For the translation, it is not required to have any prior knowledge of Arabic as long as you are dealing with one single word at a time, which is also where you should begin. We are capable of figuring out the words from the manuscript based on my transcription map, or even better, based on the full transcription of the manuscript that was already made (this is a rough draft that was created automatically and must be post-edited in conjunction with the original manuscript).
We then enter the word that was found into “Google Translate”, where Roman letter typing is enabled, and the word itself must (at least) be delimited by a space. When that is done, the translation in English should appear, as well as the corresponding Arabic script.
This script can be verified by entering it into another translation tool (i.e., one that can better handle Classical Arabic). It could be the case that the translation results in useless garble, which would likely mean that several Arabic words are concatenated with each other. If this is the case, then they must be separated in order for the translation to render any useful, accessible result.
Here are a few examples from folio 71r:
.omeoalty. —> “my currency”
.omeolan. —> “accordance”
.otheoaly. —> otheo.aly —> “preaching to”
.omalethy. —> “what that”
.omalsan. —> omals.an —> “smooth”
.wsany. —> “and the second”
.omalaly. —> “Mullahs”
It’s an entirely different story if you want to translate a longer passage.
There are multiple complexities involved, such as interpreting the words that are in a specific form, detecting sentences and word delimitations, translating into Classical Arabic, and then translating into the target language English.
The procedure looks like this:
Voynich –> transcription (by character map)
–> morphological adaption, identifying word-, sentence boundaries (by
–> Arabic script (by translator)
–> Interpretative translation into target language (by expert translator).
Another complication manifested itself only after already having translated some material according to this method: The manuscript contains religious texts from Sufism, which indicates a very specific diction.
Fortunately, I was able to find a translator, Ms. Salam Al Kurdi, who has excellent knowledge of Arabic and English, and a great religio-historical background to offer.
Thanks to Ms. Al Kurdi, the sections of the manuscript available up to now are the translations below.
But one important note must be reported here:
It is shown that the content of the text included in the graphical representations is in no way related to the images themselves!
Translated parts of Voynich Manuscript:
1rP1 + translator’s remarks
2vP2 + morphological view + remarks
3r + morphological view + remarks
3vP1 + extensive description of the translating procedure.
10v Complete: Original -> Transliteration -> Translation !
11r +morphological view
58rP1 +morphological view + remarks
58rP2 +morphological view
58rP3 +morphological view + remarks
116rp7 +morphological view +remarks (the very last part of manuscript!)
(more to come).