Thursday April 19th, 2012

I talked to you before about French words coming from English, and the English words very commonly used recently in French. But what I forgot to tell you is that there are also Arabic words used in French.

I was listening to a guy explaining about pictures manipulations the other day, and he kept saying “je mets un chouya ici”, “je mets un chouya la”. I understood that “chouya” means “a little” from the general meaning of the sentence, and from the actions he was doing, but I never had heard this word before and I did not know its origin. I recently found out that this word is coming from the Arabic word “shouway” which means “a bit”!

I can give you other Arabic words integrated recently in the French language, like for example “bled” (means country), or “toubib” (means doctor, comes from the Arabic word “tabib”). I’m sure the list can go bigger, do you know any other words?

The fun part is that while I was doing the research for today’s post, I found out that there are French words who originally came from Arabic! I always thought that the Arabic words came from French (since they were the big voyageurs and discoverers), but it turned out it’s the other way round!

Like for example the word “alcool” comes from arabic “kouhoul”, and the word “assassin” comes from “hashashin”, etc… and this list is enormous! There are thousands and thousands of words, Wikipedia has a whole list that you can check here. Some of them we knew, some of them I was surprised when I read them. Like for example “coton” is coming from arabic and not the other way round! Weird, isn’t it?

On another note, did I mention that the warm and sunny Spring weather has gone to leave us with a cold and rainy weather? I’m just glad we had that wonderful week end in Orleans. But hopefully we’ll get it back again soon. In the mean time, I will leave you with this nice pic I took of my flower bouquet, since inside my vase is the only place I get to see flowers nowadays 🙂

Weird tulip that I got from the market the other day; I'm just glad it lasted for the whole week.

See you tomorrow!

One Response to “Thursday April 19th, 2012”
  1. Magnésium says:

    “kawa” from “kahwa” is often used for coffee.
    not that “bled” has a subtle use to mean “countryside” or “region” which is kind of distortion of the original arabic meaning (“country”).

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