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Why does half of the world call tea something like TEE and the other half use a word like CHAI?

It all depends which route was used to originally import tea. In Chinese the one symbol for tea 茶 is pronounced differently, up north as "cha" and coastal/south region as "te".

If the Portuguese introduced tea to your country you probably call it as tea and if it arrived by land something like cha.

@Otuk where did it come from if we call it "herbata"?

@deshipu

from south is simply my guess, herb-a-ta. what language is that?

@deshipu

wow surprising! It must be a special day to sprinkle and waste so many vowels in a single word for Polish to name something herbata :)

@Otuk We have plenty of vowels, we just also have a lot of diphthongs consisting of letters that happen to be read as consonants in Latin, so written words may look like they have many consonants when you have no idea how to read Polish. Now, Czech language, on the other hand, has stuff like "strč prst skrz krk", so maybe you are barking up the wrong tree...

@deshipu

sure, mine is an outsiders challenge based on polish names I see around in NY

@Otuk actually never mind, it's from latin "herba the"...

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