Toki Pona

Toki Pona

Infobox Language
name=Toki Pona

creator=Sonja Elen Kisa
setting=testing principles of minimalism, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and pidgins
speakers=at least three fluent, [] at least several dozen with internet chat ability
family=constructed language, combining elements of the subgenres personal language, international auxiliary language and philosophical language
posteriori=a posteriori language, with elements of English, Tok Pisin, Finnish, Georgian, Dutch, Acadian French, Esperanto, Croatian, Chinese

Toki Pona is a constructed language first published online in mid-2001. It was designed by translator and linguist Sonja Elen Kisa of Toronto.cite news|url=|title=Canadian has people talking about lingo she created|first=Siobhan|last=Roberts|publisher=The Globe and Mail|date=9 July 2007|accessdate=2007-07-20] cite news|url=,0,4155484,full.story|title=In their own wordsndash literally|first=Amber|last=Dance|publisher=Los Angeles Times|date=August 24, 2007|accessdate=2007-08-29 - [ paid version] and [ PDF version] ]

Toki Pona is a minimal language. Like a pidgin, it focuses on simple concepts and elements that are relatively universal among cultures. Kisa designed Toki Pona to express maximal meaning with minimal complexity. The language has 14 phonemes and 120 root words. It is not designed as an international auxiliary language but is instead inspired by Taoist philosophy, among other things. [cite web|first=Sonja Elen|last=Kisa|url=|title=What is Toki Pona?||accessdate=2007-05-23]

The language is designed to shape the thought processes of its users, in the style of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. This goal, together with Toki Pona's deliberately restricted vocabulary, have led some to feel that the language, whose name literally means "simple language", "good language", or "goodspeak", resembles George Orwell's fictional language Newspeak.cite web|url=|title=Toki Pona li pona ala pona? A review of the Toki Pona planned language|first=Damian|last=Yerrick|publisher=Pin Eight|accessdate=2007-07-20|date=October 23, 2002]


Sonja Elen Kisa is a professional translator [ [ Professional profile at] ] (English, French and Esperanto) and linguist living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada [cite journal|url=|title=Скорость мысли (The Speed of Thought)|author=Станислав Козловский (Stanislav Kozlovskiy)|publisher=Компьютерра Online (Computerra Online)|date=20 July 2004|accessdate=2007-07-20|language=Russian] . In addition to designing Toki Pona, Kisa has translated parts of the Tao Te Ching into English and Esperanto [citation
author-link =
publication-date =2007-7-9
contribution =Canadian has people talking about lingo she created
contribution-url =
editor-last =
editor-first =
editor-link =
editor2-last =
editor2-first =
editor2-link =
periodical =The Globe and Mail
series =
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] . She maintains her homepage at [] .

Writing system

Kisa officially used letters of the Latin alphabet to represent the language, [ Toki Pona: the simple language of good ] ] with the values they represent in the : "p, t, k, s, m, n, l, j, w, a, e, i, o," and "u." (That is, "j" sounds like English "y," and the vowels are like Spanish.)

Capital letters are only used for personal and place names (see below), not for the first word of a sentence. That is, they mark foreign words, never the 120 Toki Pona roots.

A few enthusiasts have adapted other scripts for use in Toki Pona: [ Korean hangul] , [ tengwar] , a set of [ logograms taken from Unicode] , and an [ original abugida] .

Phonology and phonotactics


Toki Pona has nine consonants (/p, t, k, s, m, n, l, j, w/) and five vowels (/a, e, i, o, u/). The first syllable of a word is stressed; [ Toki Pona: kalama / sounds ] ] an initial vowel may be optionally proceeded by a glottal stop. [ Toki Pona: toki musi pimeja pi jan lili / dark teenage poetry / malluma adoleskanta poezio ] ] There are no diphthongs or long vowels, no consonant clusters, and no tone.


The statistic vowel spread is fairly typical cross-linguistically. Counting each root once, 32% of vowels are /a/, 25% /i/, /e/ and /o/ a bit over 15% each, and 10% are /u/. 20% of roots are vowel initial. The usage frequency in a 10kB sample of texts was slightly more skewed: 34% /a/, 30% /i/, 15% each /e/ and /o/, and 6% /u/. [ "Phoneme frequency table"] in "lipu pi toki pona pi jan Jakopo"]

Of the syllable-initial consonants, /l/ is the most common, at 20% total; /k, s, p/ are over 10%, then the nasals /m, n/ (not counting final N), with the least common, at little more than 5% each, being /t, w, j/.

The high frequency of /l/ and low frequency of /t/ are somewhat unusual among the world's languages. The fact that /l/ occurs in the grammatical particles "la, li, ala" suggests that its percentage would be even higher in texts; the text-based stats cited above did not specifically consider initial consonants, but indicate that /l/ was about 25%, while /t/ doubled its frequency to just over 10% (/k/, /t/, /m/, /s/, /p/, respectively, ranged over 12% to 9% each, with /n/ unknown, and the semivowels /j/ and /w/ again coming in last at 7% each).

yllable structure

All syllables are of the form (optional consonant) + vowel + (optional final nasal): that is, V, CV, VN, CVN. As in most languages, CV is the most common syllable type, at 75% (counting each root once). V and CVN syllables are each around 10%, while only 5 words have VN syllables (for 2% of syllables). In both the dictionary and in texts, the ratio of consonant to vowel is almost exactly one-to-one.

Most roots (70%) are disyllabic; about 20% are monosyllables and 10% trisyllables. This is a common distribution, and similar to Polynesian.


The following sequences are not allowed: */ji, wu, wo, ti/, nor may a final nasal occur before /m/ or /n/ in the same root. Syllables that aren't word-initial must have an initial consonant,cite web|title=Lesson 2|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20] though in roots like "ijo" (from Esperanto "io)" and "suwi" (ultimately from English "sweet)," that might be considered an orthographic convention, with the effect that glottal stop only marks word boundaries. (The sequences /ij/ and /uw/ are no more easily distinguished from simple /i/ and /u/ than the banned */ji/ and */wu/ are.)


The nasal at the end of a syllable can be pronounced as any nasal consonant, though it is normally assimilated to the following consonant. That is, it typically occurs as an IPA| [n] before /t/ or /s/, as an IPA| [m] before /p/, as an IPA| [ŋ] before /k/, and as an IPA| [ɲ] before /j/.

Because of its small phoneme inventory, Toki Pona allows for quite a lot of allophonic variation. For example, /p t k/ may be pronounced IPA| [b d ɡ] as well as IPA| [p t k] , /s/ as IPA| [z] or IPA| [ʃ] as well as IPA| [s] , /l/ as IPA| [ɾ] as well as IPA| [l] , and vowels may be either long or short.Both its sound inventory and phonotactics (patterns of possible sound combinations) are found in the majority of human languages and are therefore readily accessible. For example, */ji, wu, wo/ are also impossible in Korean, which is convenient when writing Toki Pona in hangul, which would have no way of writing such syllables (see below).


Some basic features of Toki Pona's Subject Verb Object syntax are: The word li separates the subject from the predicate;cite web|title=Lesson 3|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20] e precedes the direct object;cite web|title=Lesson 4|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20] direct object phrases precede prepositional phrases in the predicate;cite web|title=Lesson 6|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20] la separates complex adverbs or subclauses from the main sentence.cite web|title=Lesson 17|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20]

The language is simple enough that its syntax can be expressed in ten rules and two exceptions:cite web|url=|title=Toki Pona Phrase Structure Grammar |date=January 2, 2007|first=stevo|last=(jan Setepo)|publisher=tokipona mailing list] : [brackets] enclose optional elements;:*asterisks mark elements which may be repeated

;Syntactic rules

:1. A "sentence" may be::(a) an "interjection"::(b) of the form ["sub-clause"] ["vocative"] "subject" "predicate"::"Exception:"::*If a "vocative" is used, a "subject" is not required::(The "interjection" may be a, ala, ike, jaki, mu, o, pakala, pona, or toki.):2. A "sub-clause" may be::(a) [taso] "sentence" la, or::(b) [taso] "noun phrase" la::("If/during "sub-clause", then "main-clause"):3. A " [vocative] " is of the form:: ["noun phrase"] o:4. A "subject" is of the form::"noun phrase" li::"Exception:"::*If the "subject" is mi or sina, no li follows. (li does follow mi mute etc.):5. A "predicate" may be::(a) "simple noun phrase" ["prepositional phrase"] *, or::(b) "verb phrase" ["prepositional phrase"] , or::(c) "predicate" "conjunction" "predicate" (that is, a compound predicate)::(The conjunction may be anu (or) or li (and).):6. A "noun phrase" may be::(a) "noun" ["modifier"] *, or::(b) "simple noun phrase" pi (of) "noun" plus "modifier"*, or::(c) "noun phrase" "conjunction" "noun phrase" (that is, a compound noun phrase)::(The conjunction may be anu (or) or en (and). A 'simple' noun phrase is one which does not have a conjunction.):7. A "prepositional phrase" is of the form::"preposition" "noun phrase":8. A "verb phrase" may be::(a) "verbal"::(b) "modal" "verbal"::(c) "verbalx" ala "verbalx" (both verbals are the same)::(d) "modalx" ala "modalx" plus "verbal" (both modals are the same)::(The "modal" may be kama (coming/"future tense"), ken (can), or wile (wants to).):9 A "verbal" may be::(a) "verb" ["modifier"] * (this is an intransitive verb)::(b) "verb" ["modifier"] * plus a "direct object"* (this is a transitive verb)::(c) lon or tawa plus a "simple noun phrase"::(Some roots may only function as transitive or intransitive verbs.):10. A "direct object" is of the form::e "simple noun phrase"

Some roots are used for grammatical functions (such as those that take part in the rules above), while others have lexical meanings. The lexical roots do not fall into well defined parts of speech; rather, they may generally be used as nouns, verbs, or modifiers, depending on context or their position in a phrase. For example, ona li moku may mean "they ate" or "it is food".


Toki Pona has the basic pronouns mi (first person), sina (second person), and ona (third person). [ Toki Pona: nimi ale / word list ] ]

Note that the above words do not specify number or gender. Thus, ona can mean "he", "she", "it", or "they". In practice, Toki Pona speakers use the phrase mi mute to mean "we". Although less common, ona mute means "they" and sina mute means "you" (plural).

Whenever the subject of a sentence is either of the pronouns mi or sina, then li is not used to separate the subject and predicate.


With such a small root-word vocabulary, Toki Pona relies heavily on noun phrases (compound nouns), where a noun is modified by a following root, to make more complex meanings.cite web|title=Lesson 5|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20] A typical example is combining jan (person, pronounced "yan") with utala (fight) to make jan utala (soldier, warrior). [See 'modifiers' next.]

Nouns do not decline according to number. jan can mean "person", "people", or "the human race" depending on context.

Toki Pona does not use isolated proper nouns; instead, they must modify a preceding noun. (For this reason they are called "proper adjectives"; they are functionally the same as compound nouns.) For example, names of people and places are used as modifiers of the common roots for "person" and "place", e.g. ma Kanata (lit. "Canada country") or jan Lisa (lit. "Lisa person").


Phrases in Toki Pona are head-initial; modifiers always come after the word that they modify. This trait resembles the typical arrangement of adjectives in Spanish and Arabic and contrasts with the typical English structure. Thus kasi kule poki (kasi kule, "flower," poki, "container, vessel") means "potted plant" rather than "flower pot". kasi kule ("flower") itself literally means "colorful plant".

Order of operations is completely opposite to that of Lojban.In Toki Pona, "N A1 A2" (where N represents a noun and A1 and A2 represent modifiers) is parsed as ((N A1) A2), that is, an A1 N that is A2: E.g., jan pona lukin = ((jan pona) lukin), a friend watching (jan pona, "friend," literally "good person").

This can be changed with the particle pi, "of", which groups the following adjectives into a kind of compound adjective that applies to the head noun, which leads to jan pi pona lukin = (jan (pona lukin)), "good-looking person."cite web|title=Lesson 11|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20]

Demonstratives, numerals, and possessive pronouns follow other modifiers.


There is a zero copula.

Toki Pona does not inflect verbs according to person, tense, mood, or voice. Person is inferred from the subject of the verb; time is inferred from context or a temporal adverb in the sentence. There is no true passive voice in Toki Pona;Fact|date=July 2007 the closest thing to passivity in Toki Pona is a structure such as "(result) of (subject) is because of (agent)." Alternatively, one could phrase a passive sentence as an active one with the agent subject being unknown.

Some prepositions can be used as a subclass of main verbs.For example, tawa means "to" as a preposition or "to go" or "to go to" as a verb; lon means "in" or "at" as a preposition or "exist, be in/at" as a verb; kepeken means "with" (in the sense of the instrumental case) as a preposition or "to use" as a verb.lon and tawa (but not kepeken) omit the direct object marker e before their objects: mi tawa tomo mi "I'm going to my house".


The 120-root vocabulary [Originally 118 roots, with two roots added later.] is designed around the principles of living a simple life without the complications of modern civilization. []

Because of the small number of roots in Toki Pona, words from other languages are often translated using two or more roots, e.g. "to teach" by "pana e sona," which literally means "to give knowledge". [cite journal|url=|title=Скорость мысли (The Speed of Thought)|author=Станислав Козловский (Stanislav Kozlovskiy)|publisher=Компьютерра Online (Computerra Online)|date=20 July 2004|accessdate=2007-07-20|language=Russian [ English summary of the Computerra article with translated excerpt] ] Although Toki Pona is generally said to have only 118 or 120 "words", this is in fact inaccurate, as there are many compound words and set phrases wich, as idiomatic expressions, constitute independent lexical entries or lexemes and therefore must be memorized independently.


Toki Pona has five root words for colors: pimeja (black), walo (white), loje (red), jelo (yellow), and laso (blue). Each word represents multiple shades: laso refers to words as light as cornflower blue or as dark as navy blue, even extending into shades of blue-green such as cyan.Although the simplified conceptualization of colors tends to exclude a number of colors that are commonly expressed in Western languages, speakers sometimes may combine these five words to make more specific descriptions of certain colors. For instance, "purple" may be represented by combining laso and loje. The phrase laso loje means "a reddish shade of blue" and loje laso means "a bluish shade of red".cite web|title=Lesson 13|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20]


Toki Pona has root words for one (wan), two (tu), and many (mute)." In addition, ala" can mean zero, although its more literal meaning is "no" or "none."

Toki Ponans express larger numbers additively by using phrases such as tu wan for three, tu tu for four, and so on.cite web|title=Lesson 16|url=|first=Bryant (jan Pije)|last=Knight|work=The o kama sona e toki pona! Language Course|accessdate=2007-07-20] This feature was added to make it impractical to communicate large numbers.

An early description of the language uses luka (literally "hand") to signify "five." Although Kisa has deprecated this feature in the latest official description of Toki Pona, its use is still common; from January to July 2006, it was used 10 times more often on the tokipona mailing list as a number than in its original sense of "hand"cite web|url=|title=Changes to Pije's Lessons|date=July 31, 2006|first=Jim|last=Henry|publisher=tokipona mailing list] . For an example of this structure, see [ this posting] , which uses luka luka luka wan to mean "sixteen."

Obsolete roots

Two words have archaic synonyms: nena replaced kapa (protuberance) early in the language's development for unknown reasons. Later, the pronoun ona replaced iki (he, she, it, they), which was sometimes confused with ike (bad). Similarly,"ali" was added as an alternative to "ale" (all) to avoid confusion with "ala" (no, not) among people who reduce unstressed vowels, though both forms are still used.

Words that have been simply removed from the lexicon, without being replaced, include "leko" (block, stairs), "kan" (with), and "pata" (sibling, cousin).

New roots

Besides "ali, nena," and "ona," which replaced existing roots, two roots were added to the original 118: "pan" for cereals (grain, bread, pasta, rice, etc.) and "esun" for places of commerce (market, shop, etc.).


Toki Pona roots generally come from English, Tok Pisin, Finnish, Georgian, Dutch, Acadian French, Esperanto, Croatian, and Chinese (Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese). [ [ Toki Pona: nimi li tan seme? / etymological dictionary / etimologia vortaro ] ]

Many of these derivations are transparent. For example, oko (eye) is identical to Croatian oko and similar to other cognates such as Italian occhio and English "ocular"; likewise, toki (speech, language) is similar to Tok Pisin tok and its English source "talk," while pona (good, positive), from Esperanto bona, reflects generic Romance "bon, buona, etc." However, the changes in pronunciation required by the simple phonetic system make the origins of other words more difficult to see. The word lape (to sleep, to rest), for example, comes from Dutch slapen and is cognate with English "sleep"; kepeken (to use) is somewhat distorted from Dutch gebruiken, and akesi from hagedis (lizard) is scarcely recognizable. [Because "*ti" is not possible in Toki Pona, Dutch "di" comes through as "si."]

Although only 14 roots (12%) are listed as derived from English, a large number of the Tok Pisin, Esperanto, and other roots are transparently cognate with English, raising the English-friendly portion of the vocabulary to about 30%. The portions of the lexicon from other languages are 15% Tok Pisin, 14% Finnish, 14% Esperanto, 12% Croatian, 10% Acadian, 9% Dutch, 8% Georgian, 5% Mandarin, 3% Cantonese; one root each from Welsh, Tongan (an English borrowing), Akan, and an unknown language (perhaps Swahili); four phonesthetic roots (one from Japanese, one made up, and two which are found in English); and one other made-up root (the grammatical particle "e)."

Tok Pisin

All but two of these derive ultimately from English.

18: insa "(insait," from Eng. "inside)," kama "(kamap," Eng. "come up)," ken "(ken," Eng. "can)," lili "(liklik" 'small'), lon "(long" 'at', from Eng. "along)," lukin "(lukim," Eng. "look 'em)," meli "(meri" 'woman', from Eng. "Mary)," nanpa "(namba," Eng. "number)," nasa "(nasau"Fact|date=October 2008), open "(open," Eng. "open)," pakala "(bagarap," Eng. "bugger up)," pi "(bilong" 'of', from Eng. "belong)," pilin "(pilim," Eng. "feel 'em)," pini "(pinis," Eng. "finish)," poki "(bokis," Eng. "box)," suwi "(swit," Eng. "sweet)," taso "(tasol" 'only, but', from Eng. "that's all)," toki "(tok," Eng. "talk)"

Also obsolete pata "(brata," from Eng. "brother)"


17 (one shared): ike "(ilkeä" 'bad'), kala "(kala" 'fish'), kasi "(kasvi" 'plant'), kin "(-kin" 'even, any'), kiwen "(kiven," accusative/genitive of "kivi" 'stone'), linja "(linja" 'line'; "cf." English 'linear'), lipu "(lippu" 'banner, ticket'), ma "(maa" 'land'), mije "(miehen," accusative/genitive of "mies" 'man'), nena "(nenä" 'nose'), nimi "(nimi" 'name'), pimeja "(pimeä" 'dark'), sama "(sama" 'same'; also Esperanto "sama)," sina "(sinä" 'thou'), suli "(suuri" 'big'), wawa "(vahva" 'strong'), walo "(valo" 'light' (not dark), "valko-" 'white' (in compound words), "valkoinen" 'white')


The body-part words come from Croatian.

14: kalama "(galáma" 'fuss, noise'; "cf." English "clamour)," lawa "(glava" 'head'), luka "(rúka" 'arm, hand'), lupa "(rupa" 'hole'), nasin "(náčin" 'manner'), noka "(nòga" 'leg'), oko "(òko" 'eye'; "cf." English "ocular)," olin "(volim" 'I love'; "cf." English "volition)," ona "(ona" 'she'), palisa "(pàlica" 'stick'; "cf." Engish "palisade)," poka "(bòka," genitive of "bòka" 'side, flank'), sijelo "(tìjelo" 'body, flesh'), utala "(ùdarati" 'beat'; "cf." "udara" ('strike'?)), uta "(ústa" 'mouth')"


Most of these come from English or Romance.

13 (one shared): ilo "(ilo" 'tool', from English/Romance suffix "-il, -ile)," ijo "(io" 'thing'), la "(la" 'the', from French/Italian "la)," li "(li" 'he', from French "lui," Italian "egli)," musi "(amuzi" 'to amuze', French "amuser)," mute "(multe" 'many'; "cf." English "multitude)," pali ("fari" 'to do, to make'; "cf." Italian "fare)," pona ("bona" 'good'; "cf." English "bona fide)," sama "(sama" 'same', also Finnish "sama)," selo "(ŝelo" 'skin, peel', from English "shell)," suno "(suno" 'sun', from English "sun)," tenpo "(tempo" 'time', from Italian (& English) "tempo)," tomo "(domo" 'house'; "cf." English "domestic, domicile)"


Most of these are cognate with their English translations.

11: akesi "(hagedis" 'lizard'), ale/ali "(al, alle" 'all'), ante "(ander" 'other'), awen "(houden" 'hold'), en "(en" 'and'), kepeken "(gebruiken, bruiken" 'use'; "cf." English 'brook', as in "could brook no equal"), lape "(slapen" 'sleep'), loje "(rooie, rood" 'red'), sitelen "(schilderen" 'picture, paint, portray'; "cf." Eng. dial. "sheld" 'particolored'), weka "(weg" 'way, path, away'), wile "(willen" 'be willing')

Acadian French

11 (two shared): anpa "(en bas" 'down'; "cf." English "on base)," kule "(couleur" 'color'), kute "(écouter" 'listen'; "cf." English 'scout, auscultate'), lete "(fret/frette" 'cold'; French "froid)," len "(linge" 'linens'), monsi "(mon tchu/tchul" 'my ass'; French "mon cul)," moli "(mourir" 'die'; "cf." English "mortal)," pini "(finis 'finished'; also Tok Pisin "pinis)," pipi "(bibitte)," supa (English/French "surface" 'surface'), telo "(de l'eau" 'of water'; "cf." English "gardyloo)," waso "(oiseau" 'bird'; "cf." obsolete English "enoisel)"


These roots were taken directly from English. Their semantics, however, may differ substantially. For example, "tawa" comes from "toward", but can mean "to go to".

10 (two shared): jelo "(yellow)," jaki "(yucky)," mani "(money)," mu "(moo!)," mun "(moon)," pilin "(feeling;" also Tok Pisin "pilim)," "sike "(circle)," supa (English/French "surface)," tawa "(towards)," tu "(two)," wan "(one)"


8: ala (არა "ara" 'no, not'), anu (ანუ "anu" 'or'), kili (ხილი "xili" 'fruit'), seli (ცხელი "tsxeli" 'hot'), sewi (ზევით "zevit" 'up'), sona (ცოდნა "tsodna" 'to know'), soweli (ცხოველი "tsxoveli" 'animal'), tan (დან "dan" 'from')


6 (one shared): jo (有 "yǒu" 'to have'), kon (空气 "kōngqì" 'air'), pan 'grain, cereal product' (饭 "fàn" 'rice'; also Cantonese 飯 "faahn"; "cf." Spanish "pan" 'bread'), seme (什么 "shénme" 'what?'), sin (新 "xīn" 'new'), sinpin (前边 "qiánbian" 'front')


4 (one shared): jan (人 "yàhn" 'person'), ko (膏 "gòu" 'fat, ointment'), ni (呢 "nì" 'this'), pan 'grain, cereal product' (飯 "faahn" 'rice'; also Mandarin 饭 "fàn"; "cf." Spanish "pan" 'bread')

Multiple languages

4: a "(A!, ah!, etc." in all the above), o (English "O!," Esperanto "ho!," French "ô!, etc."; also the Georgian vocative case suffix -ო "-o)," mi (English "me," Tok Pisin "mi," Esperanto "mi," Dutch "mij," Croatian "me ~ mi)," mama (Georgian მამა "mama" 'father'; most of the other languages above "mama, maman, etc." 'mother')

Other languages

5: esun 'store' (Akan, from "edwamu" IPA| [edʒum] 'at market', from "dwa" IPA| [dʒwa] 'market'), kulupu (Tongan "kulupu," from English "group)," laso (Welsh "glas" 'sky, blue-green'), moku 'eat' (Japanese phonesthetic モグモグ(食べる) "mogu mogu (taberu)" 'munch'), pana 'give' (Swahili "pana" 'to give to each other')

Novel creations

2: e, unpa (phonesthetic)


4: The obsolete roots kapa (protuberance), iki (a pronoun), leko (block, stairs), kan (with)


Kisa has published proverbs, some poetry, and a basic phrase book in Toki Pona. A few other Toki Ponans have created their own websites with texts, comics, translated video games, and even a couple of songs. [ [ "lipu pi jan Pije"] ] [ [ "sitelen musi pi toki pona"] ] [ [ "tomo pi jan Ke"] ]


Kisa has said that at least three people speak Toki Pona fluently and estimates that a few hundred have a basic knowledge of the language. Traffic on the Toki Pona mailing list and other online communities suggests that dozens of people are proficient in reading and writing. During International Congress of Esperanto Youth held in Sarajevo, August 2007, there was a special session of Toki Pona speakers with 12 participants.

ample texts

mama pi mi mute (The Lord's Prayer)
Translation by Pije

"mama pi mi mute o, sina lon sewi kon."
"nimi sina li sewi."
"ma sina o kama."
"jan o pali e wile sina lon sewi kon en lon ma."
"o pana e moku pi tenpo suno ni tawa mi mute."
"o weka e pali ike mi. sama la mi weka e pali ike pi jan ante."
"o lawa ala e mi tawa ike."
"o lawa e mi tan ike."
"tenpo ali la ma en ken en pona li pi sina."

ma tomo Pape (The Tower of Babel story)
Translation by Pije

jan ali li kepeken e toki sama.

jan li kama tan nasin pi kama suno li kama tawa ma Sinale li awen lon ni.

jan li toki e ni: "o kama! mi mute o pali e kiwen. o seli e ona."

jan mute li toki e ni: "o kama! mi mute o pali e tomo mute e tomo palisa suli. sewi pi tomo palisa li lon sewi kon. nimi pi mi mute o kama suli! mi wile ala e ni: mi mute li lon ma ante mute."

jan sewi Jawe li kama anpa li lukin e ma tomo e tomo palisa.

jan sewi Jawe li toki e ni: "jan li lon ma wan li kepeken e toki sama li pali e tomo palisa. tenpo ni la ona li ken pali e ijo ike mute.

"mi wile tawa anpa li wile pakala e toki pi jan mute ni. mi wile e ni: jan li sona ala e toki pi jan ante."

jan sewi Jawe li kama e ni: jan li lon ma mute li ken ala pali e tomo.

nimi pi ma tomo ni li Pape tan ni: jan sewi Jawe li pakala e toki pi jan ali. jan sewi Jawe li tawa e jan tawa ma mute tan ma tomo Pape.

wan taso (Alone)
dark teenage poetry

ijo li moku e mi.
mi wile pakala.
pimeja li tawa insa kon mi.
jan ala li ken sona e pilin ike mi.
toki musi o, sina jan pona mi wan taso.
telo pimeja ni li telo loje mi, li ale mi.
tenpo ale la pimeja li lon.


*cite journal|url=|title=Вештачки језици-Токи пона (Constructed language-Toki Pona)|publisher=Забавник|author=Тијана Јовановић (Tiyana Yovanovich)|coauthors=Политикин Забавник (Politikin Zabavnik)|issue=2862|date=15 December 2006|accessdate=2007-07-20|language=Serbian

ee also

*Alphabet of human thought
*Natural semantic metalanguage
*Philosophical language
*Pirahã language

External links

ites run by Toki Ponans

* [] , the official site ( [ mirror] )
* [ tomo pi jan Ke] is a small fansite that uses Toki Pona as its main language.
* [ a Nadder!] translations of some classic literature as well as some original works.
* [ Corey's site] has a few translations and discusses alternate writing systems for Toki Pona.
* [ lipu pi jan Jakopo] with pangrams, phoneme frequency analysis, lessons in Esperanto, and links to isolate sites.
* [ lipu pi jan Pije] with lessons, texts, translated video games, comics, and other works.


* [ kulupu pi toki pona] community on LiveJournal
* [irc:// Tokipona chat room] on IRC at freenode (
* [ Yahoo! Groups discussion board]


* [ Encyclopedia in Toki Pona]

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