English enriched by Centuries of borrowed Arabic words


Besty

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Besty

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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?
 
zomba

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zomba

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Great article, besides english, our kiswahili owes a great deal in arabic. Can anyone give us a clue as to how many words,(percentage)of kiswahili are derived from arabic?
 
Sanda Matuta

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Sanda Matuta

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Imani za dini zinadai mtu wa kwanza kuishi duniani ni Adamu baadae akaja Hawa (Eve),na kama my memories are correct;these two are originated huko Middle East (Bara la Arabu).
Kwa kudhani kwangu nafikiri hapo ndipo kwenye hiyo root ya WHY arabic language ina mchango mkubwa kwenye lugha nyingi duniani.
 
Besty

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Besty

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Great article, besides english, our kiswahili owes a great deal in arabic. Can anyone give us a clue as to how many words,(percentage)of kiswahili are derived from arabic?
Wataalam wa lugha ya kiswahili, wanatufahamisha kuwa lugha ya Kiarabu imeathiri lugha ya Kiswahili kwa asilimia zaidi ya aronaini (40%). Hii ni namba tunayopewa tunapojifunza kiswahili. Baadhi ya watu wanadai kuwa Kiswahili kimejengwa kwa asilimia zaidi ya hamsini (50%), lugha ya Kiarabu.
Hapa chini ni baadhi tu ya maneno machache yenye asili ya lugha ya Kiarabu.

alasri
alfajiri
alkhamisi
arubaini
asubuhi
baada
baridi
binadamu
binamu
binti
chai
dakika
daraja
darasa
dhamiri
elfu
elimu
furahi
ghushi
habari
hadithi
hamsini
hatari
hayati
hoja
huru
ijumaa
ishrini
kabila
kahawa
kamusi
kanisa
karne
kata
kemia
magharibi
mahali
malkia
mara (yaani kuzidisha)
marehemu
maudhui
mauti
mawaidha
mhandisi
mia
msumari
mtihani
neema
nusu
rafiki
rahim
raisi
rehema
riwaya
robo
saa
saba
sabini
Safari
sahihi
sala
salama
salamu
samahani
samaki
sauti
serikali
shujaa
shukrani
sita
sitini
swala
tafadhali
tafakari
tahariri
Tausi
thalathini
thamanini
tisa
tisini
tufaha
tunu
vitabu
wakati
zamani
 
Idimi

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Idimi

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Great article, besides english, our kiswahili owes a great deal in arabic. Can anyone give us a clue as to how many words,(percentage)of kiswahili are derived from arabic?
It is believed that a quarter of swahili words come from Arabic, half from Bantu and other local African languages and the remaining quarter from the rest of the world.
Nearly all numerals are arabic.
 
Idimi

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Idimi

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Wataalam wa lugha ya kiswahili, wanatufahamisha kuwa lugha ya Kiarabu imeathiri lugha ya Kiswahili kwa asilimia zaidi ya aronaini (40%). Hii ni namba tunayopewa tunapojifunza kiswahili. Baadhi ya watu wanadai kuwa Kiswahili kimejengwa kwa asilimia zaidi ya hamsini (50%), lugha ya Kiarabu.
Hapa chini ni baadhi tu ya maneno machache yenye asili ya lugha ya Kiarabu.

alasri
alfajiri
alkhamisi
arubaini
asubuhi
baada
baridi
binadamu
binamu
binti
chai
dakika
daraja
darasa
dhamiri
elfu
elimu
furahi
ghushi
habari
hadithi
hamsini
hatari
hayati
hoja
huru
ijumaa
ishrini
kabila
kahawa
kamusi
kanisa
karne
kata
kemia
magharibi
mahali
malkia
mara (yaani kuzidisha)
marehemu
maudhui
mauti
mawaidha
mhandisi
mia
msumari
mtihani
neema
nusu
rafiki
rahim
raisi
rehema
riwaya
robo
saa
saba
sabini
Safari
sahihi
sala
salama
salamu
samahani
samaki
sauti
serikali
shujaa
shukrani
sita
sitini
swala
tafadhali
tafakari
tahariri
Tausi
thalathini
thamanini
tisa
tisini
tufaha
tunu
vitabu
wakati
zamani

Nakubaliana na wewe mkuu kuhusu maneno hayo, sema shida inakuwa kwenye takwimu halisi za maneno ya Kiarabu katika lugha yetu kwa wataalamu wa lugha. Hakuna ubishi kwamba Kiarabu kimetawala sana Kiswahili.
 
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K

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Ninavyofahamu mimi, ni kweli kabisa kuwa maneno ya Kiarabu yameazimwa katika lugha nyingi sana duniani. inaelezwa kuwa Waarabu kwa ajili ya kuishi kwao jangwani, walilazimika kwenda mashariki na magharibi kukidhi haja zao nyingi. Na shida za jangwani ziliwalazimisha kugundua elimu mbali mbali ambazo ziliwasaidia kujiendeleza. Na kwa sababu hizo waliigwa na watu wa mataifa mbali mbali walikowahi kufika na hao nao wakayafikisha kwingineko.

Huku kwetu, pwani ya Afrika Mashariki wao walikuwa miongoni mwa wageni wa mwanzo kabisa kuishi na kufanya biashara nasi. Walipokuja huku walitukuta na lugha zetu za kibantu. ni lazima tukumbuke wao hawakutukuta sisi mabubu. Tuliweza kuzungumza na kufanya biashara kati ya watu wa makabila na lugha tofauti. Kilichotuwezesha kuyafanya hayo ni ile ile lugha ya kibantu. Kama kawaida ya lugha yoyote ile. tuliazimana maneno ya lugha za kikabila.

Walipokuja Waarabu, tuliazima maneno ya Kiarabu kama vile tulivyoazima "shule" "hela" kutoka kwa Wajerumani, "shati" au "koti" kutoka kwa Waingereza na "pesa" au "meza" kutoka kwa Wareno. Na kadhalika.

Sasa wataalamu wanasema hivi: Kiswahili ni lugha ya Wabantu wa ukanda wa pwani ya Afrika ya Mashariki. Na katika orodha ya maneno yaliyoazimwa kutoka katika lugha nyingine, asilimia themanini ya maneno yaliyoazimwa, yametokana na maneno ya lugha ya Kiarabu.
 
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FaizaFoxy

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Ninavyofahamu mimi, ni kweli kabisa kuwa maneno ya Kiarabu yameazimwa katika lugha nyingi sana duniani. inaelezwa kuwa Waarabu kwa ajili ya kuishi kwao jangwani, walilazimika kwenda mashariki na magharibi kukidhi haja zao nyingi. Na shida za jangwani ziliwalazimisha kugundua elimu mbali mbali ambazo ziliwasaidia kujiendeleza. Na kwa sababu hizo waliigwa na watu wa mataifa mbali mbali walikowahi kufika na hao nao wakayafikisha kwingineko.

Huku kwetu, pwani ya Afrika Mashariki wao walikuwa miongoni mwa wageni wa mwanzo kabisa kuishi na kufanya biashara nasi. Walipokuja huku walitukuta na lugha zetu za kibantu. ni lazima tukumbuke wao hawakutukuta sisi mabubu. Tuliweza kuzungumza na kufanya biashara kati ya watu wa makabila na lugha tofauti. Kilichotuwezesha kuyafanya hayo ni ile ile lugha ya kibantu. Kama kawaida ya lugha yoyote ile. tuliazimana maneno ya lugha za kikabila.

Walipokuja Waarabu, tuliazima maneno ya Kiarabu kama vile tulivyoazima "shule" "hela" kutoka kwa Wajerumani, "shati" au "koti" kutoka kwa Waingereza na "pesa" au "meza" kutoka kwa Wareno. Na kadhalika.

Sasa wataalamu wanasema hivi: Kiswahili ni lugha ya Wabantu wa ukanda wa pwani ya Afrika ya Mashariki. Na katika orodha ya maneno yaliyoazimwa kutoka katika lugha nyingine, asilimia themanini ya maneno yaliyoazimwa, yametokana na maneno ya lugha ya Kiarabu.
Hao mimi naona si wataalaam bali ni mambumbumbu, Kiswahili kina maneno ya Kibantu lakini Kiswahili si lugha ya Kibantu, hakuna lugha ya Kibantu kuna lugha za Wabantu.

Halikadhalika hakuna lugha ya Kizungu, kuna lugha za Wazungu.

Kiarabu ni lugha pekee (unique) duniani kuwa ni lugha ya Kimataifa bila kujali Utaifa wala mipaka.

Waarabu si Taifa fulani la watu au watu wa kutoka nchi fulani, Uarabu ni lugha, uwe Msudani au Myemeni au Mlebanoni au Mwingereza au Myunani ukiongea Kiarabu basi umeongea Kiarabu, hali kadhalika, Msudani au mwengine yeyote kati ya niliowataja, akiongea Kimakonde hakuna ataesema kaongea Kibantu, tutasema kaongea Kimakonde.

Hali kadhalika Kiswahili, hakuna kabila ya Kiswahili lakini kuna Waswahili, kwanini? kwa kuwa wanaongea Kiswahili na ili uwe Mswahili basi ni lazima uwe Unaongea Kiswahili na uwe umesta"arab"ika. Kuongea Kiswahili pekee hakukufanyi kuwa wewe ni Mswahili, unajuwa tu Kiswahili.

Kustaarabika kwa maana una "Influence" ya Kiarabu. "Staa" kwenye staarabika inatokana na neno "wasta" la Kiarabu aka "influence".
 
FaizaFoxy

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FaizaFoxy

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It is believed that a quarter of swahili words come from Arabic, half from Bantu and other local African languages and the remaining quarter from the rest of the world.
Nearly all numerals are arabic.
Naona Besty juu hapo amesema asilimia 40% mpaka 50% ya Kiswahili ni Kiarabu, wewe unasema robo ya .

Naona njia ya mkato ni kusoma "article" zozote mbili tatu, humu humu JF, fupi na ndefu na kuhesabu, % ngapi ya maneno ni yanayotokana na Kiarabu na % ngapi yasiyotokana na Kiarabu, ntajaribu kufanya hivyo na ntakuja na majibu kwani Kiarabu pia nnakijuwa.
 

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