Voynich Manuscript partially decoded, text is not a hoax, scholar finds


#1

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#2

Ten words is an awful small sample size. I think a lot more is needed to break even very simple crypto, unless it's just cleartext in an oddball hand. But if that was the case, it would have been deciphered long ago.


#3

I just love to say Voynich.

Voynich.


#4

Once it is fully decoded, mechanics will be able to fully repair foreign cars.

But not a minute before.


#5

Yeah, and this isn't the first guy to claim to have deciphered the manuscripts. I'm still not sold.


#6

It's not crypto. It's a previously unknown language. From the paper.

It is feasible that the script is a deliberately constructed cipher designed to hide information of some sort. However, given the fact that the plant pages seem in practice to concern the plants depicted, presumably offering knowledge which was available to others already, it is more likely that the script is not aimed at concealment, but was instead constructed simply to write a language which had not previously been written down. To put it another way, if the underlying language already had a script (such as Georgian, or Arabic, or Greek), it seems highly unlikely that anyone would invent a whole new one merely to encode information about plants and nature which was already known.

The video is not pleasant to listen to, so I have not bothered.


#7

The headline should say "scholar claims" rather than "scholar finds".


#8

He's only claimed to have figured out some characters and, with them, about ten words or so: proper names of plants etc. than can be checked against the words for the same in other languages and texts. From his explanation and program for further study, it seems like he's definitely on to something. Here's hoping he steers some of that grant money toward proper audio!

The lost language–extinct culture hypothesis is fascinating. Very Dictionary of the Khazars.


#9

He's not even the hundredth person to claim to have deciphered it. It's kind of the Rorschach blot of cryptography -- you get out whatever your initial biases were.


#10

Voynich.


#11

+1 for DotK reference.


#12

I'm not sure that just because some of it can be decoded it's not a hoax. I mean, even if the whole thing can be translated it could still be a hoax, right? For all we know the translated text will turn out to be complete gibberish.

Maybe this guy has found the only 10 words in the entire book that have actual meanings.


#13

Except, don’t I recall they actually resemble no plants on earth - and some of them have tiny ladies in place of… plant parts? Aha, that’s obviously a turnip!
See? T - R - (undecipherable) - P… turnip!


#14

Careful, if you post the name three times you get randomly turned into one of the Voynich creatures.


#15

Yeah, that is somewhat true. His idea focuses mostly on identifiable plants. If you draw a juniper bush with a ladies leg for the roots...it is still a juniper bush. His assumption is that the text will say something about juniper.
It may not pan out. If the "alternate language" theory is right, we are probably fucked.
I mean, start with Linear A if you are going to figure out an alternate language. His theory, however, is that someone was attempting to record an American native language and creating unique symbols for sounds. If that is true, we know roughly what the original term was for some plants. He might have luck, but is probably fucked.


#16

This same "esoteric language" theory was also proposed, with South American languages:

http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/01/21/2258257/voynich-manuscript-may-have-originated-in-the-new-world

And that also had made some headway. It'll be interesting if it turns out to be both?


#17

But if there were bushes with naked ladies in them, they would likely receive an undue amount of foraging from interested parties. So past generations may have killed the botanical geese that layed the golden eggs.


#18

I viewed the first twenty minutes of this yesterday and that one illustrated green plant is clearly marijuana, with giant sticky icky buds on top. The leaves are not as symmetrical as the other plants he posits them to be. Not to mention a general middle-eastern appreciation for hashish that comes from cannibis, ie. Sour Diesel. I can appreciate his effort, but I am not convinced in this regard.


#19

They haven't determined that it's not a hoax. They've determined it contains real words. These are not the same thing.


#20

They've determined it contains real words.

I wouldn't go that far, until the methods presented in this paper prove their worth. It might be a start. It might be a spurious determination.