Category: Language

Word for tea

The Word for Tea: A Question of Geography

Quartz has an interesting article on the word for tea in different languages. Almost all languages today use variants of one of two different words: tea and cha. Languages like French (thé), German (Tee), and Dutch (thee) are examples of the former, while the Turkish, Persian, Russian, and Hindi (chai) are examples of the latter. What […]

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Trade language & lingua francas

Trade Language & Lingua Franca

The merchant of centuries ago spent his life enduring monotony and hardship by turns.  Weeks might be spent in the saddle staring at an unchanging landscape, or on the deck of a ship with nothing but open water all around, only to be abruptly set upon by a ferocious storm or an avaricious pack of bandits.  The pendulum swings between boredom and misery were made worse by the constant loneliness of traveling in lands far from home.  Among people foreign in their customs and speech, even basic communication was difficult. (more…)

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