"I basically speak Arabic."
That's how one Spanish speaker reacted after Barbara Estrada and Taylor Villanueva, two journalism students from the University of Southern California, produced a video to show the similarities between Spanish and Arabic. In the viral video, a Spanish-speaking student and an Arabic-speaking student simultaneously translate words like "sugar," "pants" and "scorpion" to compare the languages.
They were pretty blown away by the results and so were the millions who’ve viewed the video since it was published on Thursday.
Those who’ve delved deep into the history of the Iberian peninsula know the immense impact the Moorish empire continues to have on present-day Spain. But many may still not know that the reason so many words in the Spanish-language begin with “al,” for example, has to do with Arabic-language influences.
That’s right, everyday words like alfombra, albóndiga, algodón are borrowed from Arabic. In fact, "al" is the definite article meaning "the" in the Arabic language.
On Tuesday, Villanueva, 21, told Fusion she was inspired by her Mexican-Lebanese roots to create the video.
“I just wanted to open people’s minds to help them realize that the two cultures aren’t that different,” Villanueva said. “I’ve grown up seeing the similarities between the two cultures and I wanted other people to see it, too.”
While the etymology of some of the Spanish words in the video, like música, are traced back to other Greek or Latin origins -- the clip certainly shows how two seemingly very different languages can actually be very similar.
Watch the video above and share your thoughts in the comments below.
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