From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki
pakala in sitelen pona
pakala in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ
Usage 2023: Core (100% → )2022: Core (100%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥈 U+F1948

pakala is a core content word relating to destruction.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word pakala is derived from Tok Pisin bagarap, meaning "broken", itself from English bugger up.[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

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The semantic space of pakala includes destruction, either intentional, such as violence, or unintentional, such as accidents, mistakes, and errors.[2]

pakala li kama e sona sin

pakala li kama e sona sin.

Mistakes bring forth new knowledge.

seme li pakala e ilo mi

seme li pakala e ilo mi?

Who broke my tool?

As an interjection, it is used to express anger, annoyance, irritation, or dissapointment, usually from an accident or mistake. It sometimes is translated into English as a curse expletive, such as fuck, damn, or shit. Note that pakala itself is not a curse word, as it is not culturally taboo.

pu[edit | edit source]

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

ADJECTIVE  botched, broken, damaged, harmed, messed up

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as pakala:[3]

broken5, destruction5, mistake5, damage5, damn4, goddamn4, ruin4, burst4, accident4, destroy4, heck4, error4, hurt4, injure4, crash4, fail4, harm4, break4, failure3, fault3, injury3, flaw3, crack3, collapse3, snap3, fuck3, fucking3, trouble2, rip2, explode2, crush2, wound2, violate2, offense2, strike2, boom2, crap2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for pakala (󱥈) represents a broken object, possibly a cracked sheet of glass. It has a rectangular shape with a thunderbolt-shaped line drawn vertically through it.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.
  2. lipamanka. "toki pona dictionary".
  3. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 306.

Further reading[edit | edit source]