jeeg and Talen

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Here's the Jeeg and Talen anecdote as printed in The Loglanist L 4:4, pp. 169,171-73. It's in pre-GMR Loglan. Translators to Lojban are invited, and I will be

glad to help!


Mi pa vetfa levi ja cmima stuci jo.

To ba pa gandi. I ne le tora pa nu namci li Djig lu. Ice le norsa pa nu namci li Talen lu(1). I le gandi pia traci lo Rara gi duo be ji lepo lo gandi pa traci(2). I do durdu cansivdu. I la Djig cutse li Nu jimta Talen lu(3). I levi po jimta pa fu stari la Talen gi numoi lepo da djano lepo da bisti djimi la Djig gi nanobi(4). Imoi da kuncu li Ue ei tu sui rardjano(5) lu.

Nau eu la Talen fea(6) rardjano kie tiu nu snola lepo da nu plipu li sui lu kiu. Isoa kia no da cnida lepo kuncu gi nusoa lepo da bisti djano le nu retcu.

--Richard Darwin, edited by pc.


I have invented this "amusing story" horror quotes

There were two gods. One of the two was named Jeeg, the other Talen. And the two of them were travelling about in the Cosmos in whatever manner it is that gods travel and they happened to run into each other. Jeeg said, "Hail, Talen." Now this greeting rather surprised Talen because he knew that he had never met Jeeg before. So he asked, "Oh, are you omniscient too?"

If Talen were really omniscient (as he implies by his use of "also") then he wouldn't need to ask, because he'd already know the answer.

Notes by pc except as noted

[[bracketed insertions by [John Cowan e|John Cowan e]]

1. The first two sentences of this story are a challenge. The reading given here for the second part is safe, but inefficient compared to the English 'They were named Jeeg and Talen'. The problem is to find something nearly as tidy in Lojban. The direct ba nu namci li Djig lu e li Talen lu i.e., da se cmene lu Djig li'u .e lu Talen li'u fails on all counts, since it gives both of them both names. Another attempt -- ba nu namci li Djig lu onoi i.e. .onai li Talen lu -- guarantees that each has only one name, but allows that it may be the same for both.

Mr. Darwin originally tried to solve the problem by using rerne, the predicate indicating a 1-1 relationship between -- in this case -- the relevant sets of gods and of names. One way of doing this would be to change the first sentence to ba pa gandi tora i.e. da pu cevni remei, so that ba now stands for the couple, not its members. Then ba nu namci nrene li Djig lu ze li Talen lu might work -- unless you believe that ze joibetween two strings indicates string concatenation (li A lu ze li B lu = li AB lu).

There are reasons to think that this is not the case (e.g., ze usually forms a reference to a team, an entity of a different type from what is named by the constituent expressions), but it might be better to use the list notation here to be safe: lie li Djig lu li Talen lu, or whatever is finally decided on for this.

Finally, there is the perfectly safe (but horribly inelegant) expansion of the whole, expanding toba reda and going on from there: ba e be pa gandi ice ba no bi be ice ba nu namci li Djig lu ice be nu namci li Talen lu i.e. da .e de pu cevni .ije da na du de .ije da se cmene lu Djig li'u .ije de se cmene lu Talen li'u. Other, more compact suggestions would be welcome (see elsewhere on the need for a "respectively" operator to allow this last chunk to go ba e be nu namci li Djig lu e li Talen lu (resp.)

  • Lojban has fa'u for this, though unfortunately there is no corresponding gadri with the same meaning. I would say: lei re cevni zo'u zo djig fa'u zo talen cmene. "There were two gods" doesn't sound like an existential claim, more like an introduction of the topic. The story could perfectly well develop in such a way that they encounter a third god for example, so we don't want to make the claim that "two and only two things are gods".--xorxes

2. be ji A ought to reduce to just A. Here it is left unreduced to show that what A is is unknown. Does this really work?

3. nu jimta seems more apropos both because it is extra-formal and because it would seem to fit the well-known divine propensity for commands. --Richard Darwin

4. or da nopa djimi la Djig.

5. RARDJANO (ra djano, all-know) X is omniscient.

6. FEA, from fekti, meaning "in fact". I cannot find a reference for this, though it seems to be old.

Partial translation into modern Lojban


mi pu finti levi fu'epe'a zdile lisri fu'o

re da pu cevni .i pa le remei pu se cmene zo djig. .ije le drata pu se cmene zo talen. .i le cevni puca'o litru le kensa ta'i de poi lo cevni pu litru .i ra simxu cunpe'i .i la djig. cusku lu" doi talen., rinsa ko "li'u .i di'u noi nu rinsa kei cu spaji la talen. mu'i lenu ri djuno ledu'u purci penmi la djig ca nodi .isemu'ibo ra retsku lu" .ue xu do ji'a roldjuno? "li'u

ni'o da'i la talen ca'a roldjuno to di'u se nibli lenu ri pilno zo ji'a toi, .iseni'ibo ra na nitcu lenu retsku ni'i lenu ra ba'o djuno le danfu

Another translation

lo tordu ke lojbo lisri ja pemci

mi pu finti le di'e fu'e pe'a zdile lisri fu'o

ni'o lei re cevni zo'u zo djig fa'u zo talen cmene i cy ca'o litru le kensa tai lo'e nu lo'e cevni cu litru i cy cunpe'i simxu i la djig cusku lu coi talen li'u

i le nu rinsa cu spaji la talen noi ke'a djuno le du'u ke'a noroi pu penmi la djig i semu'ibo ty preti cusku lu ue xu do ji'a roldjuno li'u

ni'o ro mu'ei le du'u la talen ca'a roldjuno kei noi le nu ty pilno zo ji'a cu stidi nibli ke'a cu na nitcu le nu preti cusku kei ki'u le nu ty djuno le danfu

--i ba'o fanva fa la xorxes