English Words That Come From Arabic

Did you know that you are practicing your Arabic vocabulary by speaking everyday English words? Without even thinking, you’re using words with Arabic origins. The Arabic language is one of the oldest languages in the world, spanning centuries. As the English language is newer, many of its words have their roots in Arabic.

The vast amount of English words that have come from Arabic are the result of years of international trade, conquests, exploration and migration. Historians and linguists hypothesize that centuries ago, the Spanish absorbed and began using Arabic words when the then powerful Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula. This translation shift may have begun as early as the AD 700s.

Some English words are direct decedents of Arabic words, such as ghoul while others have been indirectly passed down from Arabic through other, older European languages such as Latin, Turkish or French. These words include sugar and admiral.

It is estimated that hundreds of words in the English language come from Arabic words. These words encompass food and drink, medical and scientific terms, animals and plants as well as everyday objects and products we use. Some examples include:

  • Alcohol
  • Algebra
  • Average
  • Bled
  • Check
  • Coffee
  • Cotton
  • Candy
  • Gerbil
  • Gazelle
  • Giraffe
  • Guitar
  • Harem
  • Henna
  • Hazard
  • Jar
  • Jasmine
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mascara
  • Mask
  • Mattress
  • Orange
  • Safari
  • Satin
  • Sherbet
  • Sorbet
  • Shrub
  • Soda
  • Sofa
  • So-long
  • Spinach
  • Syrup
  • Tell
  • Wisdom tooth
  • Zero

These are just a few of the English words derived from Arabic. Being aware of these words with Arabic roots are just the starting point of the journey of becoming fluent in Arabic.

If you’re interested in getting a better grasp of Arabic, Arab Academy can help you build upon your knowledge of the abovementioned English/Arabic words.

Why You Should Learn Arabic

Learning Arabic is becoming a much greater advantage in the workplace by opening up additional career options and opportunities that would otherwise not be possible as well as help pave the way to professional advancement opportunities.

Fluency in Arabic also makes travel to the Middle East and Africa more enjoyable and with strong Arabic language knowledge you’ll be able to make friends and build relationships with your Middle Eastern neighbors.

Arab Academy is a world-recognized language school taught by qualified, native Arabic-speaking instructors. We offer Arabic courses for all skill levels from novice to advanced and many of our courses are online so our students can learn at their own speed and progress through their course on their schedule.

For more information about Arab Academy and our program, or to enroll in one of our courses, contact us today.

Phone: +20 111 670 4021 - +20 111 218 0305
Fax: +20 227955201
3 Alif Kamil El-Shinnawi Street,
Garden City 11451, Cairo , Egypt

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