Listen&Learn: The Voynich Manuscript

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • mysterious: hard to explain or understand
  • manuscript: a book written by hand rather than typed
  • bizarre: weird; unusual
  • medicinal: has the ability to heal disease or pain
  • artificial intelligence: computers programmed to “think” like humans
  • decipher: to translate a coded message into known language

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Voynich Manuscript is a mysterious that was written in Europe back in the 15th century. The manuscript was named after Polish bookseller Wilfrid Voynich, who brought it to public attention after he purchased it in 1912. The Voynich Manuscript contains bizarre of mysterious plants and constellations, and the text is written in an unknown language that humans have still not been able to . The author of the text is also unknown. Some theories suggest that the manuscript was written by aliens, while other people believe that it was simply written as a guide to medicinal plants. It is likely that the alphabet used in the text is a code, and that the manuscript was originally written in a known European language. However, no one knows what the original language is. Recently, have turned to artificial intelligence to help them decipher the text, but so far, its meaning is still unclear. The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept at Yale University in the United States.

Comprehension questions

1. The Voynich Manuscript got its name from

Correct! Wrong!

The Voynich Manuscript got its name from the bookseller who discovered it.

2. The manuscript contains drawings of

Correct! Wrong!

The manuscript contains drawings of plants and constellations.

3. The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept

Correct! Wrong!

The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept at Yale University in the U.S.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you think that we will ever be able to decipher the Voynich manuscript? Why or why not?

Transcript

The Voynich Manuscript is a mysterious text that was written in Europe back in the 15th century. The manuscript was named after Polish bookseller Wilfrid Voynich, who brought it to public attention after he purchased it in 1912. The Voynich Manuscript contains bizarre drawings of mysterious plants and constellations, and the text is written in an unknown language that humans have still not been able to translate. The author of the text is also unknown. Some theories suggest that the manuscript was written by aliens, while other people believe that it was simply written as a guide to medicinal plants. It is likely that the unfamiliar alphabet used in the text is a code, and that the manuscript was originally written in a known European language. However, no one knows what the original language is. Recently, researchers have turned to artificial intelligence to help them decipher the text, but so far, its meaning is still unclear. The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept at Yale University in the United States.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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