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kijetesantakalu in sitelen pona
kijetesantakalu in sitelen sitelen
Mustelids (clockwise from top left): skunk, red panda, raccoon, wolverine
Mustelids (clockwise from top left): skunk, red panda, raccoon, wolverine
Pronunciation /ˈ sounds like English Y, as in "fjord" or "hallelujah".
Usage 2023: Common4, Widespread6 (75% ↗︎ )2022: Widespread (73%)
Book and era nimi ku suli (pre-pu)
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱦀 U+F1980

kijetesantakalu is a common pre-pu word and nimi ku suli describing raccoons and other procyonid animals. It was coined by Sonja Lang as an April Fools' joke in 2009. It is by far the longest Toki Pona word currently in use. Due to the word's length, it is often pronounced with secondary stress on the syllable ta, or more rarely ka or san.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word kijetesantakalu is derived from Finnish kierteishäntäkarhu meaning "kinkajou",[2] from kierteinen ("helical"), häntä ("tail"), and karhu ("bear").

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

Sonja Lang originally defined kijetesantakalu as "any animal from the Procyonidae family, such as raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, olingos, ringtails and cacomistles".[2]

As of announcing the word, Lang was undecided on whether to include red pandas as kijetesantakalu. She resurfaced the issue on ma pona pi toki pona in 2021, suggesting that the semantic space expand to cover the Musteloidea superfamily,[3] which also includes weasels, otters, martens, badgers, and skunks.

Reconstruction of Sinosauropteryx, a dinosaur likened to present-day kijetesantakalu

Some speakers expand the semantic space of kijetesantakalu further to include other animals, such as the Japanese raccoon dog, and Sinosauropteryx, a small, chestnut-colored dinosaur with feather patterns of a bandit-like mask and a striped tail.[4]

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as kijetesantakalu:[5]

procyonid3, Musteloidea2

Earnestness[edit | edit source]

kijetesantakalu was originally a joke word. The word is now used for other reasons as well, be it as a symbol of identity or simply liking the sitelen pona glyph. These speakers sometimes shorten it to kijete or kije, especially to use it as a headnoun. See Abbreviations § kijetesantakalu. Opinions on the word's seriousness vary between speakers.

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

Glyph decipting a raccoon sitting down
Glyph designed by jan Same, used in linja pona

The most recognized sitelen pona glyph for kijetesantakalu (󱦀) was designed by jan Same in 2019. It won a glyph design contest for the font linja pona,[6] and spread from there. The glyph is featured in the Esperanto edition of Toki Pona: The Language of Good.

Other glyphs which may be in use by a small minority of users include the ones below:

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

The current sitelen sitelen glyph for kijetensatakalu was designed by jan Saki in 2021.[7][8] jan Pensa and palisa jelo Natan have also created proposals for a full-body variant, inspired by the sitelen pona glyph.

History[edit | edit source]

Sonja Lang coined kijetesantakalu as an April Fools' joke in 2009. In the interim, she forgot about the word and did not remember it upon hearing it used in a voice chat. She was surprised that it became so popular.[9]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. jan Pensa [@jpensa]. (6 July 2021). [Message posted in the #sona-kulupu channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord.
    I pronounce kijetesantakalu with accent on...
    (Multiple allowed)
    (n = 43)
    ki 28
    je 9
    te 3
    san 9
    ta 20
    ka 13
    lu 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lang, Sonja (1 April 2009). "New official word / Nova oficiala vorto". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  3. jan Sonja [@sonjalang]. (26 January 2021). [Message posted in the #toki-pona channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 5 November 2023. "we should seriously consider broadening kijetesantakalu from procyonid to Musteloidea, as per the footnote in the original kijetesantakalu announcement".
  4. the spiders [@neonpixii]. (31 August 2021). [Informal poll posted in the #sona-kulupu channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 5 November 2023. "sinosauropteryx li ken ala ken kijetesantakalu".
  5. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 248.
  6. James Flear. (12 July 2019). "toki! After a week of voting, I present to you **the winners of the *“New sitelen pona glyph contest”.***". Facebook. Archived from the original on 9 August 2023. Retrieved 28 November 2023.
  7. Gabel, Jonathan (5 September 2021). Designing glyphs - sitelen suwi pi nimi ku suli. Archived from the original on 2 June 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  8. lon Jawin (6 October 2021). "pali len pi sitelen sitelen pi nimi ku suli". In lipu tenpo nanpa toki (in Toki Pona). lipu tenpo.
  9. jan Sonja, jan Lakuse, et al. (8 April 2024). "Toki Pona: From Personal Art Project to Small World Language". University of Colorado Boulder. (transcript). p. 14.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

English Wikipedia has an article on