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Q2 on Arabic script (text is in Spanish)


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12:30 Sep 15, 2001
Arabic to English translations [PRO]
Arabic term or phrase: Q2 on Arabic script (text is in Spanish)
What do "simbَlico", "sيmbolo", and "significar" mean here?

" Se trata de una inscripciَn himyarي, **simbَlica** y en relieve. Su grafيa es mosnad y consiste en unos **sيmbolos** sobre soporte de piedra local (al-habsh). Escrita en dos lيneas verticales mediadas por un agujero y una letra, con las palabras interconectadas. Su dataciَn aproximada estarيa entre los ss. III-IV d.C.
Las medidas son 43 cm de anchura y 21 cm de altura. Procede, igualmente, de la alquerيa Garf Nagi, de la casa de Nasr Sa’id.

Lectura de la inscripciَn.

Primera lectura: la primera lيnea contiene dos o tres letras, que podrيan ser **simbَlicas y significar** h l f o h l f s (half o halfs), que, en la mayorيa de los casos, es un nombre personal. En medio de la inscripciَn se encuentra la letra w (waw). En la segunda lيnea leemos dos letras s (shaq), que es un nombre, si fuera personal, desconocido."
xxxJon Zuber

Summary of answers provided
5see explanationGabriela Tenenbaum
4cryptographicFuad Yahya
1[Not Arabic?]
Colin Brayton



27 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
see explanation


"simbَlica" means "symbolic (made of symbols)

"sيmbolo" = symbols

"significar" = mean, represent.

It seems that this scriptures are so old that instead of being made of letters, thay were made of symbols.

In the second paragraph the meaning is:
"the first line contains two or three letters that could symbolize and represent the letters..."

Hope it helps!

Saludos #:)

Gabriela Tenenbaum
Local time: 07:26
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
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39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5

It is clear from the text that the Himyari inscriptions are in letters, not pictographs, but the writer seems to be saying that the inscription is written in some kind of a code or a cipher. Thus "cryptographic" seems to be the closest sense that I can surmise.


Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2542
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37 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
[Not Arabic?]

Note that the inscription dates to the 4th century A.D. ("d.C." is después de Cristo, after Christ). The term Himyari refers to the Jewish kingdom of Yemen that flourished around that time, so you are likely dealing with a Semitic inscription (triconsonantal roots) that is not Arabic and has some decorative elements interwoven with the characters, as in classical Arabic inscriptions and decorative writing in general. Not really my field, and Spanish writers on Semitic languages can be difficult to make out if they are not using a uniform system of transliteration, as this one doesn't seem to be.

Colin Brayton
Local time: 05:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 16
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