Monthly Lojban Community Roundup — April 2017

Another month has passed and now it’s May already! Time really flies… But this also means that it’s time for the Monthly Lojban Community Roundup, where I go through IRC, the mailing list, Reddit, Facebook and Twitter, and kakpa lo solji lo lojbo pe lo prula’i masti and lay it out for in an easy-to-digest format; because, as we know, not everyone has the time to follow everything on their own. Here goes April 2017.

April Fools’ Day and April Fools’ Aftershock

April Fools’ Day has always been interesting since la gleki started preparing elaborate hoaxes. Who doesn’t remember such classic April Fools’ Day stories as researchers from Laguna Verde University finding out that the Voynich Manuscript must have been written in Lojban, or the BPFK allegedly changing Lojban’s official writing system to Chinese hanzi (which, apparently, a lot of people believed)?

Well, this year was no different. On April 1st, we learned that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was finally proven true, see here for proof that will totally hold up to scrutiny. If you read the linked article, you will also find a list of unique words that are meant to showcase Lojban’s unlimited expressiveness. The Twitter account continues to post new words regularly (which, by the way, are completely made up by a program). As absurd as some of them may be, I think it is still worth acknowledging the fact that the potential to define unique and new concepts does exist. As la selckiku likes to point out, Lojban allows us (in theory) to take any relationship at all and save it in a brivla, and doing so makes the relationship, the concept, more accessible to our minds, because we then have a word, a label, to attach to this previously hard-to-grasp concept and can more easily think or talk about it. This potential has been used a little bit, but I think a lot of untapped potential remains in this area.

The Lojban film ‹lo vliraitru› now has Chinese subtitles

If you are reading this, then you might not need Chinese subtitles to understand the film, but I want to take this opportunity to make sure that anyone who still hasn’t watched lo vliraitru does so now.

lo vliraitru is a documentary film about the Lojban community, created by la guskant. It is spoken entirely in Lojban and is nearly one hour long, and it also contains a few original songs by la guskant as well (I really like the jo’au-song). If you consider yourself a Lojbanist, then this is an absolute must-watch.

“I think the idea is a gold mine”

In a discussion on Reddit about using Lojban as a magic language in video games to cast spells, pendrokar revealed a project that they had started working on a while ago, in which exactly that is the case. They also supplied some game-play footage of the prototype (make sure to enable CC to see the explanations):

pendrokar says:

The original plan was to get the game into such a stage that it would be viable for an alpha-funding scheme. I felt that I did not reach that stage and had to go back to real work(Web Development).

I wanted it to be a sandbox game, pretty much like Code Spells, which has the same idea, but uses programming instead of spellwords, unlike in popular fiction:

I still think such a game might become as popular as Garry’s mod, as it would be easier. But at any rate it requires a great community. Having it as a Minecraft mod would be one way to get that community.

‹The Bug Count Also Rises› — Lojban translation by la jelca

The Bug Count Also Rises is a short story about programmers by John Browne and is intended as a Hemingway parody. Read la jelca‘s Lojban translation here. I’m always happy when new translations show up. They are a great way to practice your skills as a translator, and they also give us something new to consume in our language. Translating is a win-win situation, so if you’re not sure whether you should be trying to translate something yourself, the answer is a clear yes.

ki’e la jelca !

“Perfect taxonomy of live beings”

In a previous roundup I talked about the problem of creating vocabulary for biological organisms. In April, la gleki came along and showed another possible solution, which is to use the id numbers of species according to the NCBI and turn those into brivla.

Click here to get to the full mailing list post.

I know it’s not meant as a serious solution, but just for the record, it would not satisfy me to have ISO fu’ivla for animals. We already have country and currency fu’ivla that are based on ISO codes, and they are just too sterile and hard to remember if you don’t know ISO codes already. The problem of animal and plant vocabulary remains and is still waiting for a nice solution.

Pokémon is back!

You probably remember me talking about the (dead) Pokémon Red translation project last month. It seems like that was a good choice, because on April 7, shepheb came out on IRC with the following news:

oh, I suppose I should mention here: I’m working on the translated Pokemon Red, using the disassembled version. I’m partly importing the versions from the Wiki page, and partly supplying my own, trying to finish eg. the items.
I’ll update the wiki page with those and solicit comments eventually. scripting the translations from a spreadsheet or something is harder than it’s worth; I’m just going to publish it as a fork of pret’s repo on Github.

Talk about a ripple effect! Obviously I was immediately hooked by this resurgence and set out to help with the translation as much as possible. The new tools are so much easier to use (no more painful HEX editor necessary) that anyone can should be able to help and playtest the ROM.

So, how far along is the translation of Pokémon Red and Blue now? It’s not that far from being finished, but it depends, of course. Here are some videos and screen shots I took of my playtests:

We’re still not completely done translating the names of the 151 generation 1 Pokémon into Lojban. When we first started, one big question was of course:

lo ka brivla ji lo ka cmevla cu voi lo’e pokmone cu iancu lo ka lo cmene be ce’u cu ckaji ke’a

I.e., should Pokémon names be cmevla or brivla? We settled on cmevla pretty quickly.

Especially with the cmevla-brivla merger, there is no real problem with things like mi kavbu pa .lapras. for “I caught a Lapras”. More and more in recent times, cmevla are becoming what they were always claimed to be: stage 2 fu’ivla. But now they can be used without me la.

We might be able to see the complete game this month, *fingers crossed*.

PA grammar proposal by la lalxu

On IRC, la lalxu proposed a new interpretation for indefinite and subjective PA word combinations (for example, pa du’e ci), which I think makes a lot of sense on top of being useful.

The full explanation can be found here.

Lojban New Testament

I have started a translation of the New Testament into Lojban as a side side project. It is a work in progress that I add to every now and then.

My translated verses are collected at

So far, I have translated Matthew 1:1-25 (the whole of chapter 1) and Matthew 2:1-14. Whenever I add a new verse, I announce it via Twitter, like so:

Later that month, @la_bremenli also tweeted a few translated Bible verses from Luke 24.

At this point I should also mention Pierre’s lojban-Bible project on github, which already contains many translated passages.

‹nu xebni› — a poem by Wisława Szymborska translated by la uakci

They did it again. Another wonderful Szymborska poem translated by our wonderful uakci.

ki’e la uakci !

Vocaloid song ‹Glide› translated by melop

The third translation of the month comes from melop, and is a song called Glide:

ki’e la .melop. !

Too true?

In the Lojban Facebook group, la gleki posted this comic:

This comic was actually in response to a few discussions on IRC about … the logic involved in making coffee.

In case you’re interested, the topic was whether a statement like mi jukpa su’o ckafi is logically correct for “I am making some coffee”. Why shouldn’t it be, you ask? Well, if jukpa2 is, as is usually assumed, the result of cooking, and if the coffee doesn’t exist yet, how can there be some coffee such that you are making it?

Different solutions were proposed, from making jukpa2 a ka-place to forcing the use of lo’e (and later, la selckiku side-stepped the issue with gau ckafi), though some people just didn’t see any problem, while others were left confused as to how such basic things could be overcomplicated so much, and la gleki reacted with the above comic.

This is why I love being part of Lojban.

A Survey about the preferred Lojbanization of consonant+glide sequences in cmevla

This survey was initiated by Ilmen, who wrote:

I would like to issue a survey about how to Lojbanize foreign names containing a semivowel directly preceded by a consonant sound. Since the end of 2014, after a vote of the BPFK, any sequence of a consonant directly followed by a semivowel (for example “ia” in “kenias”) is banned from Lojban words (cmavo, brivla and cmevla included). However the BPFK did not give any recommendation on what alternative Lojbanization to favor. I have thus made this little survey to gather the opinions of Lojbanists on which Lojbanization they prefer with regard to semivowels.

Follow this link to get to the survey.

At the time of writing this, 18 people have taken part, and it seems like tokiios, kisuua’ilis, KEniias are really the most preferred Lojbanizations so far…

Please vote if haven’t yet.

April 2017 — The IRC top 10

As tradition has it, we end with the IRC top 10. Who were the top 10 most active #lojban IRC users of April 2017? See below!

2017-05-01 02_15_20-Create A Bar Chart, Free . Customize, download and easily share your graph. Just

Ilmen, again! There is also one new name on the board, and that is wilfredh, who is a relatively new learner and has been making good progress. Let us welcome Wilfredh!

* * *

This was not a bad month, all things considered. I hope you found something interesting and continue to be part of this community.

Have a nice May, everyone!

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