List of German words from Arabic

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The German language borrowed many expressions from Arabic through Latin , Spanish , Italian and French , especially in the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the modern era (“Arabisms”). In part, Arabic has already borrowed them from other languages ​​such as Greek .

Above all, many astronomical terms, some important mathematical terms and basic terms of chemistry were adopted by the Arabs , since after the turmoil of the Great Migration Period, the ancient scientific literature preserved in Arabic was an important source for medieval European scientists.

German words of Arabic origin

German Transcription ( DMG ) Arabic Remarks
admiral amīr al-baḥr أمير البحر borrowed via French and several intermediate stages from Arabic أمير amīr 'commander'
alcohol al-kuḥūl الكحول see chemical names
arsenal dar ṣināʿa دار الصناعة via Italian from Arabic dar aṣ-ṣināʿa "factory", "shipyard"
artichoke al-ḫuršūf or al-arḍi-šuki الخرشوف أو الأرضي شوكي via Italian and Spanish ultimately from Arabic al-ḫuršūf
Bedouin badawī بدوي from Arabic بدوي badawī 'desert inhabitant', adjective to badiya "desert, wilderness"
Borage abū ʿaraq أبو عرق via Latin from medieval Arabic abū ʿaraq "father of sweat" or abū hurāsch "father of roughness"
elixir al-iksīr الإكسير see chemical names
gazelle ġazāl غزال via italian gazzella from arabic ghazāl
giraffe zurāfa زرافة via the Italian from Arabic zurāfa "the lovely one"
hashish ḥašīš حشيش ḥaschīsch means grass, lawn, weed, weed or the drug.
Average ʿAwār عوار via Italian, French and Dutch from Arabic ʿawār "damage" or ʿawārīya "damaged goods"
Kadi qāḍī قاضي Qāḍī means judge. The word was borrowed from the fairy tale collection Thousand and One Nights at the end of the 17th century . The term Kadi was adopted into the German language through the phrase “pull / go in front of the Kadi”.
coffee qahwa قهوة from turkish kahve from arabic قهوة qahwa listening ? / iAudio file / audio sample  'stimulating drink', originally also 'wine'
carafe arrāfa غرافة via French, Italian and Spanish from Arabic gharrāfa "water lifter wheel with shovels"
dome qubba قبة possibly from arab. "Vault", "dome"
Kismet qisma (t) قسمة via Turkish from Arabic qisma (t) = "part, part", "part in life", "fate"
Lute al-ʿūd العود via French and Spanish from Arabic al-ʿūd "the wood" (see Oud )
macabre maqābir مقابر via French or English possibly from Arabic maqābir (graves) or Hebrew m (e) qabber (buried)
Macrame miqrama مقرمة The word macramé comes from the Arabic miqrama and means something like "knotted veil"
magazine maḫzan, plural maḫāzin مخزن via Italian from Arabic machzan, plural machāzin . The meaning "illustrated magazine" after English magazine as "collection point of information".
mattress maṭraḥ مطرح via French and Italian from Arabic maṭraḥ "floor cushion"
mocha Muḫā مخا about French or English from Arabic Muchā, a city in Yemen
monsoon mausim موسم About the English and Portuguese from Arabic mausim . Arab sailors described with the wordموسم( mausim ), which means "season" in German, the phenomenon of a wind in the Arabian Sea that changes with the season. Compare Hindi / Urdu with the mouse on "Weather"
Raid ġāziya غازية via the French from Algerian-Arabic ġāziya "attack, military enterprise"
safari safar سفر from safar, which means "journey"
saffron az-zaʿfarān الزعفران via French and Spanish from Arabic az-zaʿfarān "crocus"
Sahara ṣaḥrāʾ صحراء from ṣaḥrāʾ for "desert"
Checkmate shāh māt شاه مات The expression shāh māt ("the king ( Shah ) is attacked / defeated / helpless") originally comes from Persian . More precisely: shāh "king" is Persian; māt (a) “died” is Arabic.
sofa ṣuffa صفة The term comes from the Arabic ṣuffa (“elongated projection”, “Sims”) and was not used in German until the end of the 17th century
Sorbet šarba شربة via the French from Arabic šarba “drink” for a cold, non-alcoholic drink
Tamarind tamr hindī تمر هندي from tamr hindī "Indian date"
Tariff taʿrīfa تعريفة about the French and Italian from Arabic taʿrifa "Notice, Price List"
Digit ṣifr صفر see mathematical terms
sugar शर्करा ( śarkarā )> sukkar سكر The word originally comes from the Sanskrit word शर्करा ( śarkarā ) for "sweet", which is used as sukkar (سكر, verb: sakkara ) was borrowed into Arabic and from there reached the European-speaking area

Religious terms from Islam

German Arabic Remarks
Allah الله Allah, allāh is the Arabic word for God. The more common interpretation assumes a syllable ellipse when the article al (ال) and ilāh (اله"God", "deity"), thus "the god". Linguistically, Allah is closely related to the Hebrew El or Eloha , more commonly in the formal plural form Elohim . El ( Eloha / Elohim ) means something like "strong", "mighty".
caliph خليفة The caliphate (derived from the Arabic chalifat rasul allah (خليفة رسول الله); Arabic chalifa, plural chulafa "successor", "deputy", "caliph", literally "the successor of the Messenger of God". However, if the word rasul was omitted , the title became al-khalifat ul-lahi under the Umayyads خليفة الله, “Representative of God [on earth]” changed) is an Islamic form of government in which secular and spiritual leadership are united in the person of the caliph.
mosque مسجد masjid "place to bow" , place noun to sajada "bow". See. Machzan "place to store" chazana "magazine".
Fatwa فتوة Fatwa describes a religious legal opinion that is drawn up by a religious legal scholar on behalf of a ruler, but also of a common citizen.
Hafiz حافظ As a Hafiz (Arabic حافظ hāfiz ofحفظ“To protect”), also written as Hafidh, is the name given to a Muslim person who knows the entire Koran by heart.
Hijra هجرة The Hijra (also: Hejra) describes the "emigration" of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 .
Islam الإسلام Islam "surrender (to God)", "submission to God's will";الإسلام al-islām "Islam"
Kafir كافر kāfir "unbeliever" (from an Islamic point of view)
Koran قران The word Koran (Arabic قران qur'ān ) derives fromقرأ qara'a 'read, recite'. It is a parallel formation to the Syrian qeryânâ for "pericope reading ". Qur'ân stands for both the individual revelation and the totality of revelations. The word kitâb "book" is also usedas a synonym.
Sharia شريعة Sharia ("way to watering", "clear, paved way", "religious law", also:شرع Shar` ) is the sum of the doctrine of duty, which determines the regulation of all areas of human existence.
Umma أمة The term ummah ("community") denotes the religious community of all Muslims, actually more correct: الامة الاسلامية al-Umma al-islamiyya . The Arabic word seems to be the Hebrew אמה umma , German 'tribe, gender' to be borrowed, which is possibly derived from the Assyrian ummanu .

Concepts of the sciences

Mathematical terms

German Arabic Remarks
algebra الجبر al-dschabr ("the joining of broken (bone) parts"), from the title of the arithmetic textbook Hisab al-dschabr wa-l-muqabala by the mathematician al-Chwarizmi , actually derived from the textbook of the Indian mathematician Aryabhata .
algorithm الخوارزمي after al-Chwarizmi (mathematician, approx. 780–850)
Cipher , digit صفر sifr "zero"

Chemical names

German Arabic Remarks
alcohol الكحل From the Spanish alcohol, fine, dry powder from al-kuhl " antimony powder ", " make-up for eyes ". Alcohol was the "spiritual essence ".
Alkalis القلية Alkali (from Latin sal alkali from Arabicالقلية, DMG al-qalya ' Potash ').
Azure لاژورد via French, Latin, Arabic from Persian lāžuwärd
Chemistry ( alchemy ) الكيمياء About Latin, Spanish, Arabic from Greek chymeía, chēmeía "dealing with metal conversion"
elixir الإكسير either through Latin, French, Spanish, Arabic ( al-iksīr 'Philosopher's Stone') from Greek xēríon "dry powder" or from a subsidiary form of Latin ēlixātūra 'decoction'

Astronomy and geodesy

In terms of the names of fixed stars , only the lighter and known ones are mentioned here.

See also: Star naming , Wikipedia category individual star

German Arabic star Remarks
Aldebaran الدبران Alpha Tauri ad-dabarān "The next one" because he seems to follow the Pleiades in the sky.
Algol الغول Beta Persei ra's al-ġūl "head of the demon", meaning the head of Medusa carried by Perseus . The name is translated from Greek into Arabic.
almanac المناخ al-manāḫ "the climate ", in the broader sense: list of climatic and astronomical events of a year. The Arabic word is possibly an Arabization of Middle Latin almanachus, and this from the Greek alemenichiaka, which, according to Eusebius (around 300 AD), is the name of the Egyptian calendar. The word is then not Arabic, but rather Coptic .
Altair النسر الطائر Alpha Aquilae an-nasr al-ṭā'ir "the flying eagle", in contrast to Vega .
azimuth السمت as-velvet; Plural as-sumūt "the way". The north-related horizontal direction to a star or to a point on the surface of the earth. Compare also Zenit.
Betelgeuse , Betelgeuse ابط الجوزاء Alpha Orionis ibṭ al-ǧawzāʾ "armpit of Orion " (al-ǧawzāʾ)
Deneb ذنب الدجاجة Alpha Cygni ḏanab ad-daǧāǧa "tail of the chicken". The Arabic name of the constellation Swan is "chicken".
Enif أنف الفرس Epsilon Pegasi Anf al-faras "nose of the horse". The Arabic name of the constellation Pegasus is "horse".
Fomal skin فم الحوت Alpha Piscis Austrini fam al-hūṭ "mouth of the whale"
nadir نظير السمت naẓīr as-velvet "symmetrical opposite the zenith". The point of the sky exactly vertically below the observer, opposite the zenith.
Rigel رجل الجوزاء Beta Orionis riǧl al-ǧawzāʾ "foot of Orion "
Theodolite verballhorn from English the alhidade . from Arabic al-idhâdah "pointing / partial circle"
Vega النسر الواقع Alpha Lyrae an-nasr al-wāqiʿ "the falling eagle". Contrasted with Altair , the flying eagle.
Zenith سمت الرأس including ar-ra's "path of the head". The point of heaven exactly vertically above the observer's head. Compare azimuth.

See also


  • Nabil Osman (ed.): Small lexicon of German words of Arabic origin (= Beck'sche series . Volume 456). 8th edition. C. H. Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60155-2 (3rd, combined and extended edition. Ibid. 1992, ISBN 3-406-34048-2 ).
  • Andreas Unger (with the assistance of Andreas Christian Islebe): From Algebra to Sugar. Arabic words in German. Reclam, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-15-010609-5 .
  • Helle Körner: On the development of the German (loan) vocabulary. In: Glottometrics 7, 2004, ISSN  1617-8351 , pp. 25–49, here: p. 29: Tab. 1 (distribution of the German vocabulary among the various languages), p. 30: Tab. 2 (distribution of foreign words in German to the intermediary languages) ( full text [PDF; 3.6 MB]).
  • Karl-Heinz Best : On the spread of words of Arabic origin in German. In: Glottometrics. 8, 2005, ISSN  1617-8351 , pp. 75-78 ( full text [PDF; 1.9 MB]).
  • Raja Tazi: Arabicisms in German. Lexical transfers from Arabic into German (= Studia linguistica Germanica. Volume 47). de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1998, ISBN 3-11-014739-4 (Zugl .: Heidelberg, Univ., Diss. phil., 1994) ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  • Reinhold Kontzi (Ed.): Substrates and superstrates in the Romance languages (= ways of research . Volume 475). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1982, ISBN 3-534-06680-4 (on the influence of Arabic on Latin and thus on other European languages; limited preview in the Google book search).

Web links

Wiktionary: Category: Borrowing from Arabic (German)  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language . 25th edition. Berlin 2011, p. 17.
  2. Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language. 25th edition. Berlin 2011, p. 62.
  3. coffee, m. . In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm : German Dictionary . Hirzel, Leipzig 1854–1961 ( , University of Trier).
  4. Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language. 25th edition. Berlin 2011, p. 550.
  5. From algebra to sugar: Arabic words in German. Book presentation on, accessed on August 14, 2019.