From sona pona, the English–Toki Pona wiki
jan in sitelen pona
jan in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /jan/ (listen)/j/ sounds like Y, as in
"fjord" or "hallelujah".
Usage 2023: Core (100%  )
2022: Core (99%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱤑 U+F1911
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jan is a core content word relating to people and humans.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word jan was derived from Cantonese (Jyutping: jan4), meaning "person, someone".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of jan includes both humans (members of the species Homo sapiens) and people (the definition of which is less concrete). These concepts usually coincide, but not always; it's debatable whether jan applies to aliens, robots, talking animals, or tokiponists with headnouns other than jan, and whether groups containing them should be addressed as jan. As such, some speakers avoid using it as a general term.

Many people use jan as the headnoun of their name. Non-Tokiponists often mistake this for the name Jan and refer to them as such. A simplified explanation that avoids getting into the philosophy and grammar of Toki Pona names is that the jan acts as an honorific.

pu[edit | edit source]

In the "Official Toki Pona Dictionary" section, the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good defines jan as:

NOUN  human being, person, somebody

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as jan:

person5, human5, people5, anybody4, dude4, anyone3, character3, somebody3, guy3, being3, individual2, civilian2, whoever2, citizen2, participant2, Hominidae2, personal2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for jan is a pictogram of a human head and shoulders. The glyphs for mije and meli are derived from it and are variations with wider shoulders and long hair, respectively.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.