How to Say Tea in 39 Languages

November 20, 2017

Touareg et thé à la menthe

How to Say Tea in 39 Languages


Behind water, tea is the second most consumed beverage on earth. By its cultural background and through its different aromas, tea evokes travel and exploration. With multiple accessories, everyday rituals and complex ceremonies, this is a fascinating beverage. Tea, synonym of hospitality, is an infusion that inspires sharing.

The origins of the word tea comes from China, where it has two different pronunciation: Cha and Te. All around the world, the word to designate tea comes from one of these pronunciations.

It appears that in the countries where the pronunciation starts by “ch”, the drink has been brought to the people by ground. In opposition to the countries that pronounced the word with the “te”, where the product was distributed by boats.

The sinological symbol used to designate the word tea is 茶. There are as many ways to say the word as there are countries to savor it.

For you, tea travelers, here are 39 ways to order a teacup:

  • Spanish: el te
  • French: le the
  • German: der Tee
  • Italian: te
  • Portuguese: cha
  • Dutch: thee
  • Danish: te
  • Swedish: te
  • Finnish: tee
  • Norwegian: te
  • Icelandic: te
  • Russian: chai
  • Greek: tsai
  • Japanese: ocha
  • Korean: cha
  • Chinese (Mandarin): cha (make sure you pronounce the “a” in a rising tone
  • Thai: chah
  • Hindi: cha
  • Arabic: chai or shai
  • Armenian: te
  • Turkish: cay
  • Croatian: caj
  • Czech: caj
  • Hungarian: tea
  • Polish: herbata
  • Romanian: ceai
  • Ukranian: chaj
  • Hebrew: teh
  • Somali: shaah
  • Zulu: itiye
  • Filipino: tsaa
  • Vietnamese: tra
  • Indonesian: teh
  • Chinese (Cantonese): cha
  • Sinhalese: the
  • Tamil: tea

References :
Pettigrew, Jane. Le thé, livre du connaisseur. 1997.

Also in News

Offre d'emploi Maison de thé Cha Noir à Montréal
Job Offer March 2024

December 07, 2023

This is your chance to be part of our team! 

Continue Reading

Comment préparer son chaï maison. Cha Noir, Verdun, Montréal
How to prepare a traditional Chai

August 24, 2023

Recipe, tips, and tricks for a successful chai at home.

Continue Reading

Feuilles de thé vert du Japon à la Maison de thé Cha Noir à Montréal
Find out about our love for Green Teas!

March 13, 2023

Green teas have been the subject of manystudies. Discover their benefits.

Continue Reading