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Post Language: Persian Loan Words in Arabic (Nushin Namazi, US)
Created by John Eipper on 11/24/08 2:46 AM - language-persian-loan-words-in-arabic-nushin-namazi-us

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Language: Persian Loan Words in Arabic (Nushin Namazi, US) (John Eipper, USA, 11/24/08 2:46 am)

Nushin Namazi writes:

Here is a website that describes how Persian words enter Arabic:


Persian words and terms started to enter into Arabic language and Arabicized in strange ways. Here are a few that are mentioned:

Very common ways of Arabicization of Farsi (Persian) words:

By omitting one or several letters from either the beginning, the middle or the end of the original Persian words. For example Bimarestan becomes Maristan, Pishpareh becomes Shafaraj and Noshkhwar becomes Noshwar, Hazardastan becomes Hazar, etc.

By adding letters to the original Persian words. For example rah becomes torrahat, panjeh becomes fanjaz, pacheh becomes balgha and Setu becomes setuq.

By changing letters and these are many. (n) and (r) to (l) and (g) to (j) and they change (kh) to (h), (p) to (f) or (b), and (k) to (gh) and (ch) to (sad) or (sh) and (sin) to (sad) and (t) to (ta) and (alif) to (ayn) or (h) and (sh) to (z) and (zi) to (zal). For example they change zaryun to jaryal, kerdehban (a loaf of bread) to jardabil, shabanak (a game) to shaflaqa, and gandeh-pir (and old man) to qandefil and zaghar (a bird) to zaghala and garm (warm) to jarm and khorba to al herba and parand to farand or barand and kartah (a dress) to qartaq, Chuba to Subaj or Subaq and obrah to hobary, etc.

By changing k to (j) or (gh). For example luzinak (a kind of sweet) is changed to luzinaj or luzinagh and gorbak (cat) becomes ghor-bagh or ghorbaj.

By writing one sole word in various ways differing little or much from the original Persian. For example zavankal (a small man) is written in the following ways in Arabic zavankal, zavarak, zavanak and tanparvar (a lazy man) becomes tanbur, tambal, tanbal, tendal and kehtar (smaller) becomes jaytar, ja'dur, jaydary ja'bar ja'zar, etc.

By conjugating not only the Arabicized words but also, in some cases, the original Persian version. For example from Persian jandara, they conjugate jandara, yojandaro from zinhar, zanhara yozanharo, from bussidan (to kiss), bassa yabusso and from kushidan (to try) kasha, yakusho. (Addi Shirr, Persian Arabicized words in Arabic, 1965)

There are cases where both the arabicized version of the Persian word and its literal translation are used. For example Golab (rose water) is both used as jallab and as Ma'olvard. Zaban gonjishk (a tree) as Benjeshk zowan and Lessan ol-Asafir, Panjangosht as Banjankosht and as Zu-Khamsato-Asabi'e, sepid ruy as al-Asfidh-ruy and Al-Nahas-al-abyaz, Mahi-ye-Zahreh, as Mahi zahraj and Samm-ol-Samak.

Some words are transliteration of the Persian word such as: Khamseh Mostaragheh from Panjeh-ye-Dozdideh, Moshahereh from Mahianeh, Nesf-ol-Nahar from Nim-ruz, al-Namal-al-faress from Mur-cheh-Saveri, Maleeh from Namakeen, Beyt-ol-Nar from Ateshkadeh, Balut-al-Moluk from Shah-balut, Sammol Himar from Khar-zahreh, Lessan-al-thowr from Gav-zaban, Reyhan al-Molk from Shah-Esperam.

Many musical terms and the name of many musical instruments were borrowed from the Persian. This continued and later after a lapse of time people forgot the origin of these many words that were borrowed and adopted by the Arabs. The Iranian Nationalist Shu'ubiyya movement led the Arab faction more and more to camouflage the Arab borrowings from the Iranians and so they confused the issue. Today many of the borrowings of the Arabs from the Iranian civilization is surrounded by a haze, because all the pertaining documents have been dastardly and willfully destroyed.

JE comments: I wish I could comment on this with some level or erudition, but alas, I haven't studied either Arabic or Persian. (We have just introduced Arabic, one of the "languages of the future" as former Spanish president Juan Negrin said over fifty years ago, into the curriculum at Adrian College; unfortunately we don't have the resources or the demand to offer Persian/Parsi.)


For information about the World Association of International Studies
(WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its
homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/

John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA

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