i can eat glass

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The I Can Eat Glass Project [1] gives translations of "I can eat glass, it doesn't hurt me" in many languages, including Lojban. (Note that the English "hurt" here is ambiguous; it could mean either "harm" or "cause pain".)

Unfortunately, the Lojban translation is incorrect: mi ka'e citka loi blaci .i la'edi'u na xrani mi

Michael Helsem gives the brief: .e'e gu'e blaci citka ginai cortu

I suggest the direct: mi kakne le nu citka loi blaci kei noi na xrani

Shorter (and thus untrue to the rambling original): mi ka'e nalxai citka loi blaci

Shortest I see: e'e nalxai blacycti

There are a lot of ways to say things!

Discussed on the list:


] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lojban/message/4310


mi'e] jezrax

lo'edu'u mi citka lo blaci kei ge mi se kakne gi na xrani mi

- du'u is wrong. I think this would be better with ye olde heavy shift, that is to say, best move the long part to the end. mi kakne jenai selxai le nu citka loi blaci This version needs reworking if you prefer cortu over xrani because of different terbri. mi'e jezrax

  • I agree that a heavy-shifted version is generally preferable, but it greatly distorts the sequence of information presentation of the original. le nu is certainly incorrect by my understanding of the English, as no specific event is being referred to; in the context of the present sentence, lo'e would probably be the safest gadri choice. As for whether nu is preferable to du'u, this is an unresolved issue that, hopefully, will eventually be resolved by jboske.
    • OK, wanting to keep the order is a good reason. I agree that lo'e is more precise than le. But du'u is simply wrong. It leaves the meaning as "the fact that I can eat glass does not hurt me," which has the incorrect property of being true! mi'e jezrax
      • Well, you should have said "the fact that I eat glass is something I am capable of and does not hurt me". A mere proposition doesn't hurt us, but its being true does, and sometimes a du'u sumti is interpreted as "x2's being true". I won't debate the pros and cons of nu here, because it's too problematic an issue to do it justice. But I think you're probably right that lo'e nu is best.
    • It is difficult to argue that le is wrong, because the English original is vague. Suppose the conversation was, "I can eat glass. I know because I've done it," then "le nu..." could be taken as referring to specific actual past events of eating glass. Similarly for "I can eat glass. Watch this!" which refers to a specific future event, and "I'll bet you a quarter I can eat glass," which refers to a specific hypothetical event. If the English said, "in the general case, I can eat glass" then lo'e would be dead on. That's a reasonable interpretation, and one that some people have assumed, but it's not the only one--we simply do not know what the speaker had in mind, especially not a speaker as crazy as this. mi'e jezrax
      • Can one be capable of a specific nu? I can't seem to make sense of anything but kakne lo'e nu. --And Rosta
        • That's unclear to me. I think it depends on what exactly it means for le to be "specific". You might argue when you say kakne le nu that you were referring to the specific, though unknown, events of eating glass where you succeed; "I can eat glass, sometimes, and those are the times I'm talking about." That's some kind of specificity, though vague, and people could argue forever about whether it counted as truly specific. There doesn't seem to be any way to pin it down, so I guess usage will have to decide how specific you have to be to use le. mi'e jezrax
        • 'Specific' is a technical term (also called 'referential'. It is part of the meaning of e-gadri. Here is not the place to discuss it, but in brief, it means that you have certain particular events of my eating glass in mind. The sentence would be false only if I were incapable of those specific events. But to me it doesn't make sense to be capable of a specific event: one is capable of realizing an instance -- any instance -- of some generic class of events. Anyway, I'm now running up against the limits of how far I've thought all these issues through so far, so I'll leave it by saying that at least for the time being le nu is not demonstrably incorrect (and may eventually prove to be demonstrably correct). --And Rosta

what exactly is the problem with the original answer!!!

i’m capable of eating the mass really is glass - the referent of the last utterance didn’t hurt me!

it is fine!!!!! ko smaji o'onai y o'onaisai

i now see on mailing list that! you complain that in the English it not supposed to be the capability of eating glass that’s unhurtful it’s the glass-eating itself. that is not the way I read the english. I read it as capability being unhurtful - the ba'e ka'e citka.

you discussed this on the list and on this wiki! well! you’ve read the sentence exactly how I intended it!!!!!! I saw this page earlier and thought oh well guess I made a mistake when I was new at lojban. but!!!! now I read the discussion and I see that it wasn’t wrong it came out just as I meant!

maybe I misinterpreted the English and maybe your interpretation of the English is correct it’s supposed to be specific events of glass-eating that’s unhurtful but to go from that to say that the Lojban is incorrect is wicked!! I meant this: I’m capable of eating glass and that capacity doesn’t hurt me! A perfectly reasonable interpretation of the text string “I can eat glass, it doesn’t hurt me”. English is ambiguous bull shit!!! I hate it. I want not to know it!!

mi djica lonu la lojban po'o bangu mi

I am angry that you did this supposed fix. I’ve made many mistakes at lojban and corrections are always welcome. this is the first time I react like this. --because it’s not a correction it’s a NIH-situation—not invented here, everyone wants their own spin, their own go at painting the bikeshed. well!-- maybe that wasn’t the reason. but just that everyone was so eager to jump to conclusion and assume that the other erred in the Lojban and always always always this switching to English. not everyone is English! also note that before I read the discussion I wasn’t mad I just thought Oh, sad, I must’ve made mistake. mad became I after I saw what the supposed “error” was

ta'a mi'e la selckiku .i .ie ro nu lojbo darlu cu te pilno .ei la .lojban. .i da'i zmadu lo ka racli .i le za'e jbobramenli cu ze'u za'a pensi lo simsa .i zo malglico noi za'e tcelaldo cu mupli .i le jbopre cu djica ju fliba lo nu racli .i .ie sai na drani fa lo nu tolxendo cusku lo se du'u lo jbopre selsku cu jai se srera .i ku'i ze'u za'a cafne ke simsa srera fa le jbopre .i le nu drani kei le nu xendo kei cu zmadu le ka vajni .ie nai sai .i le do selsku cu .ie .ia banzu drani .i mi jimpe .i le jbopre cu na'e se mansa lo nu banzu ku'i .i za'e duspa'e sisku .i ku'i ma'a jboklu jai galfi .i le cnino ninpre ba ca'e zgana lo kanro se cinmo jboklu .i do .ia gasnu .i ki'e xendo .i ko ranji troci mu'o

doi selckiku iosai iu

.i mi dukse fengu u'u

.i mi pu djica lonu cusku lu mi ka'e citka lo blaci .i la'edi'u na xrani mi li'u

to srera jenaiku'i jundi tu'a zo loi toi

.i mi piso'iroi xendo naje fengu

mu'o mi'e snan