Say Coffee in 20 Languages

updated May 24, 2019
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Whenever I travel, there are three things I always learn how to say in the local language: Hello. Thank you. That was delicious.

Since food is such an excellent vehicle for experiencing a culture, and connecting with people, I’ve found that that last phrase always gets a big smile, no matter where I am. But of course, there’s another word that’s essential for the culinary traveler: coffee.

What is great about the word “coffee” is that it’s pretty recognizable anywhere you are in the world. Why? As Alyssa Pelish pointed out in a great piece on Slate recently, because the word for coffee, no matter where it is used in the world, has its roots in the same place: classical Arabic. Qahwah was the word that described the drink originating in Yemen, and that word has stuck, around the world.

Need proof? Here’s how to say coffee in 20 languages.

How To Say Coffee in 20 Languages

  1. Finnish: kahvi
  2. Swedish: kaffe
  3. French: café
  4. Indonesian: kopi
  5. Czech: káva
  6. Greek: καφέ
  7. Vietnamese: cà phê
  8. Hungarian: kávé
  9. Swahili: kahawa
  10. Afrikaans: koffie
  11. Tagalog: kape
  12. Korean: keopi
  13. Russian: кофе
  14. Turkish: kahve
  15. Mandarin: kāfēi
  16. Icelandic: kaffi
  17. Spanish: café
  18. German: kaffee
  19. Italian: caffè
  20. Hindi: kŏfī

Do you speak a language not included on this list? Tell us — how do you call coffee?