borrowing from Loglan

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Some Lojbanists think certain gismu are ugly, and prefer using the Loglan word in poetry - though not for ordinary speech. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. selsiclu dukse ('whistle-sound excess' e.g. sibilance)
  2. abhorrence of the sound x, sometimes called la kafkylerfu (cough-letter).


  • xrula (flower) could be replaced by Loglan <flora> (or by spati cinrango, flower sex-organ).
  • xamgu (good) by Loglan gudbi (or by the more Lojbanic banzu, suffice)
  • djica (desire) by Loglan danza (or by circumlocutions such as menli xagji, mind hunger or ponsypei, possess-think).

On the other hand, a native Lojbanist might enjoy these sounds and use them as often as possible.

Using any loglo fu'ivla in Lojban text is also possible.


Using Loglan words is sometimes called dzevla for short. (blanu was mentioned in the 1960 Scientific American article, meaning that it has survived the entire history of the Loglan project all the way into Lojban).

Here's a complete list of the 56 Jboglan words:

bisli (ice), blabi (white), blanu (blue), bongu (bone), bredi (ready),
cartu (chart), centi (centi-), condi (deep), cteki (tax), cutci (shoe),
decti (deci-), dekto (deka-), dertu (dirt), dotco (German), ferti (fertile),
festi (waste), fraso (French), gigdo (giga-), jungo (Chinese), karda (card),
kilto (kilo-), klesi (class), kolme (coal), komcu (comb), korka (cork),
kosta (coat), kurfa (square), lakse (wax), lunra (lunar), manti (ant),
megdo (mega-), merli (measure), merko (American), midju (middle),
milti (milli-), nazbi (nose), mutce (much), nenri (inside), penbi (pen),
pinca (urine), pinsi (pencil), ponjo (Japanese), prali (profit), ratcu (rat),
renro (throw), rismi (rice), rusko (Russian), sakta (sugar), skapi (skin),
spano (Spanish), sumji (sum), tarci (star), tcati (tea), torni (twist),
tricu (tree), vamtu (vomit).

Here are the 37 "false friends", i.e. gismu that mean one thing in Loglan but an altogether different thing in Lojban (gismu/Loglan meaning/Lojban meaning):

barda (reward - big), berti (carry - north), broda (broken - predicate-1), cidja (awake - food), cinta (infant - paint), clika (similar - mossy), dakli (likely - sack), daski (Dane - pocket), djine (join - ring), drani (dry - correct), dugri (unit - logarithm), foldi (fold - field), gutra (strange - womb), kanla (canal - eye), catna (cotton - cut), krinu (nut - reason), lerci (letter - late), maksi (maximum - magnet), matci (machine - mat), molro (soft - mole), muslo (muscle - Muslim), palci (polish - evil), pandi (monetary-pound - punctuate), pilno (flat - use), sakli (sack - slide), satci (start - exact), sinma (cinema - esteem), skaci (Scot - skirt), skori (screw - cord), sorgu (ear - sorghum), spali (side - polish), speni (experience - married), stali (stand - stay), tcena (chain - stretch), trati (try - taut), tsani (sneeze - sky), vrici (river - various)

Loglan-Lojban pidgin

This is, like the use of Latin, a pastime for the educated. Us newbie chumps don't know any Loglan gismu!

It should be possible to write a text now that either says the same thing in Loglan and Lojban, or one thing in Loglan and something else in Lojban. Alternately, perhaps a text that contains all 56 Jboglan gismu, for mnemonic purposes.

Switch to Loglan and back

The word xo'a marks the next text as said in Loglan. To change back to Lojban use Loglan word <hoa> at the end of Loglan part.

This solution is unofficial. Officially zoi ly. ... .ly. is used.


  • xrula is one of the most beautiful words of the language, maybe even the most beautiful. (mi jinvi ledu'u lu klakydirgo li'u go'i)
  • nitcion:
    The cultural precedent for this (I surmise) is the Esperanto practice of borrowing the equivalent of on-to'e words from Ido as 'poetical' words.
    Still think it's silly.
  • Well, insofar as Lojban does not have a long literary tradition yet, there is simply no other way to create the effect of archaicism. On the other hand, what the lobykai connotations of using Loglan words might be, remains to be seen. It might not be at all like what it is in a natural language...
  • .kreig.daniyl.:
    Why would we want to be falsely archaic? Our poems will likely become archaic enough some day (.a'o'esai)
  • Leslie Beaumont:
    Those who speak or write TLI Loglan have a very different take on the very interesting content of this page. We hardly feel archaic (though there aren't many of us). We need a construction for borrowing from Lojban (makes a note).