Toki Pona was invented by Sonja Lang (née Elen Kisa) and first published online in 2001. It is a simple pidgin-like language based on universal human experience designed to express as much as possible with relatively few sounds and words. The name toki pona means "good language" or "simple language".
Toki Pona has only 14 basic sounds chosen to be easy to pronounce for anybody, regardless of their linguistic background. The 123 basic words can be combined together to make many compound words. Most of the words have several meanings and context helps to determine which particular meaning is intended.
Toki Pona words come from various languages, including English, Esperanto, Finnish, Acadian French, Croatian, Japanese, Georgian, Lojban, Dutch, Tongan, Tok Pisin, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese and Welsh.
Many alternative ways have been devised to write Toki Pona, include: sitelen pona, sitelen pona pona, the Toki Pona Script (sitelen pi toki pona) and sitelen sitelen. There are ways to write Toki Pona with Emoji, the Runic and Tengwar scripts, with other alphabets, such as Cyrillic and Greek. It can also be communicated with hand signs.
There are several thousand people who have some knowledge of Toki Pona. According to a census of the Toki Pona community carried out in April 2021, 653 people, out of the 1,000 who responded, claim to know the language, and 165 consider themselves fluent or at an advanced level. [More details]. Toki Pona is used mainly online in groups, forums and other social media such as Discord, Facebook and Reddit.
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.
I am devoured.
I must destroy.
Darkness fills my soul.
No one can understand my suffering.
O poetry! My only friend.
This ink is my blood, is my life.
And Darkness shall reign forevermore.
jan ali li kama lon nasin ni: ona li ken tawa li ken pali. jan ali li kama lon sama. jan ali li jo e ken pi pilin suli. jan ali li ken pali e wile pona ona. jan ali li wile pali kepeken nasin ni: ona li jan pona tawa jan ante.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Longer text: Allont en soweli loje sewi pona - a Toki Pona version of 'Alrond and the Magic Fox', an original fairy tale by Evgeny A. Khvalkov.
Online Toki Pona lessons
Toki Pona forum
Constructed scripts for: Ainu | Arabic | Chinese languages | Dutch | English | Hawaiian | Japanese | Korean | Malay & Indonesian | Persian | Russian | Sanskrit | Spanish | Tagalog | Taino | Turkish | Vietnamese | Welsh | Other natural languages | Colour-based scripts | Tactile scripts | Phonetic/universal scripts | Constructed scripts for constructed languages | Adaptations of existing alphabets | Fictional alphabets | Magical alphabets | A-Z index | How to submit a constructed script
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