sitelen Ilakana and sitelen Katakana

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sitelen Kana is a group of script adaptations of Toki Pona to the hiragana (sitelen Ilakana) and katakana (sitelen Katakana) syllabaries used to write Japanese, the Ryukyuan languages, Ainu, and Palauan. Various Toki Pona writing systems fall under these categories, as they have been suggested independently multiple times.

Kana include a separate character for each mora: for consonant–vowel pairs and for the coda (syllable-final) -n. For example, jan typically becomes (ja)(n) in sitelen Ilakana systems and (ja)(n) in sitelen Katakana systems.

Transcription for Japanese speakers[edit | edit source]

When sitelen Kana is used for educational purposes aimed at Japanese speakers, it is best to stay as close to Japanese usage of kana as possible. The following table can be used to faithfully transcribe Toki Pona to katakana. It is also possible to transcribe it with hiragana equivalents, but katakana is more typically used for foreign words and for writing non-Japonic languages.

Mora chart
sitelen Katakana
-a -i -u -e -o
t- トゥ
j- イェ
w- ウィ ウェ

The highlighted moras are written with a big katakana followed by a small one. The combinations イェ, ウィ, ウェ are used because modern Japanese does not natively have je, wi, we moras. For the mora tu, using トゥ ([tɯ̟ᵝ]) is preferable over ([t͡sɨ]), because the Japanese pronunciation of the latter could be confused with su or even si by some Toki Pona speakers.

If one wanted to emphasize that the mora si in Toki Pona is often pronounced [si] rather than [ɕi], it is possible to transcribe it using スィ instead of . However, this might require some explanation because スィ is very rare and not familiar to many Japanese speakers. Furthermore, unlike tu and [t͡sɨ], pronouncing si as [ɕi] doesn't have a risk of causing misunderstandings in Toki Pona.

Katakana words are usually separated by a fullwidth interpunct (・). Fullwidth spaces ( ) can also be used, as is common in kana-only texts aimed at children.

Adapting kana to Toki Pona[edit | edit source]

When sitelen Kana is used mostly for fun or artistic expression, it opens up various possibilities for adapting the kana writing systems better to Toki Pona.

There are two non-trivial differences between kana and Toki Pona phonology, and writing system proposals tend to diverge at these points. They are highlighted in the following table.

  • Toki Pona has initial p- but no *h- (or *b-). Meanwhile, p-row kana are written as variants of the h-row, with the addition of a circular diacritic, the handakuten (half-voicing-mark). Some proposals use the characters with handakuten[1][2] for maximum clarity, while others drop the handakuten[3] as they provide no distinction from any other Toki Pona morae and there are no other characters with diacritics.
  • Certain kana are obsolete, so that there is no single character in common use for certain morae. Toki Pona disallows the morae *wu and *ji, which avoids many of these cases. However, it does allow je, occurring in words such as jelo, loje, mije, sijelo, and kijetesantakalu. Japanese ye /je/ was merged with e, and the ye kana are not displayed properly on many devices. Some proposals use the obsolete kana, despite this poor support; others use an e kana for both e and je, and may even elide the je in the middle of a word such as sijelo;[3] and others spell je using multiple characters including small kana.[1][2] A similar but less extreme situation occurs for the semi-obsolete wi and we, which are still used in some proper names.

Because mispronunciation is less of an issue, tu is written as a tsu kana in most proposed systems, which is shorter than using the digraphs トゥ in katakana or とぅ in hiragana.

Mora chart
sitelen Ilakana sitelen Katakana
-a -i -u -e -o -a -i -u -e -o
∅- ∅-
k- k-
s- s-
t- t-
n- n-


m- m-
j- 𛀁
j- 𛄡
l- l-


-n -n

Kanji[edit | edit source]

Under construction This section needs work:

How would the words with (semi-)obsolete morae be expected to be written in hiragana in this specific system?

If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)

A system by janPitelo combines hiragana with kanji for certain words:[3]

sitelen Lasina Kanji Expected sitelen Ilakana
ala あら
ale / ali あれ/あり
anpa あんは
en えん
jan やん
kalama からま
kepeken けへけん
lili りり
mama まま
mani まに
meli めり
mun むん
nena ねな
noka のか
open おへん
pali はり
pan はん
pona ほな
sitelen してれん
suli すり
suno すの
telo てろ
toki とき
walo わろ
wan わん
wawa わわ

Names and punctuation[edit | edit source]

Under construction This section needs work:

Punctuation standards

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Some writing systems propose using corner brackets (「」) or switching from sitelen Ilakana to sitelen Katakana to mark proper names.[2]

Writing systems that use unchanged Japanese punctuation would use the following fullwidth punctuation:

exclamation point
question mark
quotation marks  

Words may be separated by a fullwidth interpunct (・) or a fullwidth space ( ).

References[edit | edit source]

English Wikipedia has an article on
  1. 1.0 1.1 [Derroflcopter]. (25 November 2012). "Hiragana for Toki Pona.". DeviantArt. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 [u/HS1D4ever]. (7 December 2019). "sitelen Hiragana (ひらがな)". r/tokipona. Reddit. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jansson, Bertil. "bjAsianPona - janPitelo 人ひ水 2020 0202". Thaiyoo. Retrieved 11 January 2024.