Answers to exercises

Exercise 1

  1. mi djica lenu mi djuno ledu'u do ba tavla mi ca ma kau (You can place the ca ma kau anywhere after ledu'u.)

  2. mi na djuno ledu'u do na tavla mi mu'i ma kau (Same goes for mu'i ma kau.)

  3. mi ba'o cusku lesedu'u mi pu jinvi ledu'u ma kau bebna (Yes, Lojban can get prolix...)

  4. ko cusku lesedu'u le birje cu zvati ma kau or ko cusku lesedu'u birje vi ma kau (... except, perhaps, where it matters most! The observative in the second version actually works: "Beer! Where?!")

  5. do pu cusku lesedu'u mi bilga lenu mi dunda le cukta ma kau or (if you want to risk the attitudinal) do pu cusku lesedu'u mi .ei dunda le cukta ma kau

  6. OK, this doesn't have to be that close (let alone rhyme), and in fact the English is closer to a direct than an indirect question, but this is something like ko cusku fi mi fe lesedu'u pei kau do sepli gi'e na djuno le farna gi'e simsa lo gunro rokci.

    Told you this was kind of a trick question...

Exercise 2

  1. le ka ce'u ckire

  2. le ka ce'u simsa la arnold. cfartseneger. (or la'o gy. Arnold Schwarzenegger gy., if you prefer. The Lojban sound system (phonology) doesn't allow cv in sequence; this is something you can worry about more in your further Lojban studies. See The Complete Lojban Language, p. 36)

  3. le ka ce'u mamta

  4. le ka mamta ce'u or le ka ce'u se mamta

  5. le ka ce'u simsa la arnold. cfartseneger. kei poi ckaji mi (or, of course, le du'u mi simsa la arnold. cfartseneger., which actually means the same thing.)

  6. le ka xanka vi ce'u. A little contrived, we admit.

Exercise 3

  1. .i mi troci tu'a le cidjrkari (What you actually try is to eat it — or, on occasion, to keep it down.)

  2. .i mi djica tu'a le cidjrkari (This usually comes as a shock to people learning Lojban, but you can't actually want objects, only events. The event you usually want is to be in possession of the object, in some way or other.)

  3. .i mi nelci le cidjrkari (The gismu list explicitly allows nelci to involve both objects and events; so you don't need tu'a here. This makes nelci quite different to djica.)

  4. .i lenu mi cliva cu snuti (No surprise there; 'leaving' corresponds to an abstraction.)

  5. .i leka ckire cu fanza mi

  6. .i tu'a le cidjrkari cu fanza mi (Unlike gratitude, curry is certainly not an abstraction.)

  7. .i le fanza cu cfari (Yes, you read correctly. To fit the x1 of cfari, a sumti doesn't actually have to look like an abstraction; it just has to mean an abstraction. Anything that can be described as le fanza is going to be an abstraction, because of the place structure of fanza. So since the x1 of fanza is a state or event, and the x1 of cfari is also a state or event, they can both be describing the same thing — without needing to strain abstractions out of one or the other using tu'a.)

Exercise 4

  1. .i mi jai nabmi "I am a problem."

  2. .i mi jai nabmi fai ledu'u mi xebni loi kensa fange "I am a problem in [the fact] that I hate space aliens."

  3. .i la lojban. jai se djuno mi "Lojban is known to me." (We did say "all means necessary...")

  4. .i la lojban. jai se djuno mi la lojban. fai ledu'u la lojban. cu bangu "Of Lojban, it is known to me about Lojban that Lojban is a language." (As this indicates, the x3 place of djuno is raised out of its x2 place. Since you have wide liberty in stating what you know about a subject, however, this won't necessarily always be the case:

    .i mi djuno ledu'u loi cidro ku joi loi kijno cu cupra loi djacu kei loi xumske
    I know about chemistry that hydrogen and oxygen makes water

  5. .i mi/da cu jai nibli lenu mi se xamgu tu'a da kei fai lenu mi ckire da, or .i mi/tu'a da jai se nibli lenu mi ckire da kei fai lenu mi se xamgu tu'a da No real English equivalent; the original sentence is "Me being grateful to x necessitates that I have been benefitted by x."

  6. .i lenu la jan. xalfekfri cu jai cizra fai lenu nabmi "Zhang being drunk is strange in that it is a problem" or .i lenu la jan. jai nabmi fai lenu xalfekfri cu cizra "Zhang being a problem in that he is drunk is strange."

    Note: Can you eliminate both abstractions? For the record, yes you can, by applying jai twice:

    .i la jan. jai jai cizra fai xi pa lenu xalfekfri kei fai xi re lenu nabmi

    Messily, we now have two fai places: the Lojban subscript phrases xi pa 'subscript 1' and xi re 'subscript 2' helpfully keep them apart. You're not really encouraged to do this kind of thing, though; after all, jai was intended to make Lojban more natural — not more wacky!

  7. da poi ke'a jai nandu fai lenu fanza da cu zvati "x such that x is difficult to annoy is here." You do need to indicate somehow who is being annoyed in the fai-clause. One way of doing so is to leave the raised sumti in, as we've just done: fai lenu fanza da cu zvati. Another is to make the raised place of the fai-clause its x1, conventionally its most important place: da poi ke'a jai nandu fai lenu se fanza cu zvati.

    Since what you're describing is a thing or person (a person, in this case), that means that da poi ke'a jai nandu fai lenu fanza should be a sumti, with nandu as its selbri. This gives

    le jai nandu be fai lenu fanza cu zvati
    The one difficult to annoy is here.

    If you came up with that, we hereby dub thee King/Queen of Lojban! .i ko jgira! If not, well, that's OK, too; this kind of expression isn't all that popular yet, so you're not at a terrible disadvantage if you don't use it...

Exercise 5

  1. The four friends do not know where they are, or why they are there. (You can ask more than one question in a sentence in Lojban, direct or indirect.)

  2. Zhang says "Right now, I would be grateful for a hot, freshly-brewed coffee." (You are grateful in Lojban for events rather than objects, so fully expanded, .i la jan. ckire da'i lenu kakne lenu pinxe loi glare ke cnino se zbasu ckafi.)

  3. Jyoti is interested in the weirdness of the room she is in. (pe is another way of associating abstractions with specific objects.)

  4. Susan says "Wow! This window, which shows the stars, is in my opinion something to be anxious about." (se xanka describes an event that provokes anxiety, so jai se xanka describes a thing involved in the event that provokes anxiety. Strictly speaking, Susan is probably misusing jarco...)

  5. Ranjeet says "So are the two aliens, who show that their foreheads are rough" or "who exhibit roughness in their foreheads." (... Ranjeet, of course, cannot help but be correct in his usage of jarco.)

  6. One alien who is like a soldier starts analysing the Earthling friends, and says "ˈʔuxrup wɑʔ ˈɖoɣlɑwʔ lɑtɬ tʃɑq vɑl tʃɑʔ" (A lot of you may have guessed the language the alien is speaking. You are correct, and let's leave it at that, shall we?)

  7. Ranjeet is curious about what language the aliens are speaking in. (No, I haven't clued him in...)

  8. Being an object of curiosity is something noticed by the other alien, who says (in English) "Greetings people of the planet ... um... Saturn?"

  9. Zhang says "Stuff about the aliens is not right in most regards." (In other words, there are properties involving these aliens that are not correct in most regards; for example, their sense of direction.)

Exercise 6

  1. .i la suzyn. cusku lu .i ta'a do'u pe'i do na birti ledu'u do zvati ma kau po'u la terdi li'u

  2. .i le fange cu cusku lu .i do jai drani (Not do drani, which would mean "You, as Susan, are a correct (or perfect) human being"; it is only one aspect of Susan, namely what she has just said, which is being described here as correct.)

  3. .i mi'a .y. jai cipra po'o leka ce'u terdi pensi kei do li'u (You could say .i mi'a .y. jai cipra po'o leka do po'u ce'u terdi pensi kei li'u, because it's the person with the quality being tested that is the test subject. But for practical reasons, Lojban hasn't eliminated this particular redundancy, so you might as well exploit it.)

  4. .i la djiotis. cusku lu .i do pu kakne lenu go'i gi'enai jai dicra lenu mi'a dansu li'u (In Lojban, only events interrupt; latex-foreheaded aliens are 'involved in interrupting'.)

  5. .i la ranjit. cusku lu .i ji'a ganai do pu djuno ledu'u mi'a ge terdi prenu gi pensi gi do djuno ledu'u mi'a terdi pensi li'u (Ranjeet can never resist a good syllogism.)

  6. .i le fange cu cusku lu .i xu do du le cradi li'u (A legitimate use of du, since to the alien 'The radio transmitter' and 'You' refer to the same person.)

  7. .i la ranjit. cusku lu .i mi me le cradi (If you want to emphasise the plurality of the transmitters, you could say .i mi me le su'o re cradi "I am one of the two or more radio transmitters".)

  8. .i ku'i lu mi po'onai cradi li'u cu zmadu fi leka ce'u logji drani li'u (Although a person saying something correct is not eligible to be the x1 place of drani, the correct thing that they say is eligible: drani is not by definition restricted to abstractions.)

  9. .i le fange cu frumu gi'e cusku lu .i do jai se curmi fai lenu cliva li'u gi'e to'e vimcu le pendo le dansydi'u

  10. .i le fange cu cusku zoi gy. xuˈmɑn ˈmɛqːoq. ˈwɛdʒpux gy. noi se fanva fu lu .i remna logji .a'unai li'u (or, in Lojban phonetic approximation, lo'u xuman. mekok. .uedj. pux. le'u.)