la laxma'i spaji spaji

a bilingual blog in Lojban and English · una bitácora bilingüe en lojban e inglés
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spaji lerci oi le'o : It's about time

ni'o mi pu za lo djedi be li so'o cu te xatra ky dy noi ke'a pendo mi ku'o fo

lu ba za ku lo je'u pa pavyseljirna ba tolcliva gi'e ba za'e tanbargylu'i loi vi klaji ro da li'u

i ua drani fa le pa moi pagbu
The other day I wrote to my friend K.D.:

Someday a real unicorn's gonna come along and rainbow all the scum off these streets.

Well, I was right about the first part.

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Anonymous Kate (D) said...

My 12-year-old girl dreams have come true.

13 June, 2008 13:46  
Blogger master_of_americans said...

Did you translate "scum" as "ro da"? You are bit more of a misanthrope than I thought ...

01 July, 2008 20:21  
Blogger komfo,amonan said...

u'i I translated "all the scum" as {ro da}. The x3 of {lumci} is "soil/contaminant".

I translated that English sentence -- with its two layers of American cultural assumptions (I've never even seen Taxi Driver) -- as best I could. How would you have done it?

01 July, 2008 23:15  
Blogger master_of_americans said...

[For the unitiated: AC has translated the English "all the scum" into Lojban as "ro da", which means "everything". However,]

On further reflection, I think that my initial criticim was a bit dubious. I was thinking in terms of the English word "wash", which is ambiguous, because it can mean either a cleaning or simply a sluicing movement. However, as you point out, the Lojban (assuming tanbarglu'i has a comparable place structure to lumci) is clear that it means a cleaning activity and that the object in question is a contaminant. In this case, then I think it is elegantly Lojbanic to allow the place structure to make clear what sort of stuff is on the streets -- the English seems cumbersome by comparison.

02 July, 2008 23:32  
Blogger komfo,amonan said...

This issue seems to come up occasionally in Lojban. "Her eyes are brown/ She has brown eyes" would be translated {lo bunre cu kanla ko'a} and not *{lo bunre kanla cu kanla ko'a}. "She has two eyes" would be {re da kanla ko'a} and not *{re kanla cu kanla ko'a} (Earlier in my studies I used to write things like *{re kanla cu co'e ko'a}.)

This case is a little more complicated. If someone asked you how to translate "scum", you wouldn't come back with {te lumci}, but rather probably with {se jinsa}. So I could have written {za'e tanbargylu'i loi vi klaji ro lo se jinsa}. But I think that would be odd to a reader, who would wonder about the reason for distinguishing between {se jinsa} and {te lumci}.

So translating to/from Lojban is a matter of translating clauses rather than words, since the utterance of a single brivla includes all these unspoken {zo'e} and is therefore quite explicitly a clause. I wonder what this will mean for automated translation.

All that being said, I'm still not sure I can get away with {ro da} there. I think strictly speaking it does mean "everything". Maybe {ro zo'e} is better.

03 July, 2008 08:59  

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