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

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorizable.
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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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