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Transcending boundaries

Updated: Oct 9

Did you know that the words ‘algorithm’, ‘aubergine’ and ‘cotton’ come from the Arabic language?

In fact, there are more than 400 Arabic words in French, making it the third language borrowed from, after English and Italian.

Here are a couple of examples:

‘orange’, ‘sucre’ (sugar), and ‘alcool’ (alcohol)

‘jupe’ (skirt), ‘macramé’, and ‘magasin’ (shop)

The word ‘hasard’ (chance, luck, fate, coincidence) also comes from the Arabic word ‘az-zahr’, which means a game of dice.

And ‘café’ - one of the most famous French words which is universally known - also comes from Arabic. Incidentally, croissants, which French people usually eat with their café, come from Vienna. As a matter of fact, Danish pastries are called 'Viennese pastries' in French.

One of the many wonderful things about learning a language, is that while it’s a prism through which you get to understand the country and culture attached to it, most of the time like food - it transcends boundaries.

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