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 Arabic Words In English

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PostSubject: Arabic Words In English   Mon 5 Oct - 21:21

English enriched by Centuries of borrowed
Arabic words

By:
Mohamed Elmasry








For
1000 years, Arabic was the primary international language of commerce,
scholarship and politics, much as English is in today's world. In fact, over
the centuries English adopted many words that were either borrowed directly
from Arabic, or were absorbed indirectly through other languages, especially
Spanish.


Even
today, Arabic still accounts for the greatest number of Eastern elements in
English. The lists of examples that follow are only a brief sampling of the
many more words available; perhaps some will surprise you!


No
computer, nuclear plant or microchip design could have been possible without
the words and concepts we know as algorithm, algebra, and zero - all of which
come from Arabic.


The
names of many musical instruments -- like lute and guitar - as well as a number
of technical performance terms and styles, are also from Arabic roots.


Many
names of familiar animals, plants, spices, herbs and drinks began as Arabic
nouns: saffron, henna, camphor, cotton, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, tamarind,
lilac, sherry, mango, coffee, artichoke, spinach, jasmine, ginger, tulip,
lotus, shrub, giraffe, gazelle, cobra, zebra, cheetah.


If
you have ever taken a chemistry course, the word chemistry itself originates
with Arabic, as well as nitro, alkali, alcohol, calibre, antimony,
arsenic.


In
your household and daily life, you might easily run into Arabic words that are
so common we never give them a second thought: shampoo, sofa, cable, atlas,
magazine, pie, pajama, bungalow, mattress, sack, khaki, candy, caramel, jar,
sherbet, sugar, syrup, cinnamon, ribs, silk, cheque, chatty, sandal.


And,
as you might expect, Arabic is very present in slightly more exotic or emphatic
English words and proper names: tycoon, carat, chess, checkmate, Sahara,
almanac, rum, musk, sesame, tariff, cashmere, mummy, coral, sapphire, jubilee,
jargon, thug, Satan, fake, jungle, alchemy, zenith, safari, talc, tartar,
zircon, chiffon, amber, Bedouin, Ariel.


In
military vocabulary, frequently-used terms like hazard, admiral, arsenal and
assassin all owe their use to Arabic.


But
reference books devoted to tracing the English words borrowed from Arabic are
rare. Most were written some time ago and do not include contemporary
scholarship or changes in our language. The most recent is more than three
decades old -- Arabic Contributions to the English Vocabulary, by James Peters
and Habeeb Salloum (1973). Two other useful, but dated, titles are: A History
of Foreign Words in English, by Mary S. Serjeantson (1935) and Arabic Words in
English, by Walt Taylor (1933).


Words
are much like organic living creatures whose character and meanings evolve over
time and circumstance. Those Arabic words that made it into English must have
had a fascinating history, much of which has been lost over the centuries. It
makes one wonder; Who used the original Arabic words and what were they like?
How did these words first come to be spoken by non-Arabs? How many variations
did they go through before appearing in English dictionaries? Why are some much
easier to trace back to their Arabic roots than others? Linguists have answered
some of these questions but there is still much more to be known. Here is a
project worthy of far greater attention. Any takers?


For
more information on Islamic Heritage please visit: www.islamichistorymonth.com
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Red1
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PostSubject: Re: Arabic Words In English   Mon 12 Oct - 19:48

Useful information. Thank you madam for your contribution



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