WITHOUT al-gebra there would not be physics, without al-gorithms there wouldn’t be computers, and without al-kaline there wouldn’t be chemistry. Welcome to the world of Arabic used in the English language.
It was Islam that paved the way to the upheavals in the history of science. Arabic words were first used in the English language as early as the 14th century A.D. when Islam began to gain importance and change the historical landscape of the world as it spread in all directions from the Arabian peninsula where Prophet Muhammad preached Islam. English and European explorers discovered complex mathematics and the practice of medicine by Arabs in countries like Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia during that time.
The biggest beneficiary of this knowledge is medicine and today, there are thousands of Arabic terms used in this branch of science. In fact, the medical textbook written by Iranian physician and philoso- pher Ibnu Sina or Avicenna (9811037) is still being referred to today. The works of third century Greek physician Galen, translated into Arabic and later into Latin and English, are also still in use today. Over time, more Arabic words were imported, expanding the English language vocabulary beyond medicine.
Recent and ongoing reports about wars and atrocities in countries in the Middle East contain numerous Arabic terms, and words like jihad, intifada, fedayeen, fatwa, assassin, Sultan, Caliph and Emir are regularly used.
Other beneficiaries come, among others, from the fields of navigation, architecture, literature and astronomy.
There are many Arabic dialects. Classical Arabic – the language of the Qur’an – was originally the dialect of Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia. An adapted form of this, known as Modern Standard Arabic, is used in books, newspapers, on television and radio, in mosques, and in conversation between educated Arabs from different countries (for example at international conferences).
Local dialects vary, and a Moroccan might have difficulty understanding an Iraqi, even though they speak the same language.
Some of the words below are borrowed directly from Arabic, but most of them have taken the scenic route, through Spanish, Italian, and/ or French, or through Turkish, Persian, or Urdu, and even through Hebrew or Latin. This produces a good deal of phonological deformation, as does the dialect variation within Arabic.
Here are some nouns accompanied by a pronunciation guide and meanings.
1. Cipher (‘ sye-fur) – encoded message
2. Nadir (‘ nay-deer or ‘nay-der) – lowest point
3. Loofah (‘ loo-fah) – sponge from a gourd 4. Kismet (‘ kiz-met) – fate 5. Fakir ( fuh-‘keer or ‘faykur) – holy beggar
6. Macramé (‘ mack-ruh-may) –
Bai Bithaman Ajil: A contract to the sale of goods on a deferredpayment basis.
Arabic loanwords in English are words acquired directly from Arabic or else indirectly by passing from Arabic into other languages (usually one or more of the Romance languages) and then into English. Some of these loanwords are not of ancient Arabic origin, but are loanwords within Arabic itself, coming into Arabic from Persian, Greek or other languages.