Source:Toki Pona: The Language of Good/Letters and Sounds

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Toki Pona
The Language of Good
What is Toki Pona?
Part 1: Lessons
1. Letters and Sounds
2. Words and Sentences
3. Nouns and Adjectives
Part 3: Dictionaries
Sign Language
Place Names
Language Names
Phrase Book
Official Toki Pona Dictionary

"Letters and Sounds" is the first lesson of Toki Pona: The Language of Good, by Sonja Lang.

Lesson 1: Letters and Sounds[edit | edit source]

Toki Pona uses only 14 letters of the alphabet.

a e i j k l m n o p s t u w


There are five vowels, similar to those of Spanish, Japanese or Esperanto.

how it’s written how it sounds phonetic symbol
(for linguists)
a ‘ah’ as in
the word
‘father’ or ‘bra
e ‘eh’ as in
‘bed’ or ‘head’
i ‘ee’ as in
‘deep’ or ‘machine’
o ‘oh’ as in
‘pony’ or ‘go
u ‘oo’ as in
‘food’ or ‘moose’


Toki Pona has nine consonants. The letters p t k m n s l w sound exactly as in English. The Toki Pona letter j sounds like an English ‘y’. For example, the word jelo sounds like ‘yellow’.

Toki Pona is a forgiving language. Because it has so few sounds, your tongue enjoys more freedom. For example, if you say dogi instead of toki, your pronunciation would still be acceptable.

Stress falls on the first syllable of a word. Pronounce it a bit louder, longer or higher-pitched. For example, the word toki is pronounced ‘TO-kee’ and not ‘to-KEE’.

Toki Pona words are written in lowercase, even at the beginning of a sentence.


Read these words aloud. They should sound like English words.

Answers are on page 63.

See also[edit | edit source]