lessons Errata

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Errata for the Lojban For Beginners, The Book, by Nick Nicholas and Robin Turner.

In various places, a desired object is put in place x2 of djica, which, as the sumti list says, is "sumti-raising".

Chapter 1

  • s/refering/referring/
  • Special Characters: kurmikce should be kujmikce


  • Say explicitly that English h transliterates to x initially, or alternatively run in, or f: djei'inklmn, djeis xinklmn, djeis finklmn.

Chapter 2

  • la rab.spir. cu drani pante le se cusku pe zo .e'o
  • s/asume/assume/
  • s/sence/sense/

The following two pieces contradict:

  • In chapter 2, section "gismu as sumti":
  • ...you don't need cu after mi (I/me/we), do (you, the person(s) I'm talking to) or any words like this ('pro-sumti', in Lojban jargon).
  • In chapter 3, section "Questions":
  • ...mi cu na nelci la bil. means "It is not true that I like Bill," or in other words, "I don't like Bill." Tip: By default, na is followed by a selbri. Since cu has the job of indicating that a selbri is coming up, na makes it superfluous. So you can simply say mi na nelci la bil.
  • The use of cu after mi in the second paste is not explained, and to say that it is not needed because the na is there is to say that it would be needed if na were not there.


  • kycyetys. -> kycy.ebutys.
  • Chapter 3
  • "for at a store" -> for it at a store
  • Maybe insert note that ko can be assigned to any pro-sumti
  • Chapter 4
  • I think the notion that "loi nanmu cu bevri le pipno" is a legitimate transform of "lu'o ci lo nanmu cu bevri le pipno" is no good. In the latter sentence, there are only three men involved, even if there is no telling which; but in the former, all human beings are conceptually if not actually involved. The two sentence have the same truth conditions, doubtless, but not the same semantics. Paedagogically, I think that this is not the way to introduce loi at all, though it works well for lei. Instead, it would be better to create a new scenario involving one of the "creatures of loi", Mr. Monkey or Mr. Water or whatever.
    • What I may do is do {lu'o le > lei}, which is straightforward, then {lu'o lo > loi} with a disclaimer, then tack on Mr Rabbit on the end as an alternative way of looking at things --- maybe as a note.
  • Answer to exercise 3.6: the question asks to translate "The group of four women kiss Ricky Martin". This wording seems to indicate a specific group of four women in mind. My answer was then "lei vo ninmu cu cinba la rikis. martin." The answer in the answers section was instead "lu'o vo lo ninmu cu cinba la rikis.martin." which seems to me to say something closer to "some group of four women kiss Ricky Martin".
  • Answer to exercise 3.7: prami > nelci (the exercise says "likes", not "loves")
  • Maybe change the phrasing of "...read as vo ki'o musore. ki'o also has the..." to prevent misreading "vo ki'o musore. ki'o" as 4,592,000.
  • s/harrassed/harassed/ Or is this a Commonwealth spelling?
  • The example of ungrammatical German der Frau is a bad example; this is perfectly valid grammar, as long as you're referring to the woman in the genitive (das Buch der Frau = le cukta po le ninmu) or the dative (Ich gebe der Frau das Buch = mi dunda fi le ninmu fe le cukta) case. I suggest changing it to something else such as das Frau or die Mann.
    • In the same spot, 'the two womans' is fine in English, except that the plural of woman is 'women', not 'womans'. 'the two woman', however, is as bad grammatically as 'more better' (which should be 'even better') or 'I gots the ball' (to indicate the ball was 'gotten' (another bad example) in the past).
    • Which means the example stands as bad grammar in English.
  • pg. 34 "lu'o and lu'e are very...no number comes between them...and the throng of women kissing me(!) as lei pano ninmu cu cinba mi." Should this be "lei ninmu cu cinba mi." ? johnatl
  • "mi se slabu vopanu...": "se" has not been introduced at this point, so it causes confusion
  • Answer to exercise 3.8: "le la ROZmeris. cifnu cu batci...". Nowhere is it explained explicitly that articles can (and should, when necessary) be nested like this, so I found it very confusing to read "le la (anything)". In retrospect it's obvious... but it still warrants a brief note.

How does xorlo change chapter 4 and its examples?

  • existing phrase -> proposed = definition
  • ci le gerku -> ci lo gerku = three dogs
  • le ci gerku -> lo ci gerku = the three dogs
  • le pano ninmu cu cinba mi could become lo
  • And so on for any le that is meant to be general
  • no lo ninmu cu nelci la bil. -> su'e no lo (ro) ninmu cu nelci la bil. = at most zero (of all) women like bill?

The section introducing lo vs. le needs to be replaced...

What do we do, though, if we just want to say "three dogs"? For this we need another article, lo. The logic of lo is pretty complicated, but it basically means 'something which really is,' which nine times out of ten is the same as English a or some. (Translating Lojban grammar into English like this is a mortal sin — damned under the name of malglico; but even so, this is the best thing to do with lo at this stage!)

Note for logicians: lo prenu cu klama expresses the proposition "There exists at least one person, such that that person goes."

By contrast, the cannot mean the same thing as lo. In English, the dog doesn't mean just 'something which really is a dog', but more like 'something which really is a dog, and which I already have in mind.' (That's how "A dog came in. A dog was black" and "A dog came in. The dog was black" are different.) Lojban sidesteps this problem by using le gerku 'something which I'm going to call a dog'. It's up to the audience to put together what the speaker had in mind when they called it le gerku, just as it is the audience's job in English to work out what dog the speaker had in mind.

So ci lo gerku means 'three of those which really are dogs', or in plain words, 'three dogs'. lo ci gerku, however, means that we are talking about one or more of the only three dogs in the world, which is not something you'd really want to say. (Mathematicians and logicians can look up the relevant parts of The Complete Lojban Language if they want clarification on this issue — or for that matter on the differences between lo and le.)

Probably with some information about the generality of lo but that it also deals in 'real' things where le deals with conceptual things. Also the section at the end of the first page can be changed/removed...

For advanced students only: Once you have been involved with Lojban for a while, you will notice that you will see loi a lot, and lu'o lo hardly ever. In fact, by default the expression loi nanmu cu bevri le pipno, without a number, implies that all of mankind was somehow involved in carrying the piano. Strictly speaking, that's true (if three men carried the piano, then Man carried the piano.) But it's not really the most specific way of expressing what's going on.

So how do you get the number 'three' back into an expression like loi nanmu cu bevri le pipno? You cannot say loi ci nanmu cu bevri le pipno, because that means that there are only three men that exist in the universe. You cannot say ci loi nanmu cu bevri le pipno, because the three men act as one mass, and not as three masses. As it turns out (by extension of a little-known mechanism documented in The Complete Lojban Language, pp. 132–133), the way to do it is loi ci lo nanmu cu bevri le pipno: "The mass of three out of all men carries the piano."

Loi now means just a group of some (actual) men without any universal implications. Using xorlo "loi ci nanmu cu bevri le pipno" now means just "a group containing three men carries a piano".

The section at the begining of page two talking about re lo ci prenu and re lo ci mensi pe mi needs to be changed (re lo ci prenu means two of the three real people i'm talking about).

In the summary...

^...My personal advice (not official Lojban policy!) is when in doubt, use le. This is because the only time le is completely wrong is with a cmene (which needs la, of course). If you use le where another article would be more appropriate, you may not express yourself as clearly as you wanted, but at least you will not be talking ungrammatical nonsense...^

I think official policy is to use the least specific, which is now lo.

For referance see How to use xorlo

  • Chapter 5
  • s/stay tuned for next lesson/stay tuned for the next lesson/
  • s/sieze/seize/
  • s/ordindary/ordinary/
  • s/the number four/the number eleven/
  • s/June/July/
  • In the answer to exercise 1.4, "papa" and "pare" should swap places.
  • Chapter 6
  • Example phrase has doubled "la": la jan. cliva le barja ti'u la jaucac. .i la la suzyn. klama le barja ti'u la feicac.
    • Along with the doubled la, it should be: la jan. cliva le barja ti'u la daucac. In the explanation above, Zhang leaves at 10 o'clock! mi'e .iens.
  • "litru" appears in a lojban->english translation (exercise 1) but is never introduced in the text nor in the vocabulary appendix
  • "zgana" appears in l->e translation (exercise 1) several sections before it's introduced
  • "work" appears in e->l translation (exercise 3) in the section before "gunka" is introduced
  • la bil. sanli ri'u vi ku la bil. ri'u vi sanli --- need linebreak after ri'u vi ku
  • Three occurences of "facti" in answers to exercise 5 > "fatci"
  • s/attatched/attached/
  • s/therfore/therefore/
  • s/a simpler alternative to ti'u or di'e/a simpler alternative to ti'u or de'i/
  • Section "Time and selbri" 4th proper paragraph, zi/ze/zu -> zi/za/zu
  • The example "la jan. cliva le barja ti'u la jaucac. .i la la suzyn. klama le barja ti'u la feicac." uses "jaucac" instead of "daucac".
  • Chapter 7
  • It might be nice to explicitly note how SE interact with FA; if not in the main text, at least as a note in the answers to exercise 1 #4
  • The distinction between nu and du'u for 'frustration' looks like quibbling
    • And I don't think there's anything can be done about that... Maybe add that du'u is a piece of language.
  • In the vocabulary for exercise 2, zgani > zgana
  • s/folowing/following/
  • s/bewteen/between/
  • s/well mean start meaning/well start meaning/
  • Chapter 9
  • Is the answer to exercise 3 #1 correct? ("I mail you in Lojban" -> "mi mrilu fi do bau la lojban.") This says to me that I'm using some sort of special lojban mail service, where to get anything delivered I have to deal with them speaking lojban. Possible, but I would have expected "mi mrilu zo'e pe bau la lojban. do" ("I mail you {something in lojban}"), which parallels the next question ("I give you a book in Lojban" -> "mi dunda lo cukta be bau la lojban. do"). -- mi'e braiyn (See iscussion on mailing list)
  • OK, this is really nit-picky: In the answer to exercise 6.7, in spelling Walesa, you have correctly used a slashed l (this is why the name is pronounced va,uensa instead of valensa). But, strictly speaking, the e should have a hook (I've also seen it called a "right cedilla") under it. This hook on the e is why the name is pronounced va,uensa instead of va,uesa. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what character entity reference to use...
    • It's Unicode U+0119 'Latin small letter E with ogonek'. I suspect &eogonek; will do it, but try it before wagering the life savings.
  • This is also pretty nit-picky. In the section "ke'a", the text {le mi mensi poi do viska ke'a ca le purlamcte} is glossed as "My sister, such that you saw her at the restaurant during the immediately-preceding-night". The lojban doesn't actually mention that the seeing took place at the restaurant, so why does the gloss say so?
  • Chapter 10
  • First sentence: "...where every second sentence seems to start..." > "...where it seems that every second sentence starts..."
  • In the discussion of ni'i/seni'i, "the logically necessitator" should perhaps be "the logical necessitator"
  • Exercise 2 #6 "That computer can't get a virus because it's running Linux." -- the "Computer flamebait" note on the answer discusses Macs vs PCs, which seems a non sequitur. (Additionally, there do exist viruses and worms which target Macs and Linux systems.)
  • Exercise 3 uses "vorme", which is never introduced and is not in the vocabulary appendix
  • Exercise 3 #6 uses "farlu", which is never introduced (but is in the vocab appendix)
  • Ex 4 #3 "Why is it dark in here?"; the lojban translation given is "vi manku ri'a ma"; i.e. asking for a physical cause. While this makes sense if the expected answer is "because the power is out" (or "because the lights are off" .u'i), I hesitated because I could easily imagine responses along the lines of "because I'm trying to sleep", "because I'm developing photographs", "because we're trying to conserve power" -- which seem more in the ki'u realm: there is some standard in play by which the area being dark is justified. Am I off my rocker?
  • Answer to exercise 6.4: cisma > cmila (the exercise says "laughs" not "smiles")

Lessons Errata Chapter 11

  • It's not made clear that adding "nai" to a logical connective NOTs the second term. For one thing, IF (anai) is defined as logically NOT A OR B, apparently based on the unstated "IF A then B" with the terms reversed from the "A op B" form that everything else is stated in. It might be clearer to explicitly equate "A IF B" with "A OR NOT B".
  • "...what a Boolean operator is, don't panic; they are very simple,..." to achieve number agreement > "...what Boolean operators are..."
  • "If I want to say that that I will visit..." > If I want to say that I will visit..." (duplicate "that")
  • "djacu" appears once misspelled as "jdacu" (loi jisra joi jdacu)
  • The note on ex 4 #4 says "You can't get Cuba into the bridi-head, because it's in different places in the two bridi: x4 in the first bridi, x2 in the second." Of course, you can get Cuba into the bridi-head, just not at the same time as la djak.kenedis. (Who, incidentally, has the wrong stress on his last name -- back in lesson 3 though, "Kennedy" was correctly lojbanized as "KEnedis.")
  • Answer to exercise 4.4: x4 > x3
  • Answer to exercise 6.2: "...in other words, mo} applies..." delete extraneous "}"
  • Ex 7 #2 - "Susan either didn't hear the waiter, or didn't pay attention to him." -> ".i la suzyn. tirna le bevri gi'onai jundi le bevri (or: .i la suzyn. tirna le bevri gi'onai jundi ri)" -- literally, these mean "Susan either hears or pays attention to the waiter." Technically speaking this should be correct; she either hears and does not pay attention, or pays attention but does not hear. But it does seem a little strange; a note on the answer would be nice. (And what if she neither heard nor paid attention? I feel that this would be allowed by the English original, but the XOR in the lojban does not allow that interpretation.) Additionally, can't "le bevri" be moved into the selbri head, ie ".i la suzyn. le bevri cu tirna gi'onai jundi"?
  • Ex 7 #3 - ".i la djiotis. pencu la suzyn. le janco" means that Jyoti used her own shoulder (or someone else's shoulder) as an instrument to touch Susan. Possible, but this doesn't accurately translate "Jyoti touches Susan on the shoulder". Should be "fo le janco"
  • Ex 7 #5 uses "litru" in the answer, which hasn't been formally introduced
  • At the end, it makes a note about most Lojbanists avoiding IF, which is mostly correct. However, va'o and fau really are not good replacements for if, and there is no explanatory text explaining how to use these.
  • Chapter 12
  • In the answers to exercise 2, the IPA transcription for <le barja> is given with as le 'barZa (where Z=script z), but the preferred pronunciation according to The Book is lE 'barZa (where E=epsilon). (e is allowed, but not model)
  • In exercise 4, "adagio" is fu'ivla'd as "zgikrnadadjio or zgikrxadadjio". However, dictionaries I've checked indicate that both -djio and -djo pronunciations are acceptable in English, and I believe the Italian pronunciation is also "-djo".
  • Exercise 4.5: bilmj > bilma
  • In ex 6 #6, ".uu mi ji'a go'i" is translated as "Unfortunately, so can I." This seems to be a grave misuse of ".uu"; perhaps ".uinai" or ".oi" would be more appropriate if the latter meaning was intended rather than "aww, you poor thing! I can hear you too".
    • Consider se'i
    • That should work nice. Of course, se'i isn't introduced until the next chapter.
  • Equalities/4th paragraph: "I am Robin (or Nick)." should be "I am Nick (or Robin)." to match the previous "mi du la nik. (or mi du la robin.)" -- mi'e .iens.
  • Chapter 13
  • "This gives you a seven part scale:" The scale shown appears to have nine parts
  • vencu > vecnu
  • "...and translate in to Lojban." > "...and translate it to Lojban." or "...and translate into Lojban."
  • Exercise 3#4 includes "jufra", which is never introduced and does not appear in the vocab appendix. It's not actually a translation exercise, but it's rather annoying to have to run off and find a gismu list to find out what it means.
  • Exercise 4.4: ".i lai ki'a" is ungrammatical
  • Exercise 4.5: "to .e do xu toi" is ungrammatical
  • Exercise 4.6: "tavla" > "cusku" The answer is given as "You say strange things." {do tavla lo ba'e cizra} looks an awful lot (to me) like "You talk to strange things."
  • Exercise 6.4: seems to need ".i" at the beginning
  • s/disfunctional/dysfunctional/ maybe
  • s/Extraterrestial/Extraterrestrial/
  • Chapter 14
  • "So if we want to say that Susan fancies men that are, if funny, then also handsome, the afterthought version is la suzyn. cinynei ro melbi naja xajmi nanmu" -- doesn't the lojban say "Susan fancies men that are, if beautiful, then also funny"?
  • "Tip: This can actually turn out handy..." > "Tip: This turns out to be handy..." or "Tip: This can actually be handy..." or something
  • Exercise 4.3: it didn't make any sense to me, so I ran it through jbofi'e, which doesn't like it either
  • Answer to exercise 4.2: "Also, Zhang either dances better than Ranjeet, or drunk (at that time). (Or: when he's not drunk.)" The parallel contruction is faulty. Suggest deleting "either" and inserting "is" > "or is drunk"
  • s/someting/something/
  • Chapter 15
  • "Sometimes you'll want to speak of properties of applying to two entities at once." -- probably should be "...of properties applying..."
    • Or, perhaps, "...of properties as applying..."
  • An example sentence uses "jemna zercpa" for "heist"; the next two variants silently switch to "jemna zerle'a". Only the latter appears in the vocabulary appendix.
  • Answer to ex 2 #5: le ka ce'u simsa la arnold. cfartseneger. kei poi ckaji mi -- "ckaji" hasn't been introduced and isn't in the vocabulary, so this comes as a bit of a surprise.
  • ex 5 #4; canko is used, is never introduced nor in vocab appendix
  • ex 5 #6; I notice that the word "tca" doesn't make it through jbofi'e in lo'u/le'u quotes ("Unrecognizable word 'tca' at line 1 column 132"). Is this a bug in jbofi'e, or is it not a morphologically legal lojban word?
  • ex 6 #10; the IPA and lojban transcriptions of the Klingon phrase in the answer key are not consistent with one another. The IPA puts the stress on the second syllable of Human (xu'man), while the lojban puts it on the first (xuman). The lojban also inserts a pause/glottal stop into the middle of wejpuH (.uedj. pux.) (presumably to break up the mixed voiced/unvoiced consonant cluster so it makes it through lo'u/le'u), which leaves stress uncertain.
  • Lambda Note, Part 1 says:
    • le ka ce'u xlura da de di corresponds to lx.xendo(x,da,de,di)
    • Are you switching from xlura to xendo on purpose?
  • "...the police are looking to someone..." > "... the police are looking for someone..."
  • s/asbtraction/abstraction/
  • s/unaceptable/unacceptable/
  • Appendix A
  • "...and in Lojban, the x1 place is as close...": in x1 the 1 should be a subscript.
  • "...they are being wrong..." should this simply be "they are wrong"?
  • Vocabulary appendix
  • canko: missing (used in lesson 15)
  • ckaji: mising (used in lesson 15)
  • do'u: missing (used in lessons 12, 13, 15)
  • jufra: missing (used in lesson 13)
  • kanla: keyword is "cup" instead of correct "eye"
  • ki'u: leading 'd' of 'discursive' is missing
  • litru: missing (used in lessons 6 and 11)
  • pensi: keyword is "police" instead of correct "think"
  • sidbo: keyword is correct, but place structure of "gunka" is given instead
  • sruma: keyword is "reply" instead of correct "assume"
  • tcidu: keyword is "talk" instead of correct "read"
  • te: "switch 1st/2nd places" should read "switch 1st/3rd places"
  • turni: keyword is correct, but place structure of "gunka" is given instead
  • vorme: missing (used in lesson 10)