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Circumlocution is the use of roundabout speech and wording to indirectly express an idea. Toki Pona speakers need to use circumlocution to make up for the lack of vocabulary, because there is no word or set phrase for most concepts. Learning Toki Pona can help with circumlocution in other second languages.[1]

Strategies[edit | edit source]

A good method is to describe the concept in simple terms in another language, breaking it down into as many sentences as needed. The result will be easier to translate into Toki Pona. For example, a computer may be described with any of the following phrases:

  • This tool is like a box.
ilo ni li sama poki.
  • It contains many small numbers.
ona li jo e nanpa lili mute.
  • These numbers store information.
nanpa ni li awen e sona.
  • The tool can give this information using other tools.
ilo ni li ken pana e sona ni kepeken ilo ante.
  • One other tool is like a window for looking.
ilo ante wan li sama lupa lukin.
  • The box tool can talk to other tools in distant places.
ilo poki li ken toki tawa ilo ante lon ma weka.

References[edit | edit source]

English Wikipedia has an article on
  1. Coluzzi, Paolo. (3 June 2022). "How learning Toki Pona may help improving communication strategies in a foreign or second language". Language Problems and Language Planning. 46 (1): pp. 78–98. doi:10.1075/lplp.00086.col.