Why You Should Learn Toki Pona in 2023
So, you’ve heard the name “toki pona” through the grapevine, but you’re not sure if it’s a type of bird or something you order at Starbucks!
Well, it’s neither of those things.
What is toki pona?
toki pona is a language that was created by Canadian linguist Sonja Lang in 2001. It is a constructed language, meaning that it was created specifically for human use, rather than evolving naturally.
It is notable for its small vocabulary and simple grammar. In fact, the name “toki pona” itself translates to “simple language.”
Despite its simplicity, toki pona is a fully functioning language that can be used for everyday communication. It has even been used in works of literature and art. And although it was designed with simplicity in mind, toki pona is actually a very nuanced and deep language.
Some say that toki pona is like a child’s view of the world; direct, innocent, and uncomplicated. This is likely because its vocabulary is based on common words used in everyday life, rather than academic or technical jargon.
So, why should you learn it? Well, there are quite a few reasons. Read on to learn some of them.
1. toki pona is easy to learn
Probably the most obvious reason to learn toki pona is that it is extremely easy to learn. Due to its small vocabulary (roughly 125 words) and simple grammar, you can get up and running with the basics of the language in just a few short weeks.
Even if you’re starting from scratch with no prior knowledge of languages, you’ll be able to make basic conversation in toki pona relatively quickly. Plus, there are lots of resources available online (including this site!) to help you get started.
2. Learning toki pona will make you a better communicator
You only have a limited number of words available to you in toki pona, so you’ll have to be very concise and clear in your communication. This is a far cry from our everyday speech in our native language, which often features filler words and vagueness.
With toki pona, you’re forced to strip down your communication to its bare essentials, and this can actually be quite liberating. It can also help you to better communicate in your native language, as you’ll start to pay more attention to the words you use and how they’re being interpreted by others.
3. toki pona is a great mental exercise
Because it’s so simple, learning toki pona can present somewhat of a mental challenge at times. This is especially true when you first start learning, as your brain isn’t used to thinking in such a concise and direct way.
But this challenge can be beneficial, as it forces you to think in new and creative ways. And as you become more proficient in the language, you’ll find that your thinking becomes clearer and more concise, even in your native tongue.
4. It’s a great way to meet new people
There’s a growing community of toki pona speakers around the world, and they’re all very friendly and welcoming.
You’ll find that many toki pona speakers are also interested in other languages and cultures, so you’ll have plenty to talk about. And since the language is so easy to learn, you’ll be able to help others get started with it as well.
There’s a small but active toki pona subreddit, which is a great place to start if you’re looking for others to chat with both in and about the language. You can also check out the toki pona Facebook group, the toki pona Discord, and the toki pona Telegram group.
5. It’s a great introduction to language learning in general
If you’re monolingual (someone who only speaks their native language) and you’re interested in learning other languages in the future, toki pona can be a great introduction.
Because it’s so simple, it’s the perfect language to learn if you want to get your feet wet without getting too overwhelmed. And once you’ve learned the basics of toki pona, you’ll find that other languages are not nearly as daunting as they may have seemed before.
6. It’s fun and unique
toki pona is unlike any other language out there, and that in itself is a good reason to learn it.
It’s a fascinating experiment in language, and it’s sure to give you a new perspective on both language and communication. Who knows, it may even inspire you to create your own constructed language one day!
7. You could make some extra cash
If you ever find yourself in need of a little extra cash, there are a few ways you can use your toki pona skills to make money.
Once you reach a proficient level in toki pona, you can start offering translation services to those who need them. This could be anything from translating documents to interpreting conversations.
Though the toki pona community is small, it’s hungry for original toki pona content, such as books, music, and movies. If you’re creative and have something to share, you could make some decent cash by selling your work to others.
Thousands of people are interested in learning toki pona, and many of them are willing to pay for tutoring services. If you’re a proficient speaker and you’re good at teaching, you could make some good money by offering your services to those who need them.
For those struggling to make any headway in a natural language, or for anyone curious about constructed languages, toki pona is definitely worth checking out. It’s a unique and interesting language that can offer many benefits, both practical and psychological.
So what are you waiting for? Give it a try! Check out our post Where to Learn Toki Pona for a list of the best resources available.