12 Days of sona pi toki pona

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12 Days of sona pi toki pona is a series of YouTube videos made to teach the basics of Toki Pona, created by jan Misali in 2015. The series consists of 12 episodes, each introducing one or more grammar concepts (except for days 1 and 12), as well as 10 words from the pu vocabulary (day 12 also introduces the "synonyms").

Each episode was created in one day[1], resulting in some minor mistakes. Despite this, 61% of respondents in the 2022 census used it to learn the language, almost twice as many as for pu[2]. As of 2023, jan Misali is in the process of creating a new series as a replacement, named toki pona lessons.

Corrections and commentary[edit | edit source]

Many of these corrections have been collected thanks to ijo Son.

Day 2 – Sentence structure[edit | edit source]

  • jan ike doesn't always mean "enemy". It can also only mean "enemy" if it's a person, because of the jan. See Lexicalization.
  • li does not mean "is". li is a particle that comes before a predicate in a sentence.

Day 3 – e[edit | edit source]

  • mi wile e moku is not incorrect. moku can be a direct object in this sentence. mi wile moku means "I want to eat", but mi wile e moku means "I want food". They are roughly the same. There could be a distinction if you want food for some other purpose than to eat it.
  • While nasa is defined in Toki Pona: The Language of Good as "stupid", that meaning is no longer accepted or understood by the community due to ableism, and has been replaced as of Toki Pona Dictionary for this reason. See nasa on lipu Linku.

Day 4 – Adjectives[edit | edit source]

  • pi does not mean "of". It only rebrackets adjective phrases. See pi.

Day 5 – la[edit | edit source]

  • In general, A la B means "in the context of A, B". This can be used for if-then statements, time-marking, and more, as discussed in the video.

Day 7 – You know not know[edit | edit source]

  • Only using anu to form questions is debated.

Day 8 – On addressing[edit | edit source]

  • You don't have to avoid having your name sounding like an official word if you don't want to. Some speakers' names are completely made of common (non-proper) nouns, anyway.
  • akesi means "reptile" or "amphibian", which is reflected in the Toki Pona Dictionary.

Day 9 – Adpositions[edit | edit source]

  • anpa can also mean "bottom" or "area below". lon anpa is used much more commonly than lon noka for below. lon noka can specifically mean "at the foot of; resting at the same level as the lowest part". If lon anpa is contrasted, it would mean "completely underneath the lowest part".

Day 11 – Full of eels[edit | edit source]

  • a does not mean "so". It is a particle used for emphasis and emotion. It can be used in a similar way to "so", but it has no meaning.
  • jan Misali repeated len here. Replace len with supa, meaning "flat (horizontal) surface" (e.g. furniture).

Day 12 – Final day[edit | edit source]

  • kin, oko, and namako are usually not the exact same as a, lukin, and sin respectively. You don't have to know the exact differences between them, but know that they are often not interchangeable. When in doubt, use a, lukin, and sin. See Synonyms.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. jan Misali [janmisali] (4 November 2016). "I already said a lot of this stuff on Twitter but it’s important that people who care about Conlang Critic know this so whatever.". "a lot of people don’t know this about 12 Days of sona pi toki pona, but I actually wrote, recorded, and edited every video the same day it was uploaded, and I did this for twelve consecutive days." Tumblr.
  2. jan Tamalu (3 November 2022). Results of the 2022 Toki Pona census. Toki Pona census. Archived from the original on 4 February 2023. Retrieved 25 October 2023.

External links[edit | edit source]