Did you know that Arabic has influenced other languages like English, Spanish, and French? Of course, one could totally understand how Arabic has had a major linguistic influence on other non-Arab Islamic countries. For example, in countries like Pakistan, Turkey or Iran, Arabic is the only language of the Quran. So, naturally, the influence of the Arabic language was strong there. This is due to the fact that Islam is the main religion.

So, how did Arabic expand its influence so deep into the languages of the West? When the Islamic Empire grew into the Mediterranean region, Arabic became hugely influential. This happened sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries.

The following are the top three languages that contain some words from Arabic.

Influence of Arabic on English

English borrowed some words from Arabic through other European languages. Also, words were transmitted by soldiers returning home from the crusades. However, one thing needs to be noted. The Arab world was a great global contributor to the sciences of astrology, alchemy, mathematics and medicine. Therefore, it was only natural that some of the technical terms are borrowed words in English, but not limited to only those technical terms.

Sugar in Arabicsukkarسكر
Cotton in Arabicqutnقطن
Algebra in Arabical-jabrالجبر
Alcohol in Arabical-kuhulالكحول
Cave in Arabickahifكهف
Gazelle in Arabicghazalغزال
Lemon in Arabiclimunليمون
Guitar in Arabicghytarغيتار

Influence of Arabic on Spanish

Spanish has borrowed many words from the Arabic language due to 800 years of Arab dominion in the region. Arabic seems to have a bigger impact on the Spanish language called Catalan than on any of the Spanish dialects. The Arabs even called the Iberian Peninsula as al-andalus. Also, this word exists even in present-day Spain to denote a community there where the people are known as the Andalusians.

Aubergine in Arabicalbergíniabadhanjanباذنجان
Bathrobe in Arabicbarnúsbarns alhamamبرنس الحمام
Olive in Arabicaceitunazaytunزيتون
Waterwheel in Arabicnòrianaeuraناعورة
Artichoke in Arabiccachofakharshufخرشوف

Influence of Arabic on French

At some point, France colonized the region known as Maghreb. The region is in the north-west area of Africa. Consequently, French became the second language. So, it was only natural that some Arabic words permeated the language.

Apricot in Arabicabricotalbarquqأَلْبَرْقُوق
Magistrate in Arabicalcadealqadiالقاض
Tariff in Arabictarifftaerifaتعريفة

Technically speaking, any Romance language will have Arabic influences due to conquering of the European empires within the region. You can find words of Arabic even in the Romanian, Portuguese, German and Italian languages.

We at kaleela.com believe that the study of languages can be fascinating as you learn how they came about, how they influenced other regions and how they have evolved over time. Surely, we can all agree that the Arabic language has made great contributions to other languages, cultures and sciences.

If you want to learn more about the Arabic language, don’t forget to download our Arabic learning app Kaleela!