In his book Our ancestors the Arabs, what our language owes them, Jean Pruvost, professor of lexicology and history of the French language, shows the direct correlation between history and language. Having also written “Le Dico des dictionnaires”, Jean Pruvost traces the history of French words borrowed from the Arabic language in several lexical fields. He also points out that Arabic is the third most popular foreign language after English and Italian.
Some French words of Arabic origin
The Arabic influence on the French language is very obvious be it in food, fashion or art. Thus, words like “algèbre” (الجبر), “caliphate” (خلافة), “gazelle” (غزال), “sorbet” (شربة), “alcool” (الكحول), “ aubergine” (باذنجان), “caïd” (قائد), “artichaut” (أرضي شوكة), “guitare” (قيثارة) are samples of French words originating from the Arabic language.
Moreover, during the period of French settlement in Maghreb, the French used common Arabic words to communicate with the region’s inhabitants. Migrants from North African countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, have also brought new Arabic words into Europe.
If you’d like to delve further into the influence of Arabic on the French language, you may use Hans Wehr’s transcription system in his Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic.
Why learning the Arabic language is so important?
Beyond the strict linguistic interest, learning Arabic has many cultural, educational, economic and strategic benefits. However, it is not easy to speak modern standard Arabic, as it requires learning the basics of Arabic grammar and a specific vocabulary. The peculiarities of Arabic writing must also be taken into account.
Professional Arabic translation of your business documents
For Arabic translations that are truly adapted to the linguistic and cultural fields of your target audience, work only with companies that provide professional Arabic translation services. Trading with the Arab countries requires well-translated trade documents, but also technical, or even marketing translations. Having duly translated documents by real professionals will give you an edge in your business dealings with companies located in the Arab and Gulf regions.