Lojban/Culturally neutral

Culturally neutral

Lojban attempts to maintain cultural neutrality, particularly as compared to other constructed languages such as Esperanto which use European languages, sounds or conventions as their basis. The main sources of Lojban basic vocabulary are the six most widely spoken languages (at least during Lojban's birth): Mandarin, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic; the mishmash gives Lojban a truly international flavor and keeps the language's style and sound from favoring one culture over another, as much as feasibly possible.

Lojban words never automatically insinuate the gender of the subject or speaker, contrary to English and other languages: if gender is not stated explicitly in Lojban, it is not implied. Likewise for tense, spatial or temporal are not implied in default Lojban grammar and must be manually added. These too serve to keep Lojban culturally neutral, and to draw attention to gender and tense only when a speaker or writer feels the need to.

Lojban also has a marker (pe'a) to designate figures of speech, thus 'back stabber' translated as-is into Lojban would always be taken literally as 'one who physically stabs physical backs', unless otherwise indicated, in order to set aside, deconstruct and learn from cultural linguistic constructs, all on common ground.

Lojban endeavors to provide a neutral linguistic structure upon which people can build, rather than enforce linguistic sterility. By starting with a system that is as neutral as possible and drawing attention to culturally weighted concepts, Lojban seeks to make ambiguity and culture-specific language visible and clear, rather than remove it.

Last modified on 19 March 2012, at 21:15