telo misikeke

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Screenshot on 5 November 2023

telo misikeke is an open-source grammar checker for Toki Pona, developed by jan Nikola with help from jan Kijon.[1] Its goal is to aid in correcting common human errors found.

List of detectable errors[edit | edit source]

telo misikeke gives the following errors.[2]

Errors[edit | edit source]

Errors proper are marked red. These "should be fairly non-controversial ill-formed passages."[1]

  • Unknown word.
  • mi/sina used with li.
  • [Duplicate particle:] This word shouldn't appear twice.
  • Sentences should not start with a capital letter.
  • e is a particle that introduces the direct object of a verb. You can't use it inside a subject.
    Sometimes, removing the e is sufficient. e.g. "moku e kala li pona" (ill-formed "eating a fish is good") can be expressed as "moku kala li pona" ("fish-eating is good")."
  • Object without a verb. Did you forget a li somewhere?
  • pi does not mean "of". As a general rule, pi should be followed by at least two words.
  • Those two particles should not follow each other.
    • [li pi:] If you saw that in an old toki pona course, know that it might have been in use at some point in the past, but it's not in use anymore.
  • en is a subject separator, it is not equivalent to the english word and.
    For multiple verbs or multiple objects, use multiple li, multiple e or multiple prepositions instead.
  • [Easter egg for "poki loje lon sinpin li poki tawa" or "suwi telo wawa kepeken namako en kule ijo kasi":] Please unsub from Half As Interesting.

Possible errors[edit | edit source]

Possible errors are marked purple. These "are patterns that fit common beginner mistakes, but that might be valid in specific contexts", such as mi tawa e tomo for moving a room.[1]

  • [Duplicate pronoun:] This word probably shouldn't appear twice, unless you really meant "I am me"/"You are you"/"They are them" or "my me"/"your you"/"their them".
  • [ona missing li:] Make sure _ is a modifier of ona. If you meant it as a verb, use:
    ona li _.
  • Suspicious usage of pi here. pi should usually be followed by at least two modifiers.
    If you're trying to use a compound word ("X pi Y Z") to form a second compound ("W pi X pi Y Z"), know that this is an unpopular way of doing things. Consider breaking your complex word into multiple simpler sentences.
  • ala as an action verb is uncommon.
    This would mean "to nullify X" or "to turn X into nothingness".
    If you meant "is not X", you should probably use "X li Y ala"
  • Double check: sama/lon/tan/_ as an action verb (sama/lon/tan/_ e X) is uncommon.
    • [sama:] This would mean something like "to make X the same". The prepositional form "sama X" ("like X", "same as X") is much more common.
    • [lon:] This would mean "to make X real/aware/awake/conscious". The prepositional form "lon X" ("at/in/on X") is much more common.
    • [tan:] This would mean "to cause X". The prepositional form "tan X" ("because of X", "from X") is much more common.
  • Double check: tawa as an action verb is suspicious with this object.
    This would mean "to move/displace X". The prepositional form "tawa X" is much more common ("going to X", "in the direction of X") with this object.
    Did you mean tawa _?
  • [Bad preposition:]
    • [insa:] Double check: insa as a predicate is suspicious. In most cases, it would mean something such as "is the inside of X".
      If you meant "is inside of X", you probably should use "lon insa X".
    • [poka:] Double check: poka as a predicate is suspicious. It would mean something such as "is the side of".
      If you meant "is beside/nearby X", you probably should use "lon poka X".
  • The preposition should typically come before the object.
    Did you mean:
    verb e [...] preposition preposition_target
  • lukin pona is often (wrongly) used as a calque of the english "looks good". In toki pona, it would mean instead "to watch well", "to scrutinize", or "to seek to make better".
    If you meant "visually good", use pona as the head and lukin as a modifier: "pona lukin".
  • lukin sama as a verb might be a calque of the english "looks the same".
    lukin as a main predicate means to watch or to seek. If you meant X looks the same as Y, consider using something like X en Y li sama lukin, or X li sama Y tawa lukin.
  • Suspicious use of kepeken here.
    kepeken Person means "using Person", not "with Person". If you meant "with Person" in the sense of "alongside Person", you can use something such as "lon poka Person". You could also rephrase it as "X en Person li ..."
  • Possible use of unofficial word without a preceding noun.
    Proper nouns are usually treated as adjectives for toki pona words. Make sure your proper noun is preceded by an official word.
    e.g. "mi tan Kanata" should instead be "mi tan ma Kanata". "mi Sonja" should probably be "mi jan Sonja"
  • o Person is a command/wish to personify something. If you meant to address someone, the o particle goes after.
    e.g. "o jan Lakuse!" should be "jan Lakuse o!"

Nitpicks[edit | edit source]

Nitpicks are marked yellow. These are passages that, while not incorrect according to jan Nikola, "could probably be rewritten in a more toki ponesque way."[1] As some of these can impact comprehensibility, many speakers may feel more strongly about them and consider them errors outright.

  • Ill-formed question.
    You should use either the form "[verb] ala [verb], the form "X, anu seme?" or at least include either of the words anu or seme.
  • In X ala X questions, the repeated part is typically only one word.
    For multi word phrases, repeat only the head (sina moku ala moku mute?)
    When your question contains a preverb, repeat only the preverb (sina ken ala ken pali?)
  • A li is required unless the subject is exactly and only mi or exactly and only sina.
    'e.g. "mi en sina li moku" is prefered over "mi en sina moku"
  • It looks like you are trying to modify a preverb ("_ _ _").
    Except for negation with ala, adding a modifier to a preverb is not a common thing to do, and can be misleading.
  • pi can be omitted with nanpa as an ordinal marker.
  • Multiple pi can lead to ambiguous phrases, consider if all possible meanings are roughly equivalent or if the meaning is clear enough in this context.
  • Consider breaking long sentences into multiple smaller sentences. Small and simple is better than long and complex. From lipu pu:
    "Simplify your thoughts. Less is more."
  • Proper noun with unauthorized syllables.

Uncommon words[edit | edit source]

Nitpicks are marked blue. These are words that are uncommon or rarer in lipu Linku.[1]

  • Uncommon word, make sure your target audience knows it.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 About. telo misikeke. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  2. "public/rules.js". GitLab. Retrieved 9 November 2023.

External links[edit | edit source]