Lojban and Chinese, A Word A Day

By Xah Lee. Date:

xu .

xu do prami mi = do you love me? = 你 ni3 爱 ai4 我 wo3 吗 ma1?

Placing xu in the beginning of sentence makes it a true/false question. For example, “do prami mi” means “you love me”, and “xu do prami mi” means “is it true you love me?” or “do you love me?”.

In Chinese, “吗” can be placed at the end of a sentence to make it a question.

The following examples uses words we have learned in this month. (all definitions are on this page)

xu do cortu
xu ta barda
xu do taske
xu ta danlu
xu do zvati ta
xu ti xamgu
xu do tatpi 
xu ta cipni
xu do sipna
xu do gletu
xu do citka
xu do pinxe
xu do xagji

English versions (same order): does it hurt?, is that big?, are you thirsty?, is that an animal?, are/were you there?, is this good?, are you tired?, is that a bird?, are you sleeping/asleep?, did you fck?, did you eat?, did you drink?, are you hungry?

Chinese version:

no ≈ na ≈ 不 bu4 .

In lojban, a word can be negated by adding na in front of it. For example: “mi klama ti ta” = “I go here by that”. “mi na klama ti ta” = “i did not go here by that”.

Another example: mi na prami do = i don't love you = 我不爱你.

Some examples we learned in the past, now with na: ta na blabi, mi na taske, mi na tatpi, ta na xamgu, mi na djica, na gleki, na cortu, na barda, mi na xagji.

Some example with Chinese: 不 bu4 要 yao4 (don't want), 不 bu4 好 hao3 (no good), 不 bu4 吃 chi1 (not eating), 不 bu4 去 qu4 (not going).

prenu = people = 人 ren2 .

prenu ≔ x1 is a person/people (noun)
mi prenu = i'm a human being = 我 wo3 是 shi4 人 ren2.
do prenu = you are a human being = 你 ni3 是 shi4 人 ren2.

zarci = store/shop = 店 dian4 .

zarci ≔ x1 is a market/store/exchange/shop(s) selling/trading (for) x2, operated by/with participants x3
mi klama le zarci = i go to store = 我 wo3 去 qu4 商 shang1 店 dian4.

As we know, klama means come/go. The “le” makes a lojban core word into a word that can be used to fill in the x1, x2 spaces. So, the word “zarci” means “something x1 IS A STORE THAT SELLS something x2, operated by something x3”. The word “le zarci” means just “store” or “a store”.

In Chinese, 店 means store/shop. 商 means commerce/trade. To say store, people say 商店.

lanzu = family = 家 jia1 庭 ting2 .

lanzu ≔ x1 (mass) is a family with members including x2 bonded/tied/joined according to standard x3
ti lanzu mi = my family = 我 wo3 的 de3 家 jia1 人 ren2.

lanzu can be used for parents, brothers, sisters. Lanzu can also be used for a group of related things. For example, for seashells, jewels, stamps.

In Chinese, 家 means home, 庭 means garden, 人 means people. 家庭 together means family. 家人 together means “family” in the sense of “family members” or “my family folks”, “my folks”. If you point to a photo of your parents and brothers and sisters, you would say 我的家人. In Chinese 家庭 or 家人 is used only for people; it cannot be used for a group of related things.