Apresentando Lojban

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Falantes de Lojban respondem alguns questionamentos a respeito do idioma.

O que é Lojban?

Lojban é uma língua construída baseado no chamado lógica predicativa, tornando o idioma uma espécie de ponte entre línguas e culturas diferentes. Portanto, permite as pessoas a verem o mundo de uma forma mais rica e brilhante.

Por que aprender Lojban?

  • Porque o idioma é claro, simples e, ao mesmo tempo, poderoso. Considerando que as línguas naturais (aquelas que surgiram expontaneamente na necessidade da comunicação entre os humanos) possuem complicadas regras gramaticais, preceitos e restrições, Lojban foi projetado para nos livrar destas complicações, incentivando assim outras formas de pensar de maneiras jamais alcançadas. Então por que não começar a falar?
  • Lojban permite uma comunicação concisa, sem detalhes desnecessários e indesejáveis. Por exemplo, não há necessidade sempre de pensar em um tempo verbal (passado, presente ou futuro) quando já está claro o contexto da frase. Quando desejar fornecer detalhes, é possível adicionar. Mas, ao contrário de outras línguas, isso não é obrigatório em Lojban.
  • Lojban é para os artistas: possui ferramentas sem precedentes para expressar pequenas variações de emoções humanas.
  • É para os amantes da sabedoria (ou filósofos, no sentido original)
  • É para cientistas que gostam de colocar todos os conceitos em um sistema conciso.
  • É a melhor ferramenta para a implementação de máquina de tradução automática. Mesmo assim é uma linguagem dizível.
  • Por último, Lojban também é divertido!

Lojban vai mudar a maneira que você olha para as comunicações verbais. Aprender esse idioma é muito mais que aprender só palavras e gramática: a questão é a compreensão. Você precisará compreender vários itens sobre a forma que os idiomas funcionam. Se você não é um linguísta, Lojban o transformará você em um. Se você é um linguista vai golpeá-lo como diferentes idéias e filosofias está familiarizado com pode ser diretamente proferidas no fluxo da fala normal.

Lojban will make you think about the ways you express ideas in words. Something that you learned and used every day but never tried to understand how it works.

If you are deciding which language to learn or whether to learn any at all, you need to define your goals. Being able to understand what is spoken or speak so that other speakers understand is a good reason to learn most other languages. Learning new ways of thinking and expression of thoughts is a good reason to learn Lojban.

Lojban is likely to be very different to the kinds of languages you are familiar with — which certainly include English. Learning it may be easy or hard, depending on how well you understand the ideas behind it. There are not many words and rules that you need to learn to get into a basic level. You will get there rather quickly if you put a systemic effort. On the other hand, if you fail to understand some basic point, memorizing things will not help you much. In such cases don't hesitate to move on, and come back to it later. Likewise, some of the exercises are trickier than others (particularly the translation exercises).

Several reasons for learning Lojban NOW

Those working with the language now are actively consulted for their opinions on how to teach and spread the language. People who write in the language are contributing to the growth of the lexicon, and establishing the conventions and idioms that will guide language use in future years. People who are especially active have joined the project leadership within a few months of becoming involved.

Those with a computer background can lead development of the first computer applications for the language. Expertise in the language will no doubt be valuable as Lojban becomes recognized as a useful tool for computer applications by the computer industry. Computer-oriented Lojbanists can also aid in developing computer-aided instruction tools or converting existing software to run on new computers.

Regardless of background, learning Lojban is a mind-expanding experience. Learning any language other than your native tongue broadens your perspectives and allows you to transcend the limited viewpoints of your native language culture. Lojban, being much simpler to learn than natural languages, provides this benefit much more quickly than does the study of other languages. Being so strongly different, the intensity of the effect seems to be heightened. When Lojbanists talk about language, the discussion has been observed to be more sophisticated as well as qualitatively different from the talk of students of second natural languages.

The logical organization embedded in Lojban aids in organizing and clarifying thoughts. Having done so, your new perspective on language, ambiguity, and communication will allow you to express those thoughts more clearly, even when you use an ambiguous natural language.

A relatively short study of Lojban by high school (or younger) students has been proposed, providing the linguistic understanding that was once associated with studying Latin and other languages for much longer periods of time. Such study can be tied in with concepts of logic, and possibly with computer-related activities, helping to show the essential interrelated nature of language and other human endeavor.

You needn't learn Lojban for any practical purpose, however. Many of those learning Lojban are doing so because it is fun. Learning Lojban is intellectually stimulating, and provides human interaction and mental challenge. Lojban has all the benefits of games designed for entertainment, with the added prospect of developing useful skills as a side benefit. Learning Lojban as an 'intellectual toy' means that you can get enjoyment from learning Lojban without nearly the effort needed to benefit from studying other languages. While becoming fluent in Lojban will probably take hundreds of hours over several months, you can feel some sense of accomplishment in the language after just a few hours of study. You can use Lojban immediately for fun, while gaining skill with greater experience.

Some basic features of Lojban

  • Lojban is an experiment in language — the grammar is regular, simpler than most natural languages, but complex in its own unique way. Non-naturalistic structures abound, but all are regular and make sense in their own way. Lojban is thus an experiment in thought, as well, it wishes to see how these unique language structures affect thought and cognition.
  • Lojban allows the expression of emotion, using words called attitudinals, which are essentially spoken emoticons, expressing your feelings. You can indicate the precise degree and intensity of your emotion as well as indicate which word your emotion stems from. You can even indicate that your statement was meant as a joke, a quick argument defuser.
  • Lojban allows you to communicate concisely without unnecessary or undesired details. For example, you don't have to always think of what tense (past, present or future) to use in a verb when it's already clear from context. When you wish to provide the details you can add them. But unlike other languages Lojban doesn't require you to do so.
  • Lojban has 1341 root words, covering a broad section of human experience. These words may be combined into compounds, allowing precision in meaning. Futhermore, Lojban makes provisions for borrowings, integrating them into the Lojban morphophonologic system. These words allow the creation of a vast vocabulary to describe the totality of human experience. Lojban vocabulary expands by the day, with users creating more words as gaps are found. Lojban vocabulary still has much progress to make, and our community strives towards perfecting it every day.
  • Lojban is syntactically unambiguous. Natural languages often have ambiguous sentences — does "He's left" mean that he's still here or that he's gone? Lojban systematically eliminates this, but don't take it to mean that Lojban has no ambiguity at all! Lojban mostly allows you to be as ambiguous as you want, with, of course, trade offs in verbosity.
  • Lojban is machine parsable, allowing potential new explorations in the fields of artificial intelligence communication and machine translation.
  • Lojban is culturally neutral, as far as such things are achievable. The base vocabulary was generated using an algorithm and words from the (at the time of its creation) 6 most spoken languages on Earth, averaging them out. The Lojban community strives to maintain this neutrality.
  • Lojban has a flexible pronunciation. Lojban phonemes (basic units of sound) allow many realizations, for example, the r may be pronounced as an English, French, or Spanish r. There are no silent letters, and each letter corresponds to one phoneme. While not the simplest language to pronounce, these sounds are also carefully arranged to allow self-segregation — a Lojban sentence, spoken with proper stress and pauses is uniquely segmentable into its component words, an invaluable tool in computer parsing of speech.

You want to get some people into a room to listen to you talk about Lojban

How do you do it?

  • björn:
    • You could try to talk to people that you know deal with formal languages (like computer science professors or linguists) and will be able to bring in other people (like their students).
  • Dunno, I've been trying for some time now, my score is zero, but I'm going into advertising (Lojban, not professional) in about 6 months :-)
  • Jay Kominek:
    • How were you planning on advertising? I'm currently running text ad campaigns on two websites (find Jay Kominek on Lojban IRC if you'd like to know which two). The keyword targeted one pulls 1%, the one on a tech website is pulling about 1.8% (CTR).
      • Nooo! Just adds on campus

You've got some people in a room, and they want to listen to you talk about Lojban

What do you say?

  • Get a couple of nice weird examples
  • suggestions beyond pulling some stuff off of What Does It Mean??

You have an opportunity to talk to people about Lojban.

They weren't expecting to hear about Lojban, but are all staying to listen to the next person talk. What do you say to make them want to hear more?

  • xod:
    • I once started teaching Lojban to two friends using that intro brochure from a few years ago. Unfortunately they didn't have the attention span needed to get past 2 months. Well, you can't sell Lojban on its usefulness, so the only thing people might be interested in are the Sapir-Whorf effects unless they are conlang nerds.
  • jezrax:
    • I tried giving examples of cool language features, like na'i and fancy uses of connectives. And space tenses. This had no visible effect!
  • What happens when you shock the subject with 120VAC or so, and then describe attitudinals?
  • Yup...don't expect to impress girls at a party by explaining how nifty "najo" is.
  • Jay Kominek:
    • You need to go to linguistics cocktail parties. (disclaimer: I've been trying to find a computer science cocktail party for years without luck. YMMV.)
    • Fine...you don't impress cute girls at a party...
  • We need to start a rumor that Lojban makes you smarter.
    • That shouldn't be hard on the Internet...
    • We need to make Lojban cool. People who are trendsetters throwing Lojban words into their casual conversation. Bands with Lojban names. Mentions by top science fiction authors (you know who you are). Find a way to work references to Lojban into every other subject you natter about in discussion groups. Make people feel out-of-it if they need to have Lojban explained to them. Make it the subject of your art.
      • Naah, the last immediate thing we need is for Lojban to be "cool", Elvish is considered cool, especially since the movie came out, and now the mailing list is cluttered with semantic nonsense that must make JRRT turn in his grave. Cool can come when there is plenty of material available.
      • It would be interesting if intellectuals dropped lojban phrases the way they used to with Latin or French, with the understanding that all educated people would understand them. This is more justified if the imported phrase describes a concept hard to phrase in English (like angst or schadenfreude), or that would be overly wordy in English (e.g. vice versa, post hoc). But for that to occur, you literalists would have to drop the requirement that any new lujvo or phrasing be easily translatable into English; what you've dubbed "understandable".

Why Lojban?

This section contains various texts in English. They address the question "Why Lojban?" from many viewpoints.

What's wrong with any other languages?

How did others discover Lojban?