[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: translation problems

> Are you saying that translation problems are inappropriate for this
> mailing list?

Nothing (except what is neither in Lojban nor about Lojban, like spams)
is >inappropriate< for the mailing list.  It's simply that translation
isn't a beginner activity, because it involves subtle points of English
(not Lojban) semantics, as a rule.

> Are you saying that beginners do not benefit when "semantics traps" are
> discussed?

It depends.  If they can absorb the material, they benefit.  If it frightens
them into thinking Lojban is nothing but a minefield, they may suffer.

> > The ones who get confidence early, like Mark Vines, alas are also by the
> > same nature that allows them to overcome the intimidating atmosrphere, a
> > little brash and assertive in a way that jars on those of use who have
> > been around lonmg enough to be taught humility by this language which has
> > grown more complex and rich than even its makers can comrehend.
> I've already apologized for being brash & assertive (which, I admit, is a
> fair description of my performances here).  My problem is, I still want
> to learn the language.
> I downloaded the Web pages in August; they must be inaccurate, since I'm
> occasionally criticized for using words or repeating information found
> therein, such as there being 16 Lojbanic diphthongs.*

There are 16 diphthongs, but two are used only in names.  Reference-grammar
material on the Web site is unofficial and out of date.  Official materials
(still technically in draft form, but coming ever closer to final form)
can now be found by ftp at ftp.access.digex.net:/pub/access/lojbab/*.txt.

> I submitted my
> Mini-Lesson, etc., in early September, but I've still received no
> response or correction to that.

As you know if you have followed the list, there is no official correction
sheet at present.

> I don't know what kind of interaction you want to have with beginners
> like me.  Every approach I've tried has failed.  I've taken initiative
> after initiative here, but now I'm fresh out.  You're willing to teach me
> humility.  Who is willing to teach me la lojban?

Unfortunately, at the moment you have to do what the rest of us have done,
and teach yourself.  Like learning any language, this involves being wrong
a lot.  Unfortunately again, you don't get the luxury of a private tutor
(very few of us have had that either); you get to be wrong repeatedly
in public.  We're working as hard as we can to change this state of affairs
by publishing some books, to which you are earnestly recommended to subscribe.

> > The following are Lojban diphthongs. They are best pronounced as the
> > Spanish or Italian diphthongs of the same spelling, and
> > always are a single syllable.
> >
> >     ai    /ay/   as in "pie"         ei     /ey/  as in "pay"
> >     oi    /oy/   as in "boy"         au     /aw/  as in "cow"
> >
> >     ua    /wa/   as in "suave"       ue     /we/  as in "wet"
> >     ui    /wi/   as in "we"          uo     /wo/  as in "woe"
> >     uu    /wu/   as in the Chinese          but taking care not to
> >                  name "Wu"                  glide into triphthong /wow/
> >     ia    /ya/   as in "yard"        ie     /ye/  as in "yes"
> >     ii    /yi/   as in "ye"          io     /yo/  as in "yodel"
> >     iu    /yu/   as in "unicorn"            with a clipped "o" or in
> >                  or "few"                   "Yoda" of Star Wars fame.
> >
> >     iy    /yuh/  as in "million"     uy     /wuh/ as in "was"
> Sorry, but when I count these diphthongs I still get 16.  How many do you
> get?  Please enumerate.

The first four are used freely in all types of words except gismu, which
never contain any diphthongs.  The next ten are used only as stand-alone
cmavo (not as part of a cmavo), in fu'ivla, and in names.  The last two
are used in names only.  (Historically, there have been proposals to use
"iy" in making lujvo which include fu'ivla, but all such proposals were
very flawed and ugly, and were eventually replaced by "zei".)

So it is true that there are 16 diphthongs all told, but only 14 have
more than marginal status, and only 4 are really widely used.

John Cowan					cowan@ccil.org
		e'osai ko sarji la lojban.