Voynich manuscript finally deciphered?

The average contributor to this thread has read a few articles about the manuscript on the web and perhaps viewed a video or two. Possibly even looked at the online scan of it. IOW, the average contributor has no claim to any expertise on the topic of translating the thing. Being bilingual means just about jack and shit unless you can prove that one of the languages in which you are fluent is connected with the manuscript.The manuscript may well be a fraud and nonsense, but I enjoy the way it causes lazy pseudo-intellectuals to smugly self-identify. It is invaluable in that respect.

I’ve read this post several times, and aside from apparently meaning to be vaguely insulting to a group of people I can’t narrow down, I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

Doesn’t an academic translation still take three lines?
(text being translated) WORD . . . . . WORD . . . . . WORD . . . . . WORD.

(translation of each word, including affixes)
once+hypoth . . . . cat+young+sort . . . . born+past . . . . stable+obj+loc

(English translation) Once upon a time, a kitten was born in a stable.

When you go through the three lines, you know, among other things, that this is a story (+hypoth) not a statement of fact. You can also then apply the WORDs to other sentences.

For a VM translation, I’d want two additional lines. First, an image of the line being translated. Second, a list of the symbols in each word, in clean VA letters (Voynich Alphabet). Then we can check to be sure that WORD is a reasonable estimate of what’s been written.

And he should have a table of his VA, so that we can check his estimates easily. And better explanations on why he thinks the gallows with one loop is an L while the gallows with two loops in an M. He just lists all of his decisions as fiats. And no, his VA does not match anyone else’s VA.

I would say vaguely is generous. I see at least one blatant swipe.

I haven’t said anything about Pelling. My comments have been directed at the article itself. If Cheshire is a scientist, he appears to be entirely unacquainted with the scientific method.

Anyway, thanks for the quote from the article. It’s ideal for showing just how bogus Cheshire’s “methodology” is.

There is no indication that the illustrated object is a palina or other measuring rod. It is not shown in association with water or being used to take a measurement. It’s not clear exactly what it is supposed to be, especially with the snakelike head attached.

The illustration shows a bearded man in what appears to be a tub. There is nothing to indicate he is supposed to be a monk, let alone an abbot. Many men at the time wore beards, and he doesn’t appear to be tonsured as a monk would likely be. (However, he may be wearing some kind of a cap.) There is also no evidence the manuscript was written in a monastery.

All we know about the figure is that it is male. Cheshire could equally well have searched through Romance languages for any other words referring to a male or male occupation, and come up with a different identification. Here we also have an example of Cheshire’s circular reasoning: he has identified the figure as an abbot, and his transliteration of the word next to it is the same as the word for abbot in a non-Romance language, Polish. Since he has identified the language as being proto-Romance, that means proto-Romance must have extended to Poland.:smack:

This is a particularly nonsensical one. Cheshire doesn’t seem to be a particularly good observer, since the five smaller figures are not children, since they all have breasts, quite prominent in the case of a couple of them. Why some figures are smaller than others is obscure, but there is no reason to think they are children.

And why should the words identify different temperaments, and if so, why these in particular? All of the figures show the same bland expression, so don’t seem to illustrate different emotional states. The words Cheshire came up with don’t even represent temperaments in the modern languages he found them in; Cheshire just assumes these words are being used figuratively. Do any other medieval texts on health identify a similar set of temperaments? Why not the classical humoral temperaments of choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic, and sanguine? At least those would make sense. Why not Happy, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey? And claiming that Portuguese “orla” for “on the edge” as the source of French “Oh, la, la!” seems to be some kind of parody.

The identification of the plant as Sea Holly is questionable. The structure of the flower is quite different. Leaving that aside, and assuming it is a really bad illustration of that species, the best he can come up with is “they have a potent sting.” (It doesn’t actually sting, like a nettle, but has spines.) Sea Holly’s most notable medicinal use is an aphrodisiac, and the part that is used is the root. If it actually is Sea Holly, I would expect a medieval herbal to show the root as part of the illustration, and mention that as well as the other medicinal uses described by Cheshire.

(Actually, one reason I think the MS is a fabrication is that the botanical illustrations are so bad. Very few of the plants illustrated can be reliably identified with real plants used by herbalists. The illustrations were either made up or are by the worst illustrator in the world.)

Yes, and there we have our problem.:wink:

What a completely worthless post. Since this can’t be appropriately responded to here, I invite you to to continue this discussion in your long-running Pit thread (though I’m pretty sure you won’t show up).

I’m not bothering to dig it up again right now, but IIRC Cheshire claims that at least one of the illustrations shows the queen and some foreign dignitaries bathing together and having trade talks. :rolleyes:

Incidentally, checking Cheshire’s profile on LinkedIn, his Ph.D. isn’t in linguistics but in Human Behavioral Ecology. He has a Masters in Insect Ecology:confused:, and a Bachelors in Anthropology, which he received in 1994, making him at least around 45 now. He lists his profession as “science writer.”

Take a look at his Twitter account (linked on this page.) I’m not saying scientists should be all business all the time, but there is nothing that seems academic about it.
He does have a bunch of books, though. Maybe next up Scary Creatures of the Voynich Manuscript?

But you gotta hand it to him, he sure knows how to start heated discussions.

I think I figured out the key to the manuscript. If I’m right here is the first line:

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine

University backtracks on “code solved” claim.

Here’s the first paragraph from his article Linguistically dating and locating the origin of Manuscript MS408 (2018)*

Translation: “My translations don’t make sense to anyone but me.** But if you don’t understand them, it’s obviously because you are stupid.”

In this and his other publications his extreme arrogance is evident. The combination of ignorance and arrogance is of course typical of those that think they have suddenly solved a mystery that has stumped everyone else, as we often see in the more peculiar visitors to the board.

*This and his other previous “publication” on the Voynich MS are listed with a source of “Science Surveys.” I have been unable to find any journal by this name, and since they are called pre-prints I would guess that they have never actually passed peer-review or been formally published. The recent article seems to be the guy’s first scientific research publication of any kind. (And odds are that the journal will publish a retraction if it has any integrity.)

**And evidently now DrDeth. :wink:

I’m hoping that he is the one who wrote the breathless press release praising him as a sooper genius. Because it would make me sad to think that there are two giant tits* writing there.

According to this post, the journal’s most popular article before this one has been viewed 1720 times since 2014. (Very roughly one view per day.) The Voynich one has been viewed more that 60,000 times. They’ll probably give him a monthly column, dribbling out translations. Voynich disproves evolution and relativity! Voynich built the pyramids! Voynich predicts 9/11!

Not the kind ot tits you like, Colibri*

**I mean birds, sheesh!

Great link, RobDog. I particularly like this line:
The University of Bristol said that the work by its research associate Gerard Cheshire, which was published in the Romance Studies journal, *had caused disquiet *among fellow academics.

I cant translate anything using his system. But the few short snippets match the pictures.

According to Cheshire (and you). But no one else.

In other news, Nostradamus predicted WW2.

In medieval art, often size was used to indicate how important figures were. More important people were drawn as bigger. That’s assuming that the figures were drawn to plan rather than some being made smaller because the drafter was running out of room.

You could be right; this is not my level of expertise. But it is not out of line to say, “Cite?”

I’m mostly going by old art history classes.