo') or a little more like a lengthened 'boh'

It means 'leaf-liquid' (a)niibiish "leaf" (<originally comes from (a)niib "elm") -aaboo "liquid" suffix

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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Lakhpak! I have a new favorite word.

Burma I think does have tea, so it makes sense that they would have their own word for it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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What was your old favourite word? :-)

I didn't know they grow tea in Burma. Isn't it the wrong climate?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

You can easily boil the text down to:

Tea plants are native to East Asia, and probably originated around the meeting points of the lands of north Burma and southwest China. [Scientific research] indicates that likely a single place of origin exists for [the tea plant], an area including Assam state of India, northern part of Burma, and Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China.

Just leave out the specific scientific terms, they just explain how they came to these results but unless you already have some good understanding of the methods used, it's not really important and probably just tiresome to go into detail.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Thanks! I really do need to research more about the origin of tea. I think I once saw something about them trying to grow it in the Scottish Highlands, but I never heard anything about how it turned out.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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I was somewhat guessing, but it was a good guess. No, it's not the wrong climate; they grow it at similar latitudes in India, and as far south as Sri Lanka.

Tea plants are native to East Asia, and probably originated around the meeting points of the lands of north Burma and southwest China.[24] Statistical cluster analysis, chromosome number, easy hybridization, and various types of intermediate hybrids and spontaneous polyploids indicate that likely a single place of origin exists for Camellia sinensis, an area including Assam state of India, northern part of Burma, and Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China.[24]

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Can you explain what that means to me? Scientific terms were never my strong point. What is a "spontaneous polyploid", for instance. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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I hate science. If you wait for an explanation from me, you'll wait a long time. The important part is that tea comes from, among other places, north Burma.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
Olja.
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гарбата [garbata] in Byelorussian

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
Olja.
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You drink tea = Ты п'еш гарбату [ty pyosh garbaty]

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Another different one! This one seems to be related to the Polish. Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
Olja.
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Byelorussian, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish are rather similar :) You're welcome

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I thought Russian was чая? :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwyaren
mwyaren
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no no no, podwieczorek is a kind of afternoon snack, usually cakes or sth, often accompanied by tea or coffee. ;) tea leaf is liść herbaty, so a literal translation. leaf tea is herbata liściasta.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Oh, so podwieczorek (good for you figuring out what I meant!) is like English afternoon tea. Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
Olja.
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чай :) the old Ukrainian word for чай is also [herbata], I just checked in web, but I have never heard anything like that in Russian. Although other words are very similar :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwyaren
mwyaren
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also czaj is sometimes used in Polish to denote strong tea, I think. ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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@mwyaren I didn't know that one. Thank you! Podwiorczek (I think that was the word) would be tea leaf, right?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
Olja.
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2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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:-) I don't think I've seen ч transliterated as tch before. Is that common, and I just haven't seen it?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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It's how we came up with Tchaikovsky ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Of course. I forgot him. But I don't think I've ever seen his name in Cyrillic, so I do have some excuse. :-) But we also came up with names like Rachmaninoff, and that kind drives me crazy. Though most people who know me are already convinced I'm crazy. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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Sanity is boring.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Sanity is overrated!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Good to know that neither of you thinks I'm boring or overrated! :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
Olja.
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I have no idea how to transcript this sound correctly :) tschai? tchai? chai? the Ч sounds hard in this word

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
Olja.
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2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I think I've typically seen ch. But I don't normally examine the transliterations I see to remember which way I've seen a letter transliterated. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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That depends on the language. In English we represent this sound with ch. In French it's tch, tsch in German.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Thanks, Theron!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DrSwordopolis
DrSwordopolis
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Think you might enjoy this:

http://imgur.com/a/iVK8a

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Yes, I do. :-) Thanks! Cucumber is not a word I would have guessed...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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As the map shows, tea is indeed tee also in Estonian.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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So the map is even accurate! Good to know. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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Haha, I can only vouch for some bits and pieces of the northern half of it. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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:-) Well, that's better than it all being inaccurate!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmilyChristine37

चाय in Hindi.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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What would that be transliterated? I don't read Hindi. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmilyChristine37

Forgot about the transliteration. चाय would be pronounced like chai. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Thanks! :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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I've heard it said that Polish "herbata" is from Latin "herba thea", so Polish is actually in the "tea" camp as well...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I'm assuming "herba thea" would be specifically herbal tea?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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I would guess more something like "the plant called 'tea' " with herba meaning something like "plant"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Oh, right. I should know that, with years of experience with Latin plant names.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline
remoonline
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Odia - ଚାହା (Cha-ha) or ଚା (Cha)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Where is Odia spoken? I've never heard of it before.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline
remoonline
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It is spoken by around 33 million speakers, primarily in the Indian state of Odisha but Odia diaspora is spread pretty much across the globe.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odia_language

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Oh, it's an Indian language. That's why I didn't recognize it, I never learned much about them. Thanks for the link!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pratyush.
Pratyush.
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In India there is no language called 'Indian'. But every state has it's own languages whose name sounds similar to their name of state, like Tamil of Tamil Nadu, Kannada from Karnataka, Bengali from Bengal, Odia from Orissa etc

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I didn't know every state had it's own language. You learn something new every day!

I was referring to the Indian language family, not a specific language. But if I did pick one which I would consider the main language, it would probably be Hindi. Would that be accurate?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97
adamyoung97
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Amharic: ሻይ (šay)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iamduygu

In Russian and Turkish, the words for tea are pronounced exactly the same (чай vs. çay). But what really shocked me was that the word "semaver", i.e. where you boil the tea, in Turkish came from Russian. I had always thought that the word "semaver" came from either Persian or Arabic, but during one of the lessons of the Russian class I attended, I learnt that it actually originated from "самовар". It's most probably my ignorance, but that word always sounded a bit more Arabic or Farsi to me, maybe it's because of the way we pronounce it. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I never thought of samovars being anything but Russian, but then, I don't speak Turkish. :-) So it might be how you pronounce it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sonofbaz

using engish letters tea in hindi is Caay

Using hindi letters it is चाय

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi
jzsuzsi
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Does the Polish herbata come from 'herbal tea'? Just thinking...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Konrad127123
Konrad127123
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Pretty much. According to http://www.czajnikowy.com.pl/herbata-dlaczego-nie-czaj-pochodzenie-polskiego-slowa-herbata/ and http://sjp.pwn.pl/poradnia/haslo/herbata;3273.html (both in Polish), the first part comes from the Latin word "herba", which means "herb" and the "ta" comes from the same origin as "tea".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi
jzsuzsi
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Thanks, Konrad:)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rdlastng
rdlastng
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Tagalog- Tsaa (sounds like "chaa"? kindof)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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I'd guess that comes from chai.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rdlastng
rdlastng
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I don't think so , maybe chinese

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Probably, all words related to chai come from the Chinese. After all, that's where much of the tea comes from. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Looks different, though! :-) Thanks! Know any others?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeGzp
MikeGzp
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Té in Spañish

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoaoRMarcos

Chá in Portuguese.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KateM303

Tè in Italian. 茶 (pronounced Cha) in Chinese.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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revives I bet Eni hasn't seen this before...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xasybean.
Xasybean.
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Lojban

tcati /t͡ʃɑːtiː/

It literally is a combination of cha and tea

Lojban is a constructed language and its vocabulary is designed to be an amalgamation of the most commonly spoken languages. That's probably why.

Coffee is ckafi /ʃkaːfiː/ shkafee

5 months ago