Today we are going to learn some Spanish words of Arabic origin. Take a look at the blog of El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school in order to enrich your vocabulary with new words 😊

When we think of a romance language like Spanish, the first association our mind creates are the Roman times and Latin or other languages spoken in the Mediterranean, like French, Portuguese or Italian.

But did you know that after Latin, the language with the most importance for Spanish was Arabic?
Because of geographical closeness and history, Arabs and Spanish people shared a lot of territory and lived side by side for a long time.

In this post, we will give you some examples of words still present in todays Spanish which have their origin in the Arabic world.

1.) Town names

Because of the mix of cultures on the Iberic Peninsula during the 8th until the 15th century and the high prestige of the Arabic knowledge, a lot of places were named in Arabic.

Only in the Valencian community, you can find seven different towns with Arabic names (Alacuás, Alcalatén, Almáxara, Ahín, Sedaví, Alcolecha, Alboret)!

2.) Food

Some of the most popular ingredients in the Spanish cuisine have their origin in the Arabic world. Especially vegetables and fruits kept their name since they were first introduced to Spanish kitchens many centuries ago by the Arabs, such as:

Berenjena (Eggplant/Aubergine)
Naranja (Orange)
Alcachofa (Artichoke)
Aceituna (Olive)
– Albahaca (Basil)
Aceite (Oil)
Almendra (Almond)
Azucar (Sugar)
Atún (Tuna)
Arroz (Rice)

And many more!

In everyday life, you can find a total number of 36 Arabic words in spoken and written Spanish. Among the most common Spanish words of Arabic origins there is almohada (pillow), ajedrez (chess), álgebra (algebra), azul (blue), guitarra (guitar) and the interjection ojalá.

We hope that this short article about the Arabic influence was interesting to you and that you use the new words when speaking Spanish.

Finally, our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, invites you to add more and more Spanish words to your vocabulary and to make the most of your Spanish lessons.

¡Hasta luego! (hasta also comes from Arabic 😊)