There are a lot of perks to speaking Spanish, like covertly overhearing chisme or getting out of talking to someone by pretending you “No hablo inglés.” One we had never heard before? If you speak español, you probably understand some Arabic, too.
That’s right, amigos. Joy Diaz, reporter for PRI, learned that from her daughter, whose first language is Spanish and is learning English. Her Lebanese preschool teacher, Rihab Massif, noticed that she was having trouble translating English words into Spanish but, with her Arabic knowledge, she was understanding perfectly.
Camisa (in Arabic, camis), guitarra (in Arabic, guitar) and aceite (in Arabic, ceit) are just a few of the words that she learned were similar. This similarity comes from thousands of years of Moroccan influence in Spain.
The “presence traveled to the Americas with the Spaniards,” says Diaz. “About 4,000 Spanish words are believed to come directly from Arabic.” Just like azucar, which translates to sakar.
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