xu do sisku lo lojbo tcana
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How does one say "did you see if your light was on before you left?"?

>> No.656  

How about "do viska le do dirce xu tergu'i pu'o le nu do cliva"? Or ".i pau do viska le do seldicfle xu tergu'i pu'o lenu do pu cliva"?

>> No.657  


Not sure if your doubt is about how to say on/off, or "if" in the sense of "whether", or something else.

For on/off I normally use cikna/cando (not just lights, but anything that can be on/off). For if/whether you can use "xu kau". So I would say something like:

xu do viska lo nu xu kau lo do tergu'i cu cikna kei pu lo nu do cliva

>> No.661  

This is kind of interesting. Three possible words for "on" have been given: dirce, seldicfle, and cikna. Dirce ("radiating") is probably too specific, since it applies only to light emitters. (I suppose that could include radio transmitters, microwave ovens, and x-ray machines, or even heaters, stoves, and ovens.) Seldicfle ("is a destination for electric current", or "is powered") is useful for any device powered by electricity. Cikna ("awake") is far too metaphorical, since a light-bulb could hardly be said to be awake/alert/concious. Cando ("inactive/not moving") is also troublesome as a way of saying a light-bulb is off, since we normally don't think of light-bulbs as moving no matter whether they are on or off.

Another way of asking this question is "do viska tu'a xu ledo tergu'i pu lenu do cliva", which is a shorter way of writing "do viska lenu xu ledo tergu'i cu co'e kei pu lenu do cliva", "Did you see whether your light was doing something before you left?"


You should probably be using "le" instead of "lo" in a couple of places. The speaker is probably thinking of a specific light and certainly thinking of a specific event of leaving. Translating your Lojban back to English, I would probably come up with "Have you seen any of your lights on before you've left?".

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