mi ken ala toki pona e ijo la mi sona ala e ijo[a] is a principle in the philosophy of Toki Pona. It is about circumlocution. The phrase means, "If I can't express a thing in Toki Pona, I don't understand the thing."
The design of Toki Pona encourages you to say what you mean. It can show you when you don't understand something as well as you thought. Maybe you never had to think deeply about that word or idea before. When this happens, you have the chance to learn more and understand the world a bit better!
If you have trouble expressing a concept in Toki Pona, try researching it and figuring out how to describe it in multiple simple sentences. Searching for a set-in-stone "translation" won't help. Other people probably won't recognize it, and will need you to build more context or explain the idea in depth. You get to emphasize which of the idea's details are important in the conversation, and important to you.
- sitelen pona: mi ken ala toki-pona e ijo la mi sona-ala e ijo
|Development and usage||jan Sonja · Toki Pona: The Language of Good (2014) · Tokiponidos · Software (Tools · Fonts) · suno pi toki pona · Toki Pona census · Toki Pona Dictionary (2021) · UCSUR · ijo Linku · ISO 639-3|
|Conventions||Phonology (Phonotactics) · Words (Tokiponization) · Grammar (Word order) · Writing systems (sitelen Lasina · sitelen pona · sitelen sitelen) · luka pona (sign language) · Number systems · Calendar systems · Styles (pu · pu-rism · ku · Nonstandard)|
|Philosophy||Minimalism · Context · Circumlocution · Expression · Lexicalization · Multiple sentences|
|Resources||Frequently asked questions · Courses · Dictionaries · Cheat sheets · Visual aids · Communities · Websites · Media|