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(From Lognet 92/1. Used with the permission of The Loglan Institute, Inc.)
Hu Logla Sanpa Toi?
by Bill Gober
(How Do You Say This?)
LOPO JMITAA, E LOPO GUBDAA
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
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:
- Bon Voyage: Ae letu po traci ga pluci "May your trip be
pleasant"; Hapci traci "Happily travel".
- Bon Appetit: Titci go gudbi "Eat well". (You'll note, here
and several other places, that when English wishes you to have something,
the equivalent Loglan wishes you to do or be something.)
- Good Luck: Gudcaespe "Be lucky (good-luck-experience)".
- Good Hunting: Suksi janto "Hunt successfully" "Be a successful
hunter"; Ae lepo janto ga suksi "May the hunt(ing) succeed"; Suksi
duvrai "Successfully search (find-try)".
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:
- Hapci na la Krist Denli "Be happy on Christmas Day".
- Hapci la Krist Denli "Be happy about Christmas".
- Hapduo la Krist Denli "Enjoy (happy-do) Christmas".
- Ae la Krist Denli, haiflo [lui tu] "May Christmas be joyful (happy-full)
- 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).)
- 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:
- Happy New Year: Ae la Ninsatci, haiflo "May the Year-Start
be joyous"; Ae le cninu nirne fa haiflo "May the new year be joyful".
(Haiflo, not hapci; people can be hapci, years can't.)
Alternatively, Speni le gudbi nirne "Have a good year".
- Happy Hanukkah: Ae la Xa'nukas, haiflo.
- Happy Birthday: Ae letu bradei ga haiflo. Alternatively,
Ui ti bradei tu "I'm glad it's your birthday".
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
Here's a grab-bag of salutations:
- Welcome [to ----]. Actually, this one seems to have three meanings,
each with a different Loglan translation:
- Good arrival: Ae lepo tu fadkaa la Mars, ga pluci "May
your arrival (end-come) on Mars be pleasant". This is the most literal meaning.
- We're pleased that you're here: Mia nu pluci lepo tu
hijra. This meaning seems to fit with the expression, "Make them
- We hope you're happy to be here: Ae hapci lepo tu hijra
la Loglandias, or, more compactly, Ae haphijra la Loglandias
"May you be happy to be in Loglandia". [Haphi[jr]a (ha(pc)i+hi(jr)a)
"happy-here" ..is glad/happy to be here/present/attending at...]
- This is a Loglandical form with no English equivalent that I can think
of: Gesko lemia hasfa "Be a guest in our house" "Welcome to our house".
(Gesko is a primitive created since L1.)
- How are you?: Ei tu djela "Are you healthy?"; or the terrifically
terse Tu he "You are how?"
- It's good to see you [again]: Mi fundi lepo mi na [genza]
kinci tu "I like (it) that I'm now with you [again]". (Let's not
use vizka here unless we're talking about sight-restoration....)
- God be with you till we meet again: Ae la Gan, kinci tu pia
lepo mu geajmi mu "May God accompany you until we re-meet ourselves";
Pia lepo geajmi "Until the re-meeting". (Pia "continuously before"
works, but it implies a start in the indefinite past; I really need a construct
that says "from now continuously until X". Any suggestions?)
And now, for the science fiction readers out there:
- Take me to your leader: Glida mi letu garni ca fregoi "Guide
me to your ruler and/or leader (front-goer)".
- Peace, and long life: Ae pismi, e langa clivi "May you be
at peace, and live long".
- Live long and prosper: Clivi go langa ce gudbi "Live long
and well". "Farewell" becomes Gudbi clivi.
- May the Force be with you: Ae la Fors, kinci tu "May the
Force accompany you". (On CompuServe we're still looking for a good Loglan translation
of "The Force"; Fors is just a place- holder until we find that good
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
Copyright 1992 by The Loglan Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.
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