Toki Pona: The Language of Good

lipu pona: This is a good article.
lipu pona: This is a good article.
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Copies of Toki Pona: The Language of Good scattered on a table

Toki Pona: The Language of Good, also known as lipu pu or simply pu,[1] is the foundational resource of modern Toki Pona. It was written by Sonja Lang, finalizing her work on Toki Pona and recording her style of speaking the language at the time.[2][3] The book was originally published in English in 2014, with several language editions since.

Contents[edit | edit source]

Toki Pona: The Language of Good opens by presenting Toki Pona's philosophy, and is mostly dedicated to lessons and exercises, with texts and dictionaries afterward. As stated in the edition notice, its main dictionary section is released to the public domain.

The set of Toki Pona words used in lipu pu is called nimi pu. They include 120 main words, with 1 pronunciation variant, and 3 words presented as "synonyms" (but used as separate words to varying degrees before and since).

The book also features two writing systems created for the language: sitelen pona, which it fully describes, and the earlier sitelen sitelen by Jonathan Gabel.

The Toki Pona Dictionary has since amended pu's material with the section "Notes on lipu pu", which states that pu must "be a living document". Later editions of pu integrate these amendments in footnotes and appendices.

Editions[edit | edit source]

The English edition of Toki Pona: The Language of Good has been released as a paperback and as an Amazon Kindle ebook. The book has also been translated to the following languages:[4]

Language editions of lipu pu
Title Year Language Authors and translators Contains ku material? Product listing
Toki Pona: The Language of Good 2014 English Sonja Lang No 0978292308
Toki Pona: la langue du bien 2016 French Sonja Lang No 0978292359
Toki Pona: Die Sprache des Guten 2021 German Sonja Lang, Julius Strake (jan Juli) Yes B09MJ8JPV6
Tokipono: La lingvo de bono 2022 Esperanto Sonja Lang, Spencer van der Meulen (jan Pensa) Yes 9464376090

Contributors[edit | edit source]

  • Sonja Lang (jan Sonja), author and creator of Toki Pona
  • Russ Williams, cartoonist featured in the "Texts" chapter
  • Yara Hindawi, illustrator and creator of the graphics in the toki pona luka chapter
  • Jonathan Gabel, illustrator, creator of sitelen sitelen, and the calligraphy in the proverbs chapter
  • Peer reviewers: Christopher Huff (jan Kowisi), Matthew Chrisholm (jan Matejo), Joop Kiefte (jan Mimoku), Michael Everson, Aaron Chapman (jan Alono), John Clifford (jan Kipo), Matthew Martin (jan Mato), Bryant J. Knight (jan Pije), Robert Warnke (jan Lope), Sam Brenner (jan San), Kobi Kai Calev (jan Ka), Nizar Habash (jan Nisa), and Paul Swift (jan Po)

Reception[edit | edit source]

Reception to Toki Pona: The Language of Good has been mostly positive. The book is widely and continually recommended as one of the best learning resources.

Most criticism pertains to the book's style of Toki Pona diverging from community usage, which has since been amended in a freely released section of the following book, Toki Pona Dictionary. Tokiponist jan Kipo (John Clifford) cited jan Sonja's lack of presence in the community at the time, and criticized the addition of "fairly useless words", inclusion of "duplicate word[s]", and lack of focus on "clarify[ing] problematic points", predicting that the book "is bound to be taken as official rather than idiosyncratic".[5]

Related words[edit | edit source]

pu[edit | edit source]

pu in sitelen pona
pu in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /pu/
Usage 2023: Core (96% ↗︎ )2022: Core (94%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥕 U+F1955

The word pu is defined as "interacting with the official Toki Pona book". This generally refers to words and ways of speaking that are featured in the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Original text related to this article:
  1. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 6. See Notes on lipu pu.

    Technically, the word pu describes the relationship and interaction between a person (jan pu) and the book (lipu pu). In informal usage, a number of people use pu as a name for the book itself or the variety of Toki Pona presented in it.

  2. Lang, Sonja. (25 May 2014). Toki Pona: The Language of Good. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292300. OCLC 921253340. pp. 7, 62.
  3. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 5. See Notes on lipu pu.
  4. jan Juli. (8 December 2021). "lipu pu Tosi li lon a" (in Toki Pona). lipu kule. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  5. Clifford, John E.. (21 August 2014). "Customer Review". Amazon. Retrieved 6 April 2024.

External links[edit | edit source]

Wikipesija has a Toki Pona article on
lipu pu.