Sunday, July 11, 2010

Arabench or Frabic?

Did you know that some Arab countries speak French?  They are Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.

In the 19th century, the French occupied the Maghreb (5 North African countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and the disputed territory of the Western Sahara) particularly Algeria, that explains why there's a long list of Arabic loan words in French.

Some of the French words of Arabic-derived are:
  1. alchimie (alchemy) from an Arabic word  al-kimiya meaning 'the art of changing metals'
  2. algèbre (algebra) from an Arabic word al-jabr meaning 'putting together broken parts'
  3. café (coffee) from an Arabic word kahwah
  4. coton (cotton) from an Arabic word kutn
  5. girafe (giraffe) from an Arabic word zarafa 
  6. momie (mummy) from an Arabic word mumiya meaning an 'embalmed body'
  7. sucre (sugar) from an Arabic word sukkar
  8. zéro (zero) from an Arabic word sifr meaning 'cipher'
For a list of French words of Arabic origin, cliquez ici! ✿