15 Spanish Words with Arabic Origins

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Arabs began arriving in what is now Spain in 711, and have had a presence in the country ever since. It is no surprise then, that about 4000 words or 8% of the Spanish language are of Arabic origin. In fact, it is said that most Spanish words that start with “al” are Arabic-derived.

Today, Latin America has the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East. There is estimated to be 17-30 million Arab-Latinxs in Latin America and celebrities such as Salma Hayek, Shakira, and Majida Issa are of Arab (Lebanese) descent. We thought it fitting to take a look at some of the many words in Spanish with roots in Arabic.




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