The aim of the article is to give an overview of the influence of Arabic on selected African languages. It is based on a survey of African language dictionaries and texts on loan words in some African languages. The spread of Islam in Africa has caused the influence of Arabic on many African languages. This influence is so strong at the level of loanwords that, in some vehicular languages, such as Hausa and Swahili, they exceed 30% of all lexicon. These loans - mainly nouns - have been introduced directly or more often through other languages spoken by Islamic peoples. This article gives some examples of loans common to several African languages particularly those of Western and Central Africa. Regardless of the limited Muslim presence in Bantu Africa, a few loans are found in some Bantu languages such as Zulu, Xhosa, etc. But for various reasons, others such as Acooli, Sango or Dogon have not been influenced by Arabic.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.