Toki Pona proverbs

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Communication is good.

Toki Pona is a constructed language known for its small vocabulary. It was designed by translator and linguist Sonja Lang and first published online in 2001.

The proverbs with the translations listed below are taken from pp. 72–78 of the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good and pp. 11 of Toki Pona Dictionary by Sonja Lang.


  • ale li jo e tenpo.
    • Translation: "Everything has a time. There is a time and place for everything. Everything in its right context."
  • ante li kama.
    • Translation: "Change comes. Times change."
  • ale li pona.
    • Translation: "All is good. Life is great. Life is beautiful. Everything will be OK."


  • ike li kama.
    • Translation: "Bad things will happen."


  • jan li suli mute. mani li suli lili.
    • Translation: "People are more important than money."
  • jan lili li sona ala e ike.
    • Translation: "Children do not know evil."
  • jan sona li jan nasa.
    • Translation: "A sage is a fool. A genius thinks unconventionally."
      • Non-ableist translation: "A sage is a strange person."


  • lape li pona.
    • Translation: "Sleep is good."
  • lupa meli li mama pi ijo ale.
    • Translation: "A woman's womb is the mother of all things."


  • meli li nasa e mije.
    • Translation: "Women will make men crazy."
      • Non-ableist translation: "Women will make men impulsive."
  • mi pona e ale mi, la mi pona e mi.
    • Translation: "When I improve all areas of my life, I improve myself."
  • mi weka e ike jan, la mi weka e ike mi.
    • Translation: "When I erase somebody's faults, I cleanse myself of negativity."


  • nasin ante li pona tawa jan ante.
    • Translation: "Different ways are good for different people. Different strokes for different folks."
  • nasin pona li mute.
    • Translation: "The good ways are many. There are many right ways of doing things. All roads lead to Rome."


  • o olin e jan poka.
    • Translation: "Love thy neighbour."
  • o pana e pona tawa ma.
    • Translation: "Love the earth. Take care of the planet."
  • o sona e sina!
    • Translation: "Know thyself!"


  • pali li pana e sona.
    • Translation: "Actions give knowledge. One learns by experience."
  • pilin pona li pana e sijelo pona.
    • Translation: "Positive feelings grant good health. Mind over matter."


  • sina pana e ike, la sina kama jo e ike.
    • Translation: "If you give evil, you will receive evil. What negativity you send out will return to you."


  • telo li pona.
    • Translation: "Water is beneficial."
  • toki li pona.
    • Translation: "Communication is good."
  • toki pona li toki pona.
    • Translation: "Toki Pona is a good language."


  • utala li ike.
    • Translation: "Fighting is harmful."


  • wawa li lon insa.
    • Translation: "Energy is within."
  • weka lili li pona tawa lawa.
    • Translation: "Temporary isolation is good for guidance. It is good for the mind to remove itself momentarily from something."
  • wile sona li mute e sona.
    • Translation: "Curiosity multiplies wisdom. One learns by asking questions."

See also[edit]