sitelen Kililisa

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sitelen Kililisa is a tokiponized name for the Cyrillic alphabet, particularly as used to write Toki Pona. According to the 2022 Toki Pona census, it is the fourth most commonly used writing system for Toki Pona, after sitelen Lasina, sitelen pona, and sitelen sitelen.[1]


sitelen Kililisa is a tokiponization of Russian кириллица (kirillica), Bulgarian кирилица (kirilica), Ukrainian кирилиця (kyrylycja), and Belarusian кірыліца (kirylica). A less common name is sitelen Silili, which is likely a tokiponization of English Cyrillic.

Serbo-Croatian ћирилица / ćirilica and Polish cyrylica may be tokiponized as sitelen Sililisa. This tokiponization is not in active use, and is only listed here for completeness.



sitelen Lasina m n p t k s w l j
sitelen Kililisa м н п т к с в or ў[a] л j or й[b][c]


Some speakers use systems where j–vowel pairs are replaced with iotated vowel letters. For example, without using iotated vowels, jan is spelled jaн or йaн, whereas using them, it is spelled ян.[b]

Without iotated vowels
or without j-
With iotated vowels
and with j-
a a ja я
e э or е[d] je е or є[d]
i и or і[d]
o о jo ё
u у ju ю


  1. See § w
  2. 2.0 2.1 See § j
  3. Or via iotated vowels; see § Vowels
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 See § e, je, i


Like the Latin alphabet, the Cyrillic alphabet shows significant variation in its use in orthographies of different languages. Unlike sitelen Lasina, which has remained unchanged since the early days of Toki Pona, sitelen Kililisa lacks standardization, with different users drawing on influence from different Cyrillic scripts. As such, sitelen Kililisa is a family of related writing systems, rather than a singular standard.


All Slavic languages (except Polish and Belarusian) lack a phonemic /w v/ distinction, and most lack a [w] sound, which presents a problem for sitelen Kililisa. Two letters are commonly used to represent Toki Pona w: В and Ў.

The letter В is present in all Cyrillic orthographies for Slavic languages, and is used to represent /v/, with the exception of Ukrainian /ʋ~w/ and Serbo-Croatian /ʋ/. The phoneme /v/ in Slavic languages is largely derived from PIE *w.

The letter Ў is only present in the Belarusian orthography, where it is used for /v/ in coda position, where it is pronounced as [w]. It is largely derived from Proto-Slavic *l in coda position, which was vocalized in Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Serbo-Croatian.

Examples of /w/
Method Example
sitelen Lasina o tawa waso
в о тава васо
ў о таўа ўасо


Though /j/ is present in all Slavic languages, all Cyrillic Slavic orthographies (except Vuk's Cyrillic) use iotated vowel letters to represent it. Some Toki Pona speakers embrace the added complexity of iotation, while others choose to avoid it.

Examples of /j/
Method Example Notes
sitelen Lasina jan Sonja li jo e ijo jelo
Context-independent ј јан Сонја ли јо е ијо јело Most similar to Vuk's Cyrillic
Context-independent й йан Сонйа ли йо е ийо йело
Iotated vowels ян Соня ли ё э иё ело Most similar to Russian Cyrillic


When iotated vowels are used, /nj/ becomes a special case. Speakers of East Slavic languages have a /nʲ/ phoneme and may erroneously read an н–iotated vowel sequence as [nʲ]. Though a minor issue, this has caused some users of sitelen Kililisa to employ disambiguation strategies:

Examples of /njV/ in iotated vowel orthographies
Method Example Notes
sitelen Lasina jan Sonja
No separation ян Соня Cyrillic users unfamiliar with Toki Pona may assume [sɔnʲa]
Soft sign separation ян Сонья Most similar to Russian Cyrillic
Hard sign separation ян Сонъя Most similar to non-Slavic Cyrillic alphabets used in Russia, e.g. Udmurt

e, je, i

Cyrillic scripts differ in their representation of non-open front vowels:

Examples of /e je i/
Script /e/ /je/ /i/ Example of derived sitelen Kililisa
Russian э е и о ело э ми
Belarusian э е i о ело э мі
Ukrainian е є і о єло е мі
Bulgarian е и о ело е ми
Serbian е је и о јело е ми
Interslavic е је и о јело е ми

See also