If you plan on helping learners, these guidelines can help you make the experience nicer for everyone involved. Whether you're "good enough" at Toki Pona doesn't make a difference; the most important part is that you're transparent about not knowing stuff and don't try to pull answers out of thin air.
Be transparent[edit | edit source]
If you're unsure about an answer, warn the learner about that.
If non-pu vocabulary occurs, comment that not everyone will understand it. If non-ku-suli vocabulary occurs, comment that basically nobody will understand it. Also refer to Linku usage categories as word usage continues to change over time.
Teach a universally agreeable nasin toki[edit | edit source]
Be careful not to teach your personal nasin as the correct nasin.
Stay pu- or ku-suli-adjacent, with vocabulary and especially grammar.
Use notes[edit | edit source]
On ma pona pi toki pona, make use of these notes with the
/post [note name] slash command:
li, e, en, o, la, pi, piexample, ahelp, preverb, transitives, translate, and, questions, order, structure
Elsewhere, the same notes should be available through the ... usefulquotes document.
These notes are designed to help with understanding, are formatted in a nice way, and, most importantly, are great for starting explanations. Reading the quote often resolves the issues a learner had.
Alternatively, you can link to the equivalent sona pona articles. These are more comprehensive, and do require redirecting the learner to their web browser or a separate website, so there may be different circumstances where each option is preferred.
Try to offer to help with further questions if you have the time.
Be helpful[edit | edit source]
If someone asks how to say something, it is often more helpful to guide them step-by-step in their own translation than to just give a translation directly. A helpful note is
If you're not sure you understand the question, ask the learner to clarify. Having to specify one's questions helps with learning, and is nicer than getting an answer to the wrong question.