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Discussion of "kauvboi"
[parent] [root]
Comment #4: Re: Not actual cowboys?
Sebastian Frjds (Thu Jul 18 07:06:13 2013)

Wuzzy wrote:
> Okay. You presented me these definitions:
> - someone who watches out for cattle
> - someone like John Wayne ;-)
> - a tough someone
> - (metaphor) masculine symbol (in one sense)
> - derogative term
> - someone who is reckless
> I can remove “derogative term” from the list since your definition
> explicitly mentions some kind of “cowboy culture” (whatever that may
> be).
> If all the remaining definitions are valid interpretations for
> “kauvboi”, I do not think that this valsi is very useful. It is
> ambigious. If it just were vague, I would be okay with it. But it
> just vague, it is too ambigious. The difference between “guy who
> out for cattle” and “a guy who is like John Wayne” is too big to
> unite them both under one valsi. Also uniting “reckless” and
> “tough” under one valsi is a bad idea.
> I have no idea what “kind” of cowboy you actually meant with
> “kauvboi”. Also what the heck is the “cowboy culture”? Even if
> something like that existed, it is unclear what kind of “cowboy” was
> meant. Is it the culture of the “John Wayne”-style cowboys or the
> “cow watcher”-style cowboys? Or even something else? So the x2 place
> does not reduce ambiguity at all, it seems. :-(
> Currently, it seems I am not going to like this valsi, after all.
> words from the English language including all their ambigiuty to Lojban
> seems like a very bad idea to me.
> I’d be much better to extract all the useful possible meanings of
> “cowboy” and give each of them their own valsi. That would be much
> much better than having one vague, ambigious and possibly even confusing
> valsi. Four of them are already defined:
> - someone who watches out for cattle: xirbakyku'i
> - a tough someone: tsali
> - (metaphor) masculine symbol (in one sense): nakni?
> - derogative term: mabla
> - someone like John Wayne: currently no Lojban valsi
> - someone who is reckless: possibly currently no Lojban valsi

kauvboi is a loanword for translating a complex cultural specific
concept from natural language. Of course you can translate cowboy to
xirbakyku'i, tsali, nakni, me la jon vein ku simsa etc if you
prefer, but that doesn't catch all the nuances of the word cowboy. I don't
agree that kauvboi is ambiguous, it just include all those associations
I've mentioned which has become interrelated due to an historical process
of this cultural concept. You could say that cowboy is an important
concept in American culture, just as for example the concept of ubuntu is
important to understand some African cultures, or nirvana in Indian
religions; concepts very difficult to translate to lujvo equivalents.
That's one reason why we have fu'ivla, to talk about complex concepts with
just one short word.
You know approximately what I mean when I say something like "Our kids
played cowboys and Indians all night long", right (but nowadays such a
statement might probably be considered racialist)? When we talk about
cowboys we mean something to do with the original cowboy in the way I (or
some other people/standard) see it. For most of the time context will do
the job, but now and then you need to explicitly express by what standard
you consider someone/something to be cowboy (the standard place).
But the cowboy culture place I think is non-intrinsical and therefore
unnecessary when I think about it (you could as well express this with
kauvboi kulnu, so I delete it).

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