Voynich manuscript deciphered?

According to various news stories, such as this one on the BBC news, the Voynich manuscript, a mysterious medieval manuscript, has been deciphered by an academic from Bristol.

The Voynich Manuscript is named after Wilfrid M. Voynich, a Polish antiquarian book dealer who acquired it in 1912. It is a lavishly illustrated manuscript codex of 234 pages, written in an unknown script. It is housed in the Beinecke Library at Yale University in the USA. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon dated to the early 15th century (1404-1438).

Here is an example of the script used:

Writing from the Voynich manuscript

Many attempts have been made to decipher the text but none have succeeded so far. One theory is that is was written sometime during the 13th century by a Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon (1214-1294). Some think the manuscript is gibberish, and was probably a practical joke played on Rudolph II.

According to the latest decipherer, Dr Gerard Cheshire of the University of Bristal, Voynich is a therapeutic reference book written in a lost language called Proto-Romance. He believes that the manuscript was compiled by Dominican nuns as a source of reference for Maria of Castile, Queen of Aragon, the great-aunt to Catherine of Aragon.

Proto-Romance, a previously unknown language, was commonplace in the Mediterranean during the medieval period, but was not used in written documents as Latin was the main written language, according to Dr Cheshire.

Apparently when you try to decipher any parts of the text using Dr Cheshire’s method, it comes out a incomprehensible nonsense, and only parts of it can be understood with reference to many different Romance languages, and a lot of fudging and wishful thinking. So the manuscript remains undiciphered.

Critism of this ‘decipherment’
http://ciphermysteries.com/2017/11/10/gerard-cheshire-vulgar-latin-siren-call-polyglot
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/05/no-someone-hasnt-cracked-the-code-of-the-mysterious-voynich-manuscript/
https://voynichportal.com/2019/05/07/cheshire-recast/
https://voynichportal.com/2019/05/16/cheshire-reprised/

More information about the Voynich Manuscript
https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/collections/highlights/voynich-manuscript
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript
http://ciphermysteries.com/the-voynich-manuscript

le mystère Champollion à Plougastel-Daoulas

A Czech friend sent me a link to an interesting article (in Czech) about a mysterious inscription found on a rock in the village of Plougastel-Daoulas in Brittany in the northwest of France. Verisons of the article in English and French are also available.

Mystery inscription from Brittany
[source]

The writing is in the Latin alphabet, but the language is unknown – people have suggested that it’s an old form of Breton or Basque.

Parts of the inscription are “ROC AR B … DRE AR GRIO SE EVELOH AR VIRIONES BAOAVEL… R I” and “OBBIIE: BRISBVILAR … FROIK … AL”, and there are two dates 1786 and 1787.

It looks most like a form of Breton to me, although the word VIRIONES looks more Gaulish.

A reward of €2,000 is being offered to anybody who can deciper this. If you take part, you have until November 2019 to submit your decipherment. The most plausible entry will receive the prize. You can contact veronique.martin@mairie-plougastel.fr to register for the competition, find out more and to receive photos of the inscription.

Mysterious calendar

A reader of this blog would like to know if anybody knows which language this is:

Kiländer (Ray Ráán)

Rááninfel: Sunday
Serinfáál: Monday
Yóŕuwow: Tuesday
Yéélúwan: Wesnesday
Yófowan: Thursday
Yalimow: Friday
Yommol: Saturday

I discovered that the word ráán means day in Trukese/Chuukese, but this Trukese dictionary gives different, though seemingly related, words for the days of the week.

Any ideas?

Mysterious language and music

Here’s a recording sent in by Dave Murrary of Haji Maji, a blog about old 78 records from Asia.

Part of the recording with the spoken words:

The whole recording:

This comes from a record which has a picture of two Buddhist monks and the phrase “sixth Buddhist convention” on the label. According to a native Burmese speaker Dave asked, the language isn’t Burmese.

Do you have any idea what language is spoken at the beginning (it’s only a few words) and do you the recognise the style of music?