Gehan M Anwar

  • A Quest for Reviving the Past: Arabic Lines in English Translation and Terminology

    By the late 1200s, medieval Europeans began to stir out of their long Dark-Age-sleep to become captivated by the scientific contributions of the Islamic civilization, the vital raw material on which the Western Renaissance built its structure. Arabic, the 'lingua franca' of the Medieval time, was the medium through which versions of Greek scientific and philosophical knowledge were recovered, translated, supplemented and transmitted to the Western World. Medicine was the biggest beneficiary of this knowledge as one of the first sciences that was given interest in writings. Some hundred years later, Latin Europe benefited from its translations. Once the Spanish city of Toledo was conquered by the Arabs, the Greco-Arab manuscripts were translated into Latin, the language of the learned in medieval Europe. As a result, a new method of translation was adopted, and Arabic medical terms found their way into western medicine, pharmacy and chemistry. This paper places emphasis on discussing the gradual emergence of Arabic influence in both language and translation within medieval Europe and Middle English. The Arabic role in the multilingual context and the process of the dissemination of Arab sciences in several centres in Europe are discussed. In addition, it presents a brief overview of how such contribution has left traces in modern and today’s medical English and the medical terms commonly derived from Arabic roots. Finally, this study is not to claim that Arabic is superior to other languages, but to focus on the role of the Arabic Language and translation in the Medieval Western medicine. In the vocabulary of this paper, the researcher has practically included some medical terms found in the dictionaries available in the well known internet resources, notes and readings; and not restricted to the English language.

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