Title text: zo'o ta jitfa .i .e'o xu do pendo mi
Lojban is a constructed language designed to be logical, unambiguous, and culturally neutral — similar to the better known artificial language Esperanto. The authors originally designed it as an experiment, but a few people have picked it up and tried to learn it. However, anyone actually willing to learn Lojban is someone Black Hat would rather avoid. Alternately, only people who speak Lojban, who compose an admittedly tiny proportion of the general population, could benefit from the logic of the language, making the benefits of Lojban mostly pointless to most people.
Clicking on the original comic brings you to a Lojban translation of the comic. The Lojban version literally translates to something like:
- Cueball: Hypothetically, you becoming an expert in Lojban implies things you say would completely be an unambiguous meaning and logical.
- Black Hat: Agreed, but would be talking to the people subgroup that is an expert in Lojban.
If reading pedantically, a few mistakes can be identified:
- "Hypothetically" is applied to the entire first sentence rather than the subclause "you are an expert in Lojban".
- The word "pavysmu" is used in a way that indicates the things being said are an unambiguous meaning, rather than having a single meaning.
- The subgroup of people is specified as being an expert in Lojban, not the people in it.
The title text is also written in Lojban. It translates roughly as: "That was a joke. Really. Wanna be friends with me?" Since Lojban aims to be completely unambiguous, idiomatic structures like sarcasm and humor have associated particles - when a joke is made, it must be explicitly marked as such or else it's incorrect. Most languages rely on intonation expressing this, but Lojban does not, leading to the strange practice here of specifically pointing out that a joke was made.
A more literal translation gives: "Humorously that false. Please is-it-true-that you friend me?"
- [Cueball and Black Hat are having a conversation.]
- [English version:]
- Cueball: If you learned to speak Lojban, your communication would be completely unambiguous and logical.
- Black Hat: Yeah, but it would all be with the kind of people who learn Lojban.
- [Lojban version:]
- Cueball: da'i ganai do crebi'o la lojban gi le se cusku be do cu mulno pavysmu je logji
- Black Hat: .i .ie ku'i cusku fi le prenu klesi poi certu la lojban
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