Name the language

This week we have a question from David. Can you identify the following language and translate it into English? Note: to make this slightly more difficult, I’ve made a phonetic transcription of the sentence using the IPA. The language isn’t normally written like this.

mystery language

Clues: This a well-known proverb. The language is a constructed one built over a period of many years and only a few people actually speak it.

Here’s a recording of another sentence in the same language.

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This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

8 Responses to Name the language

  1. Laci the Hun says:

    I’m sure it’s Lojban coz we have to learn about other constructed languages during our studies (one of my majors is Esperanto language and literature), but I don’t remeber a thing in connection with Lojban

  2. Simon says:

    It is indeed Lojban. Well done Laci. Any idea what it means?

  3. Steve Massey says:

    Colloquially “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

    Literally something like

    lo – “it is really true that”
    rokci – “rocks”
    poi – “which are”
    gunro – “rolls”
    ze’e – “during that time”
    na – “it is not true”
    te clika – “they have moss growing on them”

  4. Simon says:

    Steve – that’s correct. Do you actually speak Lojban? Any idea what the recording means? All I know is that it’s Lojban.

    It seems this question was too easy! Laci and/or Steve, would you like to come up with a more difficult question for next week? If you would, please send it to me by email.

  5. Laci the Hun says:

    well sorry but not :( if I remeber right “lo” is an article and “na” is a kind of negation but that’s all. It’s a rather strange language for me, interesting but strange…

  6. Laci the Hun says:

    oh Steve is the winner :) congratulations. Do you really speak Lojban? :O It wasn’t easy it was my luck to know something about it :)
    I’m sure Steve is more capable of inventing a new question :D

  7. Ramses says:

    I’m still curious: what’s the big plus of learning an art language except it may be cool to impress other people?

  8. Joseph Staleknight says:

    It helps get your point across in business….