There is no shortage of alleged translations of the VM, though they are hardly ever compelling for anybody but the inventor. In February 2005, I posted a pattern to the VM mailing list, which I found was common with those (usually short-lived) attempts. Here’s a slightly edited description of the apparent process.
- Step 1.: Find an astonishingly simple approach to solve the VM:
“Hey, perhaps it’s latin letters, after all!”
- Step 2.: Achieve initial success:
“I found the word ‘daiin’ on the web, completely unrelated to the VM. Can anybody tell me what it means?”
- Step 3.: Refine your theory (ie, add some twists to fit it to the VM):
“Perhaps it’s some mongol-tartar mixture of an unknown dialect with prefixes
- Step 4.: Thereby, produce a few translated phrases and establish that the VM is really composed only of a small number of word roots with various endings. These roots set the theme of the VM. Don’t worry that the results as a whole sound like the rantings of a highly neurotic and heavily drugged schaman with the attention span of a goldfish. Draw generous liberties on the established history of the period you chose and the world as a whole:
“‘Qochedy’ is a previously unknown deity of Southern Polynesia. This proves that there was a link between Polynesia and the Mongols. My translation of one paragraph goes ‘Qochedy goes hill hill walked naked in Qochedy. Was Qochedy hill? Oh, go God of Qochedy, hill hill walked naked!’ The VM is really about a polynesian pediatrist in the Himalayans.”
- Step 5.: Expect to be ridiculed.
- Step 6.: Retire bitterly.
Does it happen to everyone who stays in touch with the VM too closely…?
(Later, Nick Pelling came across the phrase I apparently had coined, and made sure it was okay with me if he used it as the title for his book. I’d like to point out though that he uses the term in a different way, and I doubt he was trying to put his own theory in perspective.)