mi ken ala toki pona e ijo la mi sona ala e ijo

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mi ken ala toki pona e ijo la mi sona ala e ijo[a] is a principle about circumlocution in the philosophy of Toki Pona. 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 the speaker to express what they mean. It reveals when one lacks a deep understanding of a word or idea and offers them a 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.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. sitelen pona: mi ken ala toki-pona e ijo la mi sona ala e ijo