hokahe! - Le anpetu kin mat'e kin waste ktelo!

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The Lakota term hoka he is an interjection usually meaning "welcome!". In a historical context, it's been used as a battle cry - later(?) romantically paraphrased in English as "Today's a good day to die!" On demand, we have tried to render the English phrase in Lakota; one of our choices (close to a Native speaker's version) came out as:

Le anpetu kin mat'e kin waste ktelo!

this day - I die - it will be good - man's statement

Here are at least some of the possibilities to render the phrase in Lojban:

lenu mi cabdei mrobi'o cu xamgu

le cabdei cu djedi co xamgu fi lenu mi mrobi'o

le cabdei cu djedi co xamgu mi lenu mrobi'o

le cabdei cu xamgu be mi bei lenu mrobi'o kei djedi

le cabdei cu xamgu be lenu mi mrobi'o kei djedi

le ca/vi djedi cu xamgu mi lenu mrobi'o

ti xamgu befi lenu mi mrobi'o be'o djedi

ti djedi co xamgu mi lenu mrobi'o

ti djedi co xamgu fi lenu mi mrobi'o

ti nu mi mrobi'o kei xamgu djedi

Hopefully, the Lojban examples are grammatical. Do you have other versions in Lojban for my inspiration? -- .aulun.

pc: You might want to add a marker for "man statement" -- not a category that Lojban recognizes, but probably something like "usually reliable source" (which is also not quite in Lojban) or a related evidential. Or this may be a kind of machismo boast, closer to {ei} or {e'u}.

.aulun.: No, this is not my task (in Lakota, male or female speech is quite natural and there's no need to give it in translation). It's the different ways to - maybe - express the idea of this battle cry's very meaning in Lojban (we actually do not know exactly how this could be done and understood in Dakota - which doesn't seem to be as elaborated/differentiated as Lojban with regard to its quality of being unambiguous).

(The hoka he! interjection (welcome!) is not given adequately with lojban

fi'i COI hospitality vocative: hospitality; you are welcome/ make yourself at home,

because, contextually, there could be added a'a, a'i, ai, bu'o, e'o, e'unai, ei, i'e, i'i, ie, io, iunai, le'o, o'a, vu'e, and maybe still more).

Another approach was using a copula and so (c*a) which - alas! - doesn't really differentiate causation, motivation etc. so the construction in Lakota is ambiguous:

Le anpetu kin waste ca mat'in ktelo (this day - it is good - and so I'll die)

Le anpetu kin mat'in kta ca waste (this day - I'll die - and so it is good)

"It's a good day today, so I die/will die"

-> the (day's) quality of goodness causes me to die (causation!)

-> the (day's) quality of goodness gives me the idea of dying (motivation) etc.

Any ideas (from the Lojban point of view)?


  • For the battlecry, maybe fi'i le'o nunmro "Welcome (aggressive) O death!"
  • For the English version, maybe something with zabna: le cabdei cu zabna le ka ca ce'u mrobi'o "Today is favourable in the property of when to die".


Thanks, I like it! Yet, as for the hoka he, it should remain a pure interjection, so I'd prefer plain fi'ile'o

The translation of the English version seems ambiguous also in Lojban :( because of the ce'u, shouldn't it rather be mi (for me/us)? - Of course, the somewhat complete notion seems to be: We gonna defeat you (and so it's a good day for you to die!), yet, if necessary, we're also prepared to accept death for us (and in this case, there will be no better day than this). So, maybe ce'u is more appropriate. Maybe, the ca can be dropped.

xorxes: Notice that {ce'u} is the argument tagged by {ca}, it is not the first argument of {mrobi'o}. I could have also written {le ka mrobi'o ca ce'u}. The property of being the time when dying occurs. "Today" has that property in favourable terms. I suppose {ca ce'u} can be dropped as understood: le cabdei cu zabna le ka mrobi'o.

.aulun.: Thanks, ce'u is one of my weak points :( I agree that because of x1 being cabdei, the time-focus ca ce'u in the property abstraction is not absolutely necessary.