I've written a little post to sum up my journey since I've discovered it a bit less than one month ago:

If you're into Toki Pona or other conlangs, I'd be curious to hear about yours :)

@ice I have not been studying it at all! Bit much going on IRL and work for the moment.

@whtrbt No worries! Personally I take it slowly, I try to read a couple of pages of the official book or some online lesson every day or so, and it's enough to keep me going and get a sense of progress. Since it's a tiny language, every tiny bit you learn feels rewarding :) Good luck with your work, I hope things will settle down for you soon.

@ice well this has piqued my interest, always struggled to learn languages.

Might give this toki pona thing a go.

@big_chip Me too, and that's probably one of the reasons I enjoy it. It's nice and simple, and it gave me a new perspective on what a language is, how and why to learn it.

One of us, one of us! I've gathered some learning resources here: -- I think you can take a look at Bryant Knight's lessons to begin with, or maybe at the 76 illustrated lessons, that should give you a good overview of the language.

@ice @big_chip mi kepeken li lipu e ni (I'm using this page):

toki pona is certainly different, but interesting!

@hxii @big_chip Ah yes, I remember stumbling on this website a while ago, it looked interesting, I'll add it to the learning resources.

@hxii @big_chip The author of this course made a PICO-8 port of Donsol, the world is a small place :)

@ice I need to get back on it! Learning toki pona was such a pleasant experience :)

@ovelny If you feel stuck, I'd recommend using Anki along the official book or another online course, it has worked great for me so far. You feel a bit of progress every day :)

@ice That's what I did and it seemed to be quite effective. Basic and reversed cards work great to memorize the vocabulary :)

@ovelny The deck I’ve found the more effective is the one with whole sentences to translate, taken from the official book. They’re great to study in parallel with regular vocabulary cards (but harder than I thought, haha) I’ll probably end up trying to add similar exercises in my dictionary at some point.

@ice Oh nice, looks like it would be a nice addition to study with the official book! Do you have a link for this specific deck?

Huge thanks for making and sharing your dictionary by the way, I added it to my bookmarks and I'm probably gonna use it quite frequently :)

@ovelny You're welcome :) I'm working on a much lighter and faster version of my dictionary, I have ~40 words left to convert to my new format but otherwise it should be ready in a couple of days.

I've learned toki for some time and have made myself an Anki deck. But then I lost my track. And now the vocab is nearly completely forgotten.
I still want to get back someday.

I don't think that I will ever can speak so fluent as YouTube user astrodonut. But I hope for some poems kepeken toki.

@suvij Thanks for sharing your experience! Writing poems sounds like a great goal, I'm sure you'll manage to get back to it at some point. Personally I have several projects ideas involving Toki Pona, some simple, some more ambitious, that's what keeps me going. That, and the fact all people into Toki Pona I've talked to are pretty cool people so far.

want to learn spanish, esperanto, toki pona

doing it one month at a time. starting toki pona month now

@js0000 Nice, you’re very motivated! Maybe I’ll try Esperanto or some other conlang at some point, but in my case I know I’ll need months alone to be actually comfortable with Toki Pona.

motivated ... unfocused
(take your pick)

best wishes

@RussSharek Haha, I’m happy with my progress but still frustrated with a few words and structures I keep forgetting or mistaking for others. For some reason I struggle with kama, tawa and tan, even if I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I don’t see how anyone can claim to master Toki Pona in a week. It’s small and simple, sure, but it’s still a language, with a whole world of unique thought patterns and subtleties.


It took me months before I became even moderately competent with the language.

I do remember the magical moment when I started having moments where I had thoughts "natively" in toki pona. To me, that was even more important than being whatever fluent constitutes in a minimal philosophical language.

What struggles are you having with those words? Is it remembering the meanings, or sometimes else?

@RussSharek A bit of both, I often mistake kama and tawa for each other, oddly enough they seem very similar to me even if they’re not. And tan doesn’t feel natural enough for me to use it properly yet. I still need to finish the official book though, I’m only around lesson 10.


kama and tawa are an example of two words that clicked for me when I learned their glyphs.

:tp_kama: kama
:tp_tawa: tawa

They are, in some ways, opposites.

I suppose tan is similarly 'geographical' if you look at it:

:tp_tan: tan

It's 'from' something, which refers to an ideas origin.

Helpful, I hope.

@RussSharek Aaah, yes, thanks, it helps :) I knew the glyphs but I didn’t notice they were this self-explanatory when compared to each other. They somehow existed separately in my mind, yet visually their relationship is obvious. And yes, I can see tan also works in a similar way.

It’s funny that glyphs are introduced separately in the official book, it would make sense to show them next to each new word in the lessons. Though it may be too much information for non-visual learners, I guess.


I'm glad it helped!

Once I learned the glyphs things started making sense for me. I think they helped to solidify the idea that these were a new way of thinking for my brain.

I strongly recommend a set of flashcards for practice. I used anki. Some of my students made their own paper cards, and I think I prefer them.

@RussSharek Yes, I’m using Anki too, it works great so far. Besides word cards, I’ve found the shared deck with whole sentences from the official book especially useful and slightly challenging. It often showed me that translations I thought I had learned after studying the book could in fact be a bit inaccurate.

Anki is handy, but making paper cards also sounds nice. Writing words and glyphs by hand is a different way of learning and making knowledge your own, I might try it at some point.


I've found it fun to come back to writings and re-translate them again to see if they have any new (intended or not) layers of meaning.

There's also a fun game I play with @Avalon, where we translate a phrase into toki pona and then back into English as badly as possible.


"The bluebird of happiness" becomes "waso laso pi pilin pona"

Which also translated to "the green chicken of simple feelings."

Silly fun stuff.

@RussSharek @Avalon Haha yeah, sounds like an equally silly and funny exercise, I like the idea :)

@RussSharek @Avalon I might, I'm sure it would be funny to try something like this in a forum, thanks :)

@RussSharek @ice @Avalon

Now the question is whether the difference is really meaningful or irrelevant

@ckeen @ice @Avalon

I personally appreciate an occasional visit from the green bird of simple feelings.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.