Lojban (pronounced as [ˈloʒban]) is a constructed language (a conlang), based around the rules of predicate logic, succeeding the project of Loglan.
A short introduction to Lojban
- Lojban is an experiment in language — the grammar is regular, simpler than most natural languages, but complex in its own unique way. Non-naturalistic structures abound, but all are regular and make sense in their own way. Lojban is thus an experiment in thought, as well, it wishes to see how these unique language structures affect thought and cognition.
- Lojban allows the expression of emotion, using words called attitudinals, which are essentially spoken emoticons, expressing your feelings. You can indicate the precise degree and intensity of your emotion as well as indicate which word your emotion stems from. You can even indicate that your statement was meant as a joke, a quick argument defuser.
- Lojban allows you to communicate concisely without unnecessary or undesired details. For example, you don't have to always think of what tense (past, present or future) to use in a verb when it's already clear from context. When you wish to provide the details you can add them. But unlike other languages Lojban doesn't require you to do so.
- Lojban has 1341 root words, covering a broad section of human experience. These words may be combined into compounds, allowing precision in meaning. Futhermore, Lojban makes provisions for borrowings, integrating them into the Lojban morphophonologic system. These words allow the creation of a vast vocabulary to describe the totality of human experience. Lojban vocabulary expands by the day, with users creating more words as gaps are found. Lojban vocabulary still has much progress to make, and our community strives towards perfecting it every day.
- Lojban is syntactically unambiguous. Natural languages often have ambiguous sentences — does "He's left" mean that he's still here or that he's gone? Lojban systematically eliminates this, but don't take it to mean that Lojban has no ambiguity at all! Lojban mostly allows you to be as ambiguous as you want, with, of course, trade offs in verbosity.
- Lojban is machine parsable, allowing potential new explorations in the fields of artificial intelligence communication and machine translation.
- Lojban is culturally neutral, as far as such things are achievable. The base vocabulary was generated using an algorithm and words from the (at the time of its creation) 6 most spoken languages on Earth, averaging them out. The Lojban community strives to maintain this neutrality.
- Lojban has a flexible pronunciation. Lojban phonemes (basic units of sound) allow many realizations, for example, the r may be pronounced as an English, French, or Spanish r. There are no silent letters, and each letter corresponds to one phoneme. While not the simplest language to pronounce, these sounds are also carefully arranged to allow self-segregation — a Lojban sentence, spoken with proper stress and pauses is uniquely segmentable into its component words, an invaluable tool in computer parsing of speech.
Lojban is a living language
Lojban is spoken by a vibrant community of speakers, primarily concentrated on mailing lists and IRC. Each member of this community strives to do what's best for Lojban, though we have frequent disagreements, we are a lively community, producing literature, music, and art. When the webcomic XKCD said that you'd have to be speaking Lojban with Lojbanists, it was indicating one of the best features of Lojban.
Come, join our community and make Lojban a living language to be remembered in the generations to come.
This website stores basic information on Lojban for free public access.
These are learning resources that are made by people speaking Lojban and that represent personal views of those authors:
|la camxes is an automatic grammar checker of Lojban utterances. It can help you to understand the structure and correctness of sentences.|
Wave Lessons, a popular textbook
Provides hover translations of both sentences/phrases and words they contain.
Also available in PDF.
«Lessons in Lojban» by Dustin Lacewell
Also check out Aesop's Fables for Lojban Learners, a work in progress. The intent is to start from very basic knowledge of Lojban, gradually learning new features through translating Aesop's Fables.
This is the resource officially approved by The Logical Language Group:
- "The Complete Lojban Language", a reference grammar of Lojban. This book will help those who already understand some Lojban. It's the most complete reference of Lojban language by far. It does not, however, teach vocabulary, style, or colloquial language. Please note that since the initial publication of the reference grammar, some language reforms such as xorlo have become widely adopted.
- la jbovlaste is a prescriptive, editable, multilingual dictionary. It is considered by many to be the current de-facto standard dictionary of Lojban. Many other dictionaries and tools are based on it.
- la vlasisku is an online English—Lojban dictionary, based on data of la jbovlaste; intended to be more user-friendly (note: it is only irregularily updated, la jbovlaste is more up-to-date).
- la sutysisku is an online multilingual Lojban dictionary (including English) that also works offline. Updated at least once a month.
- Stardict dictionaries in some languages (usable with GoldenDict, Dictionary Universal, etc.)
- Multilingual gismu (root word) and cmavo (particle) lists in tsv and html formats
- Word lists ordered by frequency of use
- An unofficial list of simple definitions of gismu
- Memrise.com offers on-line Lojban vocabulary flashcards. Anki is a downloadable alternative.
- A Lojban-to-English translator. It is not precise, it can sometimes fail to correctly translate from English to Lojban or vice versa. It can be used to get at least some understanding of how Lojban works.
Connect with the community
Lojban is spoken by a vibrant community, producing literature, music, and art, and discussing questions about language and thought. The web comic xkcd said that, if you spoke Lojban, you'd have to speak with Lojbanists. That may not be such a bad thing!
Instant messaging (text chat)
To get connected to Lojban chat use any of the following methods (your and others' messages will be available in all of them no matter which method you use).
People involved in Lojban community usually read each day's backlog and will answer your questions within several hours and often even within minutes.
Using this method you will be able to read the history of the chat since the beginning of 2016.
- Install the free Telegram messenger on your Apple, Android or your desktop device
- join main Lojban chat groups by following these links:
- Ask questions on Lojban in ckule group, talk in or about Lojban in Lojban group and talk only in Lojban in jbosnu group.
The chat is also connected to a Discord server.
- Ask questions on Lojban in #ckule channel, talk in or about Lojban in #lojban channel and talk only in Lojban in #jbosnu channel.
- Freely chat about anything to like-minded Lojbanists in the #jboselbau channel.
Direct web access
Using this method you will be able to see messages that are sent only while you are connected.
- Navigate to , choose a nickname you want yourself to be known as, and click "Start". Easy!
- Click on the channel you want (tabs on the top of the page), and type your text in the text bar at the bottom - the last line at the bottom of the chat page.
- Ask questions on Lojban in #ckule tab, talk in or about Lojban in #lojban tab and talk only in Lojban in #jbosnu tab.
You may alternately try other methods of connecting.
The general-purpose lojban mailing list, which covers anything else related to Lojban, was founded in 1989, and has about 500 subscribers. You can subscribe to it by sending an email to [email protected].
| la selpa'i
| la gleki
| la ilmen
| la tsani
| la xorxes
| la guskant
|English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Esperanto|
| la remod
Lojban around the world - other ways of communication ...
- Try reading Lojban texts. Start with something shorter and easier such as "Terry the Tiger" (audio is available) or "The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin" (a parser suitable to those two texts). When you're ready, move on to "The Little Prince" (suitable parser: camxes) and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (suitable parser: maftufa).
- Try your hand at translating into Lojban, or write your own original texts: Poetry, prose, blogs, tweets, etc.
- Continue learning vocabulary using memorization software.
- Help expand the dictionary by translating Lojban words into other languages, or coin new compound words and add them.