la'oi Pharamp ka'argau lo titnanba re da

English Translation

Pharamp cut the cake in half.

let’s break down the Lojban sentence “la’oi Pharamp ka’argau lo titnanba re da” into its components for better understanding.

  1. “la’oi” - This is a variation of “la’o” which is a common Lojban word used to quote a non-Lojban name or word. It’s part of the cmene (name) construct which signals that the following word is a proper name or a word borrowed from another language. “la’oi” is specifically followed by a foreign name or word that has already been mentioned (since it has the possessive particle 'oi added).

  2. “Pharamp” - This is the name being quoted or referred to, probably from another language, since it is not a standard Lojbanic construction. It is quoted exactly as in the source language, phonology permitting.

  3. “ka’argau” - This is a compound word made of two gismu (root words: “ka’ar” and “gau”).

    • “ka’ar” is a rafsi (root word abbreviation) for “karce,” which means “car.”
    • “gau” is a rafsi for “gasnu,” which means “to do” or “to cause to.”
      The full word “ka’argau” suggests “to cause to car,” which in context, can be interpreted as “to drive” (to cause something to function as a car).
  4. “lo” - This is an article used to indicate that the next word is a sumti (argument or noun phrase) referring to something described by the following selbri (predicate or verb phrase).

  5. “titnanba” - This appears to be a compound of “titna” (hear) and “nanba” (bread). The compound doesn’t make much literal sense in context, so it might be a metaphor or an idiom from source material outside of Lojban, or it could be a mistake in the sentence. In any case, with no given metaphorical meaning, it’s hard to guess what it could mean by default, so we’ll just transcribe it directly — it could be a brand or type of bread that is typically listened to for its quality (to check for a certain sound that indicates freshness, for example).

  6. “re” - This is the number two in Lojban.

  7. “da” - This is a KOhA series pro-sumti, which in this context functions like a variable in logic that stands for something unspecified or a “something” that exists (it could be any one thing; the specific identity isn’t given but could be any one thing where there is at least one such thing).

Putting it all together with the ambiguity of “titnanba” in mind:

“la’oi Pharamp ka’argau lo titnanba re da” could mean “Pharamp drives something which can be described as ‘titnanba’ two things.”

If “titnanba” refers metaphorically to something specific that is known from context (such as a type of bread with a particular ‘listening’ quality or a brand), the sentence could be interpreted along the lines of:

“Pharamp drives the ‘listening bread’ for two things.”

This sentence, however, is still quite unclear without additional context, especially for what “titnanba” is supposed to mean. In practice, a Lojban learner encountering this kind of sentence would probably seek further clarification on any unfamiliar compounds or metaphorical language uses that aren’t standard in Lojban.