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
Book No book

mi ken ala toki pona e ijo la mi sona ala e ijo[a] ("If I can't express a thing in Toki Pona, I don't understand the thing") is a principle about circumlocution in the philosophy of Toki Pona. 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" is unhelpful. Other people will likely not 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. Sometimes reversed as mi sona ala e ijo la mi ken ala toki pona e ona.

Further reading[edit | edit source]