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Arabic Influences in Various Languages

Place names | Agriculture | Government and Culture | Mathematics and Science | Military | Home and Family | Miscellaneous

In the table below, several words are compared between Romance languages.  While Spanish is rather obviously a Romance (Latin derived) language (as shown in the first four examples), it has been heavily influenced by the Arabic language. 

English

Latin

Italian

French

Provençal Occitan

Catalan

Portuguese

Spanish

Arabic

one

unus

uno

un

un

un

un

um

uno

واحد
waaHid

two

duos

due

deux

dos;
doas

dos;
doas

dos;
dues

dois

dos

إثنين
ithnayn

I

ego

io

je

ieu

iéu

jo

eu

yo

انا
anaa

he

ille

lui

il

eu

el

ell

ele

él

هو
huwa

you

vos

voi

vous

vos;
vautres;
vosautres

vos;
vosautres

vostè

você

usted

أستاذ
ustaadh
 "teacher"

olive

oliva

oliva

olive

oliva

oliva

oliva

oliva;
azeitona

aceituna

الزيتون
az-zaytuun

oil

oleum

olio

huile

òli

òli

oli

óleo;
azeite

aceite

الزيت
az-zayt
 "olive oil"

rug

tapete

tappeto

tapis

tapis

 

catife

tapete

alfombra

الخمرة
al-khumrat

 "redness"

district;
neighborhood

quartus

quartiere

quartier

quartier

barri

barri

bairro

barrio

برّا
barraa

 "outside"

village

villa

villagio

village

vilatge

vilatge

vilatge

aldeia

aldea

الضيعة
aD-Dy‘a

 "camp"

scorpion

scorpio

scorpione

scorpion

escorpion  

escorpí;
alacrà

escorpião

alacrán

العقرن
al-‘aqran

 "scorpion"

The following tables show Arabic words borrowed by English, French, and Spanish in various fields.  Note that, in general, words borrowed into Spanish kept the Arabic definite article (al- and its variants which mean  "the ") while English and French generally dropped the article.

(Examples taken from research conducted during the National Endowment for the Humanities' National Arabic Language and Culture Institute at The Ohio State University during the summers of 1994 and 1995).

Place names

Spanish

Arabic العربية

meaning

Gibraltar

جبل طارِق
 jibl Taariq

Rock of Taariq

Guadalajara

وادي الحجرة
 wadii al-Hajara  1

River of Rock 1

Guadalquivir

وادي الكبير
 wadii al-Kabiir  1  

Big River 1

Guadalupe

وادي
 wadii   + lupum2  

River of the Wolf 2

1  وادٍ wadin actually means valley, not river.

2 This is a hybrid between the Arabic وادٍ wadin (valley) and the Latin lupum (wolf)

Agriculture

Spanish

French

English

Arabic العربية

meaning

al aceite

 

oil

الزيت
 az-zayt

 

la aceituna

 

olive

الزيتون
 az-zaytuun

 

el albaricoque

l'abricot

apricot

البرقوق
 al-briquuq

yellow plum

la albóndiga

 

meatball

البندقة
 al-bundiqat

bullet

la alcachofa

l'artichaut

artichoke

الجرشوف
 al-jarshuuf

 

el alcohol

l'alcool

alcohol

الكُحول
 al-kuHuul

 

el algodón

le coton

cotton

القطن
 al-quTun

 

el arroz

du riz

rice

الأرُّوز
 al-’arruuz

 

el azafrán

le safran

saffron

الزعفران
 az-za‘afran

 

el azúcar

le sucre

sugar

السُكَّر
 as-sukkur

 

el jarabe

le sirop

syrup

الشَرِبَ
 ash-shariba

drink

el jazmín

le jasmin

jasmine

الياسمين
 al-yaasmiin

 

la naranja

l'orange

orange

النرنج
 an-naranj

bitter orange

Government and Culture

Spanish

French

English

Arabic العربية

meaning

la alcantarilla

 

sewer, drain

القنطرة
 al-qanTrat

bridge

la aduana

la douane

customs (house)

الديوان
 ad-dyuwaan

register, office

el alguacil

 

governor, bailiff

الوزير
 al-waziir

minister

ahorrar

 

to save (money)

حُرّ
 Hurra

free, available money

el albañil

 

mason

البَنّاء
 al-bannaa'

builder

el alcalde

 

mayor

القاضٍ
 al-qaaDin

judge

la aldea

 

village

الضَيعة
 aD-Day'at

camp

el almacén

le magasin
le magazine

store, warehouse;
magazine

المخزن
 al-makhzan

 

el dinero

 

money

الدينار
 ad-diinaar

 

la tarifa

le tarif

tariff
fare, fee

تعرف
 ta'rifa

you know

Mathematics and Science

Spanish

French

English

Arabic العربية

meaning

el álcali

l'alcali

alkali

القِليٌ
 al-qilii

 

el álgebra (f.)

l'algèbre

algebra

الجَبر
 al-jabr

break into pieces

el almanaque

l'almanach

almanac

المطنوخ
 al-maTnuukh

 

la alquimia;
la química

l'alchimie;
la chimie

alchemy;
chemistry

الكيمياء
 al-kymyaa' 

chemistry

cero

zéro

zero

صِفر
 Sifr

 

la cifra

le chiffre

numeral;
cipher

صِفر
 Sifr

zero

el elixir

l'élixir

elixir

الإكسير
 al-'iksiir

 powder

Military

Spanish

French

English

Arabic العربية

meaning

el alcázar

 

fortress

القصر
 al-qaSr

castle; palace

la aljaba

 

quiver (for arrows)

الجعبة
 al-ja'aba

 

el asesino

l'assassin

assassin

الحَشّاشي
الحَشّاش
 al-Hashaashii

hashish user

la hazaña

 

deed; exploit

الصَنيع
 aS-Sanii' 

 

matar

 

to kill

مات
 maat

 

Home and Family

Spanish

French

English

Arabic العربية

meaning

la alcurnia

 

ancestry

الكُنية
 al-kunyyat

surname

la alcoba

l'alcôve

bedroom;
alcove

القُبّة
 al-qubat

dome

la alfombra

 

rug

الخمرة
 
al-khumrat

redness

la almohada

 

pillow

المُخَدة
 al-mukhadat

 

el anaquel

 

shelf

النقل
 an-naqal

transport

el alquiler

 

rent

الكرآء
 al-karaa' 

 

el barrio

 

neighborhood

برّا
 barraa

outside

la azotea

  flat roof

السّطيحة
 as-saTiiHa

roof; terrace
Miscellaneous

Spanish

French

English

Arabic العربية

meaning

la tarea

 

homework;
chore

الطريحة
 aT-TariiHat

chore

hasta

 

until

حتّى
 Hatta

 

ojala

 

I wish…

و شاء
 wa -shaa' Allah

God willing

he (aquí)

 

here is

ه (هَهُنا)
 ha ;  hahunaa

 

el alacrán

 

scorpion

العقرب
 al-'aqrab

 

mezquino

mesquin

 poor guy ;
miser

مسكين
 maskiin

 poor guy

Sahara

Sahara

Sahara

صحراء
 SaHaraa' 

 

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Page last updated on March 26, 2014
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