In Mandarin Chinese, the latte is written as "拿铁". In fact if you type in "natie" on iPhone the cafe emoji shows up in the predictive list.

However, I just entered a brunch of Starbucks in Taipei, and found that it is spelled as "那提". Why is it not "拿鐵", the equivalent of "拿铁" in Traditional Chinese?

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  • probably due to transliteration into shanghai or guangdong dialects.
    – Colin
    Mar 21, 2017 at 20:08

2 Answers 2


well, "拿鐵" is just a translation term. it helps to indicate the particular type of drink. in hong kong, another place using traditional chinese, latte is translated as "鮮奶咖啡" by starbuck.

"鮮奶" - fresh milk; voila, "咖啡" - coffee :)

toffee nut crunch latte --> 拖肥果仁脆趣鮮奶咖啡

gingerbread latte --> 薑汁鮮奶咖啡 <-- my favourite 😼

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i'm thirsty now, have fun :)


The vocal translation of words are interesting. In fact this kind of example is very common between Mandarin Chinese and Traditional one.

Take Hollywood for an instance, in Mandarin Chinese we call as 好莱坞(Hao3 Lai2 Wu1), But in Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong SAR), people call it 荷里活(Ho4 Lei5 Wut6).

I'm not sure how Taiwanese call Hollywood in Traditional Chinese but when I play OverWatch/守望先锋/鬥陣特攻 and i switch the region & language into Chinese (Traditional), I heard 好萊塢(Hao3 Lai2 Wu4). There's one slice difference lies in.

Some people criticised that this may cause language barrier. I don't think so :)

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