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File: LojbanLanguage !! What is lojban? [[[> This page has been _ TaggedAsLanguage ]]] Lojban is a constructed language with many fascinating features. It has: * a small but flexible vocabulary * an unambiguous grammar * an optional tense system * an orthogonal feature set * (ignore this if it doesn't mean much to you!) * a small but growing (slowly) group of readers, writers and speakers. ---- !! Why should I care? There are probably as many reasons for learning lojban as there are people who learn it, but here are a few: * It's weird * and therefore mind-stretching and interesting * It improves logical reasoning capability (unproven!) * It may be a useful international auxilliary language * It may be useful for communicating with computers * It may be a useful intermediary language in automated translation * It almost certainly helps in learning other languages * You might also be interested in my thoughts on LearningLanguages. ---- !! What? To see why learning lojban might help, even probably *will* help, in learning other languages, consider ... It's generally accepted that, broadly speaking, learning your first non-cradle language takes about 4 years of study, and then each subsequent language takes about two years. The difference comes because part of learning your first language is breaking old habits and finding your best way to learn ... Lojban, in contrast with natural languages, can be learned in just a few weeks, and fluency can be achieved in just a few months of study and practice. Not being a natural language it's quite likely that some of the "new language" benefits aren't there, but even so, if learning lojban can shave six months off learning your first non-cradle natural language, then it's still faster to learn lojban first, and then learn another language. Perhaps lojban may even be the new Latin - that's starting to be used again in schools ... * http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6570171.stm ---- !! Examples Here are some small samples: | mi cu tavla do | I talk to you | | mi cu tavla do ti | I talk to you about this_thing_here_at_which_I_point | | mi cu tavla do ta | I talk to you about that_thing_there_at_which_I_point | | mi cu tavla do la lojban | I talk to you about the thing called lojban | | mi cu tavla do le zarci | I talk to you about the market | | lo zarci cu barda | The market is big | | mi pu tavla | I spoke | | mi pu tavla lo barda zarci | I spoke about the big market | | mi pu tavla | I spoke | | mi pupu tavla | I had spoken | | mi pupuzi tavla | I had just spoken | | do ba tavla fi lo zarci | You will speak about the market | | mi puzi citka | I have just eaten | ---- !! Test yourself ... If you're at all interested in cryptography or puzzles you may try to work out how to say: * (Easy) This is big * (moderate) I will soon eat * (Quite hard) I was about to talk to you and if you hunt a little on the 'net you should be able to translate: * ko ze'u jmive gi'e snada There's huge amount more about lojban on the 'net, but if you want to know more you can send mailto:email@example.com or visit the lojban web site: http://www.lojban.org