The Null Device

Tea vs. coffee

Last.fm is currently temporarily down, and displaying a grey page with text, in various languages, informing the user of this fact.

Interestingly enough, the English message reads:

We're sorry, but our database servers are currently overloaded. Please enjoy a quick cup of tea and then try refreshing this page.
whereas the Italian one reads:
Siamo spiacenti ma i nostri server sono momentaneamente sovraccaricati. Gustatevi un caffè veloce e provate ad aggiornare questa pagina.
Which, literally, invites the user to have a cup of coffee (which, when one thinks about it, is more culturally appropriate than literally translating it to a cup of tea).

The Portuguese translation seems to also mention coffee, though the French, German and Polish ones seem to stick with tea; the Spanish one doesn't seem to mention any beverage. I don't know what the Russian, Japanese or others say.

Which gives a concise tea-vs.-coffee map of European cultures. And it made me wonder whether, were it written in Australian English, it would refer to coffee rather than tea. And what about American English? Perhaps "please enjoy a Mega-Grande Lattucino™" or something?

There are 5 comments on "Tea vs. coffee":

Posted by: datakid Thu Dec 7 21:44:25 2006

Australian's get the same as the British, I can confirm.

Posted by: Reb Sat Dec 9 00:17:08 2006

haha that's wonderful. I learn new things about the cultural differences with coffee/tea related things as being an American in the UK or Europe in general. For instance, the term "non-dairy creamer" isn't that well known over here, and given my husband's reaction when I mentioned such a term, would probably be taken as a sexual reference. :/

Posted by: luba Wed Dec 13 23:19:19 2006

there's no russian version. english and japanese only, unfortunately don't know what they offer - maybe saki

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org/acb/ Thu Dec 14 19:21:18 2006

Wasn't there one in Cyrillic? Which language was that?

Posted by: Gaabs Wed Feb 20 17:45:05 2008

There is also the small difference between Polish and English alert, namely, "Zaparz wrzątek na herbatę" or whatever it is writen there (I don't remember) means "Boil the water for a cup of tea". Well, does it mean, that Polish people are drinking slower? xD

Want to say something? Do so here.

Post pseudonymously

Display name:
URL:(optional)
To prove that you are not a bot, please enter the text in the image into the field below it.

Your Comment:

Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.

Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.