• Here are a couple of links about the Moorish conquest of Spain and the influence of Arabic on the Spanish language.
  • Sorry I do not know much but on the net maybe you can do a few searches Unfortunately I lost a link that I used to have that dealth with the Mexican City that you mentioned. Sorry About that but search the net or take a trip to North Morocco where they speak Spanish as well as Arabic fluently. The moors were in Spain for Hundreds of Years as well as in France and Italy there is a couple of BBC broadcast on the topic and can be found on Youtube. On the net you might also find information searching the following words: moors, mezquita,mozarabic,mosarabic, morisco, maures, moros, Andalusia, Spanish Inquisition, Tariq Ziad just to name a few. Some language similarity Examples: Forgive me for bad spelling as I am not a linguist! Ohala (bad Spelling) in Spanish would be Inshallah in Arabic si Dios quiere or with God's will. Arroz in Spanish would Ar-Ruz in Arabic=Rice Azucar in Spanish would be As-Sucr in Arabic=Sugar Pantalones in Spanish would be Bantalunes in Arabic=pants Camisa in Spanish would be Khamis in Arabic=Shirt zapatos in Spanish would be zapats in Arabic=shoes Spanish Flamingo dancing is also of Arabic origins. Examples of names: Andaluz is from the Arabic Andalusia which is part of Spain. Ismail and Rafeal are also of Arabic Origins. Medina is from the Arabic word for City. Mecca is from the Arabic word for a Holy City in Saudi Arabia. Names like Omar, Fatima, khadija, Amira , omira, Yadira are some spanish Names with Rabic Origins. The famous ones you already know like Paula Abdul, Selma Hayak, Shakhira, Claudia Abu Sad, Thalia are all names of Arabic Origins. There is also some H sound in Spanish that comes from the letters J and G too. Then The double l (LL) in Spanish that sounds like a Y or even a J depending on accent and the Y that is sometimes pronounced like a J. In certain instances the pronounciation of these letters will make them sound more like Arabic words. For example Yadira if this name is prounounced as J rather than a Y it sounds like the Arabic word Jadira and if the R in the same name is prounced like a d then it sounds like the Arabic word Jadida. As for the silent H in Spanish -Arabic does have two H letters and Two S letters and Two T letters and some times the H is silent in Arabic but never if the H is the beginning of the word but it is actually not totally silent but rather a breath like sound. Many spanish words that begin with the letter T are also pronounced in a way (T) that resembles one of the T sounds that is in Arabic but not in English or other romance languages. Sorry I find it hard to explain in words. But if you ever heard a new spanish speaker say Yo Tengo and thought that it did not sound like Spanish at all because of the American Accent that is because that person is not used to the Arabic T sound that is well defined in the Spanish language. The same can be said for some of the other Arabic letters in relation to pronounciation of Spanish words. Once again sorry since I am an amateur but I hope this helps.
  • Yes it's true. Between 1/3 and 1/4 of Castilian words are of Arabic origin. But vocabulary is the extent of Arabic's influence on Castilian. Grammar, morphology, sytax, etc. is all derived from Vulgar Latin. One should take care when trying to figure out which words come from Arabic, though. As listed above, "arroz" is not directly from Arabic. The Arabic pronunciation was influential, but the VulgLat word "el riz" was already in existence in Spain and is ultimately of Greek origin. Similarly "zapato" is not an Arabic word, rather an Ottoman Turkish word 'zabata'. Similarities with Arabic are because the Ottomans have also influenced that language as well. Also "pantalones" have nothing to do with Arabic whatsoever. It is from an Italian comedy character, Pantaloun, from the 1590s. Azucar, even though it is not originally an Arabic word, WAS brought to Spain by the Arabs. Also words like alfombra, albahaca, almohada, almacen, aceituna/aceite, azafran, and a load of toponyms: including Guadalajara, Calatayud, Algeciras, Cadiz, Alcala, etc.
  • As to the silent H, it has been silence since the beginnings of Vulgar period and was pronounced by very few even during the classical period. A testament to this is the fact that the H is not pronounced in any of the romance languages and in Italian the H has disappeared at the beginning of words. Compare L:homo, F:homme, S:hombre, I:uomo. Also, don't listen to Sufi at all because he doesn't know what he's talking about. Neither Salma, nor Hayek, nor Shakira are common names in Spanish. These entertainers have Arabic names because the have Arab fathers-both of Lebanese extraction.

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