Toki Pona

Toki Pona was invented by Sonja 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 118 basic words can, in theory, be combined together to make over 470,000 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.

Toki Pona pronunciation (kalama)

Toki Pona pronunciation


Sample texts in Toki Pona

alone - a poem

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.
wan taso


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.


Article 1 of the UDHR in Toki Pona, by Shawn Kilpatrick

jan ali li kama lon ala nasin ni: ona li kan tawa li kan pali. jan ali li kama lon sama. jan ali li jo e kan pi pilin suli. jan ali li kan pali e wile pona ona. jan ali li jo e kan pi sona pona e kan pi pali pona. jan ali li wile pali nasin ni: ona li jan pona pi ante.

Hear a recording of this text by Norbert Mazik


person all (verb) come is no way this: they (verb) ability move (verb) ability do. people all (verb) come is same. people all (verb) have (object) ability of feel grand. people all (verb) ability do (object) desire good they. people all (verb) have (object) ability of know good (object) ability of do good. people all (verb) desire do way this: they (verb) person good [this is an accepted idiom meaning 'friend'] of other.

Everyone comes to exist like this: they can move and do (as in their will.) Everyone comes to exist as equals. Everyone has the ability to feel worthy. Everyone can do what they want (so long as it is good.) Everyone has the ability of proper knowledge and proper action. Everyone should act in this manner: they are each other's friends.

Usual version

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.

Tower of Babel in Toki Pona | Useful phrases in Toki Pona


The Official Toki Pona website (in Toki Pona, English and Esperanto)

Information about Toki Pona

Online Toki Pona lessons

Toki Pona Yahoo group

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