Lojban and Chinese, A Word A Day

By Xah Lee. Date:

re = two = 二 er4 .

re moi = second = 第 di4 二 er4.

In lojban, to say things like first, second, third, 4th, 5th, 6th …, add a “moi” after the number. So, second = “re moi”. In Chinese, put a 第 in front of the number, for example: 第二.

gleki = happy = 快 kuai4 乐 le4.

gleki ≔ x1 is happy/gay/merry/glad/gleeful about x2 (event/state)
mi gleki = I am happy = 我 wo3 快 kuai4 乐 le4.
do gleki = You are happy = 你 ni3 快 kuai4 乐 le4.

Traditional form for 乐 is 樂. 快 = fast. 樂 = happy.

dacti = thing/object = 东dong1 西 xi1 .

dacti ≔ x1 is a material object enduring in space-time; x1 is a thing

dacti means object. In Chinese, 东 means east and 西 means west. Together, they just mean object or thing.

Some review about lojban words and their definitions:

cortu ≔ x1 hurts/feels pain/hurt at locus x2
barda ≔ x1 is big/large in property/dimension(s) x2 (ka) as compared with standard/norm x3
stedu ≔ x1 is a/the head [body-part] of x2;
vikmi ≔ x1 [body] piss/shit/excretes waste x2 from source x3 via means/route x4
taske ≔ x1 thirsts for x2; x1 needs/wants drink/fluid/lubrication x2
djacu ≔ x1 is made of/contains/is a quantity/expanse of water; (adjective:) x1 is aqueous/[aquatic]
zvati ≔ x1 (object/event) is at/attending/present at x2 (event/location)
danlu ≔ x1 is an animal/creature of species x2; x1 is biologically animate
skari ≔ x1 is/appears to be of color/hue x2 as perceived/seen by x3 under conditions x4
xamgu ≔ x1 (object/event) is good/beneficial/nice/[acceptable] for x2 by standard x3
tatpi ≔ x1 is tired/fatigued by effort/situation x2 (event); x1 needs/wants rest
cipni ≔ x1 is a bird/avian/fowl of species x2
sipna ≔ x1 is asleep; x1 sleeps/is sleeping
pinca ≔ x1 is a urine/piss/pee of x2
djica ≔ x1 desires/wants/wishes x2 (event/state) for purpose x3
nanba ≔ x1 is a quantity of/contains bread [leavened or unleavened] made from grains x2
gletu ≔ x1 fcks x2
citka ≔ x1 eat/consume x2
cidja ≔ x1 is food/feed/nutriment for x2; x1 is edible/gives nutrition to x2
pinxe ≔ x1 (agent) drinks liquid x2 from source x3
xagji ≔ x1 hungers for x2; x1 needs/wants food/fuel x2
tcika ≔ x1 [hours, {minutes}, {seconds}] is the time/hour of state/event x2 on day x3 at location x4
cadzu ≔ x1 walks/strides/paces on surface x2 using limbs x3
prami ≔ x1 loves/feels strong affectionate devotion towards x2 (object/state)
cerni ≔ x1 is a morning [dawn until after typical start-of-work for locale] of day x2 at location x3
klama ≔ x1 come/go destination x2 from origin x3 via route x4 using means/vehicle x5

We see each word has the form: “something WORD something something …”. This is the structure of all lojban sentences. The primary word in each lojban sentence is WORD, and the “something” are like variables to be filled in with other words. For example, “I go there” would be “mi KLAMA tu”, where mi is I and tu is there, and klama means go. Each lojban word is defined with such a structure. If we want to say a more complex sentence: “I go to store to buy sugar”, it would be like “(i), WILLED-AN-ACTION, ([of] go to store), ([for] buying sugar)”. Basically, all sentences follows this logical structure. There are many ways to say things in lojban, depending on one's emphasis, but the structure is always “something WORD something something …”.

cortu = pain = 痛 tong4 .

cortu ≔ x1 hurts/feels pain/hurt at locus x2
.oi mi cortu le stedu = oh my head hurts! (oh, i have a headache) = 我 wo3 头 tou2 痛 tong4.

The “.oi” is a word that indicates emotion, corresponding to the English words like oh, ahh, yea, ouch… etc. “.oi” expresses a complaint. See here for more about attitudinals: http://lojban.org/publications/reference_grammar/chapter13.html

Here are four Chinese words with the same pinyin but different tone: 通 (pass) , 同 (same) , 统 (unite, govern) , 痛 (pain) .

barda = big = 大 da4.

barda ≔ x1 is big/large in property/dimension(s) x2 (ka) as compared with standard/norm x3

Here are four Chinese words with the same pinyin but different tone: 搭 (join together, attach to), 答 (answer, reply), 打 (hit, beat), 大 (big).

stedu = head = 头 tou2.

stedu ≔ x1 is a/the head [body-part] of x2;
zo'e stedu mi = my head = 我 wo3 的 de3 头 tou2 .

The “zo'e” is a placeholder for certain omitted words. So, “ti stedu mi” would mean “This is my head”, while “zo'e stedu me” is just “my head”.

“ta stedu do” = that is your head = 那 na4 是 shi4 你 ni3 的 de3 头 tou2.

Traditional character for 头 is 頭.

vikmi = excrete (piss or shit) = 大小便 da4 xiao3 bian4 .

vikmi ≔ x1 [body] piss/shit/excretes waste x2 from source x3 via means/route x4
mi pinca vikmi djica = i want to pee = 我 wo3 要 yao4 尿 niao4 尿 niao4 .

In Chinese, 大便 means shit or “to shit”. Literally it is “big convenience”. 小便 means piss or “to piss”, literally “small convenience”. “大小便” all together means both. 小便 is colloquially 尿尿 niao4 niao4, literally “pee pee”.

Words review: djacu taske pinxe pinca; citka xagji cidja. We are missing the word for the noun excrement/feces/shit.

2004-02