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Russian mathematicians are trying to translate the Voynich manuscript

April 26, 2017

Currently there is a spreading in the media that Russian mathematicians claim to have cracked the code of the Voynich manuscript.

The result of the mathematical investigation is that 60% of the text should consist of German and English and the remaining 40% is written in Italian or Spanish or Latin.

Furthermore, on an example is shown that the vowels are removed from a Cyrillic cleartext and a "consonant text" is obtained. Then the cleartext is also translated into a second language, here English, and then the vowels are being removed too. In the next step, the Cyrillic consonant text is translated into Latin and the English consonant text is appended to it. Finally, this string is split into words.

This method is supposed to be the code?

Where is a result of a "translated" Voynich text?

A mixture of several languages is absolutely unreasonable and repeatedly shows a 08/15-logic. As I point out on my website, one language is entirely enough to translate the Voynich text and how would you translate the other procedures like "underlying pages" and "mirrored pages" with such an approach?

German and English are assumed as the main language. Which dialect of the Middle Ages comes into consideration?

Till the eighteenth century, before the introduction of the grammar, which was developed from Latin, there were up to 500 different dialects in the German-speaking area.

Who can still use Middle- or Old High German? Added to this is the shift in meaning as well as the shift of the sound over centuries. For England, a similar picture should appear in the Middle Ages. And when Latin was found, French should have to be found, since in the Middle Ages there was still a very strong mixture of Vulgar Latin with Old French. At which point do these considerations flow in this mathematical view? Are they flowing in at all?

This approach has no logical structure, thus it is highly error-prone, and apparently has been analyzed only by today's vocabulary. How would you use this approach to solve all the other puzzles in the manuscript and explain(/decipher) more than 100 special characters?

In a statistical survey of the frequency of the individual Voynich glyphs - only here make statistic sense - the question arises as to how they should be actionable according to the method above, and by which criteria are the Voynich glyphs assigned to the alphabet?

That these two basic considerations have not found an entrance into their work, is clearly visible in two statements:

"The Voynich manuscript (VM [3]) – is a hand-written codex, dating from the XVI c. It consists of over 170,000 characters referred to as letters, which are united by transcriptioners in 22 distinct characters."

"There is no consensus how many characters VM is consists of. We will consider two transcriptions of VM: “European transcription” (EVA [7]) and transcription Takahashi [8]. Both of them translate manuscript symbols into Latin alphabet, but with different frequencies of symbols. (the fact is we cannot interpret many of characters in MV uniquely). In any case we will not discuss a correctness of these transcriptions."

So far the EVA as well as the Takahashi transcription could not provide a translation of the Voynich manuscript and the assignment of the Voynich glyphs to the alphabet appears arbitrary. It is very questionable whether this transcription is correct. Thus, even a study that is based on such a shaky ground is to be regarded as very questionable, this was also admitted at the end of the above quotations.

This study must therefore be rejected in its entirety.

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