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Machine Translation of Ancient Text(s) October 26, 2011

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorizable.


Swedish and U.S. researchers have translated one of those pesky, untranslatable, coded secret documents, this time one of a 18th century secret ophthalmological society. 

I am not making this up.  That’s really what this is, a description of the secret society’s ritual.  I imagine that secret ophthalmology requires a certain level of documentation (they apparently have instructions on eyebrow plucking as well).

They used Google Translate-like statistical analysis of the non-Greek, non-Roman characters in the manuscript. Wired magazine has a nice post with some details, and there are other write-ups around the web, too; I just put this here because I like the graphic above.

These researchers intend to apply this technique to things like the Voynich Manuscript and that thing outside CIA headquarters (I think there’s a prize for that one).


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