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Arabic loanwords in Spanish


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I'm sure most of you know that much of Spain (and Portugal) was under Arab rule for several hundred years. The impact of Arabic on the language is not minor and some of the differences between Spanish and Portuguese on the one hand and French and Italian on the other are due to the Arabic influence on Spanish and Portuguese.

For example the world-famous ¡Olé! was probably derived from Arabic "wallah" or "by Allah". And "ojalá" may either have been derived from "inshallah" or "law sha' Allah" both meaning "God willing" or "By the will of God".

Common words like "aceite", "aceituna", "alcalde" (notice the al- prefix), "adobe", "aduana", "alarife" and thousands more are actually Arabic borrowings! Even the Arabic definite article "al-" was borrowed with the word and adapted to Spanish pronunciation.

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