Our five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell – seem to operate independently, as though they are five separate and distinct modes of perceiving the world. However, they collaborate closely to enable the mind to better understand its surroundings. We can become aware of this collaboration under special circumstances, and Arabs seemed to have had an understanding of this a long time ago. The way they perceived their world is shown in their material culture, literature, and fine arts. The beautiful fabrics that make up Arab garments are a feast for the eyes and their textures luxurious to the touch. If you’ve ever indulged in a Middle Eastern meal you will understand why Arabs truly put an emphasis on the sense of smell and taste. In this post, we will talk about the five senses in Arabic, including some information about the different body organs that our senses use.

Here are our examples:

Sense in ArabicHassahحاسة
The five senses in Arabicalhawassu ilkhamsالحواس الخمس
Smell in ArabicHaasat ishamحاسة الشم
Touch in ArabicHaasat illamsحاسة اللمس
Taste in ArabicHaasat iltathawoqحاسة التذوق
Hearing in ArabicHaasat ilsam’حاسة السمع
Vision in ArabicHaasat ilbasarحاسة البصر
Head in Arabicra’sرأس
Forehead in Arabicjabeenجبين
Eye in Arabic‘ayanعين
Ear in Arabic‘uthonأذن
Nose in Arabic‘anfأنف
Mouth in Arabicfamفم
Tooth in Arabicsinسن
Lip in Arabicshifahشفة
Tongue in Arabiclisaanلسان
Face in Arabicwajahوجه
Neck in Arabic‘unuqعنق
Back in ArabicDhahrظهر
Chest in ArabicSadrصدر
Belly in Arabicbatnبطن
Skin in Arabicjildجلد
Brain in Arabicdimaaghدماغ
Lung in Arabicri’ahرئة
Stomach in Arabicmi’dahمعدة
Arm in Arabicthirae’ذراع
Hand in Arabicyadيد
Leg in Arabicrijilرِجِل
Foot in Arabicqadamقدم
Toe in Arabicisba’ ilqadamإصبع القدم
Nail in Arabic‘uDhoforأُظفُر
Palm in Arabicrahat ilyadراحة اليد
Thumb in Arabicassabbabahالسبابة

It’s worth mentioning here that there are some other words in Arabic that may sound close to the word sense (hassah), but mean something different.

For instance:

Instinct in ArabicHissحسّ
Sensitive in ArabicHassassحسّاس
Feeling in ArabiciHsaassإحساس

Also, you might know some expressions that involve the senses, like:

This makes no sense in Arabic / hathaa laysa lahu ‘ay ma’na / هذا ليسَ لهُ أي معنى

This is nonsense in Arabic / hathaa hura’a / هذا هُراء

Now that you’ve made sense of this list, how many words can you remember?

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