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      学习园地    
    双语 | 一杯清茶,聊聊 tea 和 cha
    2018-01-16 15:42   审核人:
       Yee君 

    世界向来就是通的,古老的丝绸之路更是从2000多年前开始,就把中国与世界更紧密地联系了起来,中国文化由此而对世界产生着广泛的影响。其中,“茶”就是典型案例。


     


    很多人都知道茶有两种主要译法——tea和cha,那么,这两种译法是怎么来的呢?在历史上的全球化过程中,它们又如何作为中国文化而走向了世界的每个角落?这篇小文,告诉你答案↓


    With a few minor exceptions, there are really only two ways to say “tea” in the world. One is like the English term—té in Spanish and tee in Afrikaans are two examples. The other is some variation of cha, like chay in Hindi.

    一般来说,全世界对“茶”的叫法只有两种。一种与英语中的tea类似,比如西班牙语中的té和阿非利卡语中的tee。另一种是cha的某种变化形式,如印地语中的chay。



     

    Both versions come from China. How they spread around the world offers a clear picture of how globalization worked before “globalization” was a term anybody used. The words that sound like “cha” spread across land, along the Silk Road. The “tea”-like phrasings spread over water, by Dutch traders bringing the novel leaves back to Europe.

    这两种叫法都源于中国。它们在全世界的传播,给我们提供了一幅关于“全球化”的清晰图景——在成为被广泛使用的词语之前,全球化已经开始运转了。读音类似“cha”的词语是沿着丝绸之路通过陆地传播的;而“tea”的说法则是通过海路传播的,荷兰商人通过海运将这种新奇的叶子带回欧洲。



     

    The term cha (茶) is “Sinitic”, meaning it is common to many varieties of Chinese. It began in China and made its way through central Asia, eventually becoming “chay” (چای) in Persian. That is no doubt due to the trade routes of the Silk Road, along which, according to a recent discovery, tea was traded over 2,000 years ago. This form spread beyond Persia, becoming chay in Urdu, shay in Arabic, and chay in Russian, among others. It even it made its way to sub-Saharan Africa, where it became chai in Swahili. The Japanese and Korean terms for tea are also based on the Chinese cha, though those languages likely adopted the word even before its westward spread into Persian.

    cha(茶)是汉语的说法,很多汉语方言都沿用这个叫法。起初,它源于中国,之后传播到了中亚,最终在波斯语中变为chay(چای)。这无疑是丝绸之路贸易的结果,据最近的一项发现,丝绸之路上的茶叶交易最早可以追溯到2000多年前。后来,这种叫法又跨越波斯传到了境外,在乌尔都语中称为chay,在阿拉伯语中称为shay,在俄语中称为chay。甚至传到了撒哈拉以南的非洲,在斯瓦希利语中称为chai。日语和韩语中茶的叫法也是由汉语的cha(茶)演变而来,但它们在cha这个词向西传入波斯之前就已经存在了。



     

    But that doesn’t account for “tea”. The Chinese character for tea, 茶, is pronounced differently by different varieties of Chinese, though it is written the same in them all. In today’s Mandarin, it is chá. But in the Min Nan variety of Chinese, spoken in the coastal province of Fujian, the character is pronounced te. The key word here is “coastal”.

    但这并没有解释茶为什么叫tea。茶这个字在中国的不同方言中写法一样,但读音不同。在今天的普通话中,它读作chá。但在沿海省份福建所使用的闽南语中,这个字读作te。注意这里的关键词是“沿海”。



     

    The te form used in coastal-Chinese languages spread to Europe via the Dutch, who became the primary traders of tea between Europe and Asia in the 17th century, as explained in the World Atlas of Language Structures. The main Dutch ports in east Asia were in Fujian and Taiwan, both places where people used the te pronunciation. The Dutch East India Company’s expansive tea importation into Europe gave us the French thé, the German Tee, and the English tea.

    据《世界语言结构图册》记载,在中国沿海地区的方言中te的说法由荷兰人传到了欧洲,荷兰人也成为17世纪欧洲和亚洲之间主要的茶商。荷兰人在东亚交易的主要港口位于福建和台湾,这两个地方的人都采用te的读音。荷兰东印度公司向欧洲大规模进口茶叶,于是有了法语中的thé,德语中的tee和英语中的tea。


     

    Yet the Dutch were not the first to Asia. That honor belongs to the Portuguese, who are responsible for the island of Taiwan’s colonial European name, Formosa. And the Portuguese traded not through Fujian but Macao, where chá is used.

    但最先来到亚洲的不是荷兰人,而是葡萄牙人,欧洲对殖民时期台湾岛的称法“Formosa”正是源于后者。葡萄牙的贸易并非通过福建,而是使用“茶”说法的澳门。


    A few languages have their own way of talking about tea. These languages are generally in places where tea grows naturally, which led locals to develop their own way to refer to it. In Burmese, for example, tea leaves are lakphak.

    有些语种在谈论“茶”时有其独特的表达方式,这些语种一般分布在茶叶自然生长之地,当地人会用自己的方式去称呼它。比如在缅甸语中,茶叶的叫法是“lakphak”。



     

    The spread of tea demonstrates two different eras of globalization in action: the millenia-old overland spread of goods and ideas westward from ancient China, and the 400-year-old influence of Asian culture on the seafaring Europeans of the age of exploration.

    茶的传播表明了两个全球化进程的不同时代:一个时期是货物与思想经陆路从古代中国向西传播,长达千年之久;另一个时期是探索时代,亚洲文化对航海远行的欧洲人产生影响,历经400余年。


    来源:Quartz

    编译:Yee君

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