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A calque, or loan translation, is a literal, word-for-word translation that is borrowed into another language. A disadvantage of calques is that the meaning may not be obvious to those who are not already familiar with the original phrase.

With Toki Pona requiring direct speech, Tokiponists generally discourage calques, and view various recurring phrases and single-word usages as calques from English.

List of common calques[edit | edit source]

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  • jo for all senses of English "have", instead of possession
  • olin for all senses of English "love"
  • unpa for all senses of English "fuck", instead of sex
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