The Lojban community needs texts that are famed and globally prestigious to promote the language. The list of the top 1000 titles most often owned by OCLC member libraries ranked The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran #315. The Prophet is a suitable candidate for several reasons. For purposes of demonstrating the thorough day-to-day applicability of Lojban, this novella portrays basic activity in the physical world involving ships, hills, cities, walking, and conversation. Inspirational literature offers boundless opportunity to demonstrate the astounding emotional range of the attitudinal system. Although Gibran wrote in English in early twentieth-century Boston, he seemed to style his use of language to give the impression of an ancient Middle-Eastern holy book, as if it were a simplistic translation into English from his native Lebanese. As a result, it appears to be optimized for translation: it contains no jargon, very little idiom, nothing that needs a cultural context to be understood, and no highly stylized uses of language for humor or pronunciation-dependent effect. Not only is The Prophet short enough to be translated in an efficient amount of time, it is also divided up conveniently into bite-sized verses. It is in the public domain. It also does not hurt that the worst that can be said about the content is that it is mostly inoffensive platitudes. This is a prose poem, a work of simple beauty. This translation will make a visually pleasant physical artifact with beautiful calligraphy and professional page layout when one or two copies are published through a vanity press.
- Matt Arnold
AKA la epkat
"If aught I have said is truth, that truth shall reveal itself in a clearer voice, and in words more kin to your thoughts."
A list of dubious places in the translation (and also suggestions) is available here.
A concordance of common words in the story and their preferred translation is available here.