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(From Lognet 92/1. Used with the permission of The Loglan Institute, Inc.)

Hu Logla Sanpa Toi?
(How Do You Say This?)

by Bill Gober

Meet-Talking and Well-Wishing)

Loi, Logla Stude. Kirk Sattley asked me "...[H]ow to wish somebody something -- Bon Voyage, Bon Appetit, Good Luck, etc." This led me to think about commonplace greetings and salutations...enough of them that they'll fill my column, by the time I get done explaining them.

Often, wishing somebody something will involve the little word ae "I/we hope that..." followed by a statement. In other cases, the wish will be a command; if you like, you can precede the command with ae, which softens it into a suggestion.

A note about what follows: All the Loglan utterances are suggestions. They are all good Loglan (soi spopa), but they reflect my tastes. In the natural languages, greetings and salutations are highly stylized, well worn by usage; my suggestions haven't had any use to wear the sharp edges off them. I fully expect that the more common expressions will be telescoped into complexes; and I sure hope that someone will improve on some of my attempts!

Here are Kirk's wishes:

Next we come to some common greetings, which prove tougher to translate well: Good -----. E.g., [Have a] Good morning. The problem is the words inside the brackets. Without them, we can say Ae le monza ga gudbi "May the morning be good", or Ae ti gudbi monza "May this be a good morning", either of which may be acceptable. However, if you want to express the force of the full English expression, you need something more: Speni le gudbi monza "Experience/Spend a good morning", or Ae le monza ga gudbi lui tu "May the morning be good for you". (The for in the definition of gudbi marks a purpose, not a beneficiary.) Even the first one is bulkier than its equivalent in any other language I know; on the other hand, each of the Loglan sentences is precise, while "Good morning" is highly stylized.

Then we come to some really tough expressions, like "Merry Christmas". These are even more stylized than Good Morning, and they're culture dependent, too: Britons, Germans, and Spaniards wish each other "Happy Christmas"; the French say "Joyous Christmas"; and Russians say "With Christmas!". Here are some suggestions, roughly in decreasing order of lameness:

  1. Hapci na la Krist Denli "Be happy on Christmas Day".
  2. Hapci la Krist Denli "Be happy about Christmas".
  3. Hapduo la Krist Denli "Enjoy (happy-do) Christmas".
  4. Ae la Krist Denli, haiflo [lui tu] "May Christmas be joyful (happy-full) [for you]".
  5. Hapkao na/peu la Krist Denli "Be merry (happy-act) at/about Christmas". (*Ae la Krist Denli, hapkao won't work because the kao affix implies conscious action: people can hapkao, days can't (except metaphorically, and I REFUSE to open that can of worms).)
  6. Ae la Krist Denli, haicko (tu) "May Christmas bring happiness (to you)". [Haicko (ha(pc)i+cko(zu) "happy-cause") ..makes..happy/brings happiness to..under conditions... How about it, Hoi Purmaogru?]

Using #4 as a template, here are some similar greetings:

This last example hints at something that's pure Loglan, and not like the natural languages at all. There's nothing that says that a conventional greeting has to be a sentence, even in Loglan. If it's okay just to express pleasure about the occasion, we can say things like these: Ui letu bradei, Ui la Ninsatci, or Ui la Krist Denli. (If this becomes conventional, lo me la Ebeni'zr Skrudj of Loglandia can say Uuuo la Krist Denli. And Ua la Krist Denli can express (a) delight that the day has come, or (b) relief that the holiday season is over.) (See L1 pp. 308-309 for a discussion of ua, ui, uo, and uu; pp. 232-234 for me, the predification operator.)

Here's a grab-bag of salutations:

And now, for the science fiction readers out there:

Well, that's enough on this topic. Keep those questions coming in--that's the only way you can prevent me from picking something odd as the topic for my next column....

Copyright 1992 by The Loglan Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

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