Major German Dictionary Adds ‘Inshallah’ to Lexicon

FRANKFURT/MAIN, GERMANY: Fair-goers walk past an oversized Duden dictionary of "Correct German Spelling" at the international Frankfurt Book Fair 04 October 2006. The world's largest book fair opens on 04 October and is expected to draw more than 7,000 exhibitors from 111 countries and some 280,000 visitors before closing 08 …

The Duden dictionary, the equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary in Germany, has decided to add the Arabic word “inshallah” to the German language lexicon.

The world, which translates from Arabic as “God wills it” was added to the website of Duden, although it was spelt “inschallah,” rather than the accepted English-language spelling of Inshallah, Turkish newspaper the Daily Sabah reports.

According to the paper, it remains unclear whether the word will only be seen on the website of the dictionary or whether it will also be included in future print versions of the Duden dictionary as well.

The word is not the first term from the Islamic world to be accepted into the Duden dictionary, with the Turkish phrase “oha,” which is used as a term of surprise, is also listed on the Duden website and is defined as an “exclamation of [admiring or slightly reproachful] amazement.”

While Germany has had a large Turkish Muslim population for decades — which started with the arrival of so called ‘guest workers’ who never left — since the migrant crisis in 2015 the country has seen a wave of predominantly Muslim migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

According to a report released last year, around one-quarter of Germans now come from migrant backgrounds, with the number reaching as high as 40 per cent or more among children under the age of five, according to a report released in 2016.

The number of Germans with migrant backgrounds is expected to keep increasing over the next 20 years where experts claim that by 2040 as many as one-third of all Germans will have migrant-backgrounds, with some major cities seeing as many as 70 per cent of their residents originating abroad.

The rise in the number of migrant-background individuals, including the rise of the number of Muslims in Germany, has led many to speculate on when Germany will see its first Muslim Chancellor.

According to politician Ralph Brinkhaus, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Muslim German Chancellor could be a reality as early as 2030.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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