No. Although Spanish picked up vocab from Moorish Arabic, linguistically, English and Spanish have much more in common than Arabic and Spanish.
Q: Can an Arabic speaking person easily understand the Spanish language?
A: I would think NOT. Maybe "al" and "el" are similar, but the rest of both languages is/are extremely dissimilar.
My two favorite "test" words for all languages are: radio and chocolate. In these two cases there IS similarity.
No! Spanish is a romance language, very different from Arabic.
Some can, some can't. Arabic is a Semitic language, as are Hebrew and Maltese. Spanish is an Indo-European language from the Roman split.
Firstly, the Arabic language is a Semitic language and the Spanish language is a Romance language, the two language families are not related to one another. Arabic and Spanish each use different phonemes and are rendered using a different alphabet. This means that speakers could not even remotely hope to find some sense of mutual intelligibility in conversation. Some words that share a common root might sound somewhat similar such as the Arabic "naranj" and the Spanish "naranja" which are both derived from the same Persian root, the etymology is shared with the English "orange." But other than isolated and infrequent, and frankly useless examples like that, no, there is no evidence to support that a speaker of one might have an easier time acquiring the other than a speaker of almost any other language.
To add, I can't be bothered to sift through the responses again, but someone mentioned that Maltese is also a Semitic language. While that is true, a fair portion of its vocabulary consists of loanwords from Romance languages as well as from English. This is not uncommon, it's estimated that fewer than 35% of Albanian words are native to the lexicon. Just thought I'd clear that up as Maltese is the only "Semitic" language that holds official status in the EU.
No. The fact that some words in Spanish come from Arabic is no help. Very few European languages are arranged in the way that Arabic is arranged. Even in English we have some words which initially came from Arabic (though changed en route), such as "admiral" and "lute".
In general, the languages are much too different.
There are some circumstances in which Arabic speakers would understand some Spanish dialects.
I think Arabic speakers in Melilla, and Ceuta would understand Spanish. These are cities in mainland Africa, but claimed by Spain.
The Judeo/Spanish dialect, "Ladino" is still a living language, spoken in Israel and a few other countries. It has more Arabic influences than the Spanish spoken in Spain and the Americas, so Arabic speakers might have an easier time understanding it.
Israel has just joined the association of Spanish language academies, so this language/dialect is assuming more importance.
No, the loan words in Spanish from Arabic are too few. You get the Arabic article "al" meaning "the" combined into some Spanish words such as "El alcazar" meaning "the castle" in which the Arabic article has come to be part of the noun and you still need the Spanish article "El" before it. But that is far from enough to go on.
yeah if he has google with him ha ha ha