Toki Pona vocabulary taxonomy

"Toki Pona is an oligoisolating constructed language, created by Canadian linguist and translator Sonja Lang as a philosophical artistic language for the purpose of simplifying thoughts and communication. [...]"

In my experience Toki Pona is an enjoyable language to learn. Its vocabulary is about 120 words, so it compels you to express your thoughts in a very simple manner, therefore you'll come to see reality not as complex as you usually do.

I've organized its small lexicon into a hierarchy. This hierarchy is subjective of course: you may organize it in an alternative way:

SOURCE: own development

Spatial directions and boundary positions in position and inside category

Category JP CH Word Source 1 Source 2
beings verb+noun gui1 akesi n. non-cute animal; reptile, amphibian n. non-cute animal, reptile, amphibian
n. creeping animal, a scaly or slimy animal that creeps on land
n. reptile, any air-breathing cold-blooded animal that crawls on land and has scales and bones; reptile
n. amphibian, any cold-blooded animal with bones that lives on both land and in water; amphibian
n. large arthropod, a large arthropod that lives on land; scorpion
describer like an akesi in appearance
describerhaving the characteristics or properties of an akesi
beings verb+noun ren2 jan n. human being, person, somebody n. person, people, human, being, somebody, anybody
mod. human, somebody's, personal, of people
vt. personify, humanize, personalize
beings yu2 kala n. fish, marine animal, sea creature n. fish, sea creature
beings mu4 kasi n. plant, vegetation; herb, leaf n. plant, leaf, herb, tree, wood
beings guo3 kili n. fruit, vegetable, mushroom n. fruit, pulpy vegetable, mushroom
beings mi3 pan n. cereal, grain; barley, corn, oat, rice, wheat; bread, pasta n. grain, cereal
beings chong2 pipi n. bug, insect, ant, spider n. bug, insect, spider
beings ma3niu2 soweli n. animal, beast, land mammal n. animal, especially land mammal, lovable animal
beings niao3 waso n. bird, flying creature, winged animal n. bird, winged animal
beings/action alasa v. to hunt, forage vt. to gather, to collect food, resources or material needed for daily life and survival; to gather, harvest
vt. to hunt, to pursue and kill animals to use as food and clothing; to hunt
* This wasn't on the classic list.
beings/action verb+noun er3 kute n. ear
v. to hear, listen; pay attention to, obey
vt. listen, hear
mod. auditory, hearing
beings/action verb+noun kan4jian4 lukin, oko n. eye
v. to look at, see, examine, observe, read, watch
pre-verb to seek, look for, try to
vt. see, look at, watch, read
vi. look, watch out, pay attention
mod. visual(ly)
beings/action si3 moli mod. dead, dying n. death
vi. die, be dead
vt. kill
mod. dead, deadly, fatal
beings/action wan2 musi mod. artistic, entertaining, frivolous, playful, recreational n. fun, playing, game, recreation, art, entertainment
mod. artful, fun, recreational
vi. play, have fun
vt. amuse, entertain
beings/action guai4 nasa mod. unusual, strange; foolish, crazy; drunk, intoxicated mod. silly, crazy, foolish, drunk, strange, stupid, weird
vt. drive crazy, make weird
beings/action ai4 olin v. to love, have compassion for, respect, show affection to n. love
mod. love
vt. to love (a person)
beings/action verb+noun xiang3xin1 pilin n. heart (physical or emotional)
mod. feeling (an emotion, a direct experience)
n. feelings, emotion, heart
vi. feel
vt. feel, think, sense, touch
beings/action verb+noun zhi1/4 sona v. to know, be skilled in, be wise about, have information on
pre-verb to know how to
n. knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, understanding
vt. know, understand, know how to
vi. know, understand
kama learn, study
system of knowledge or beliefs
beings/action xing4 unpa v. to have sexual or marital relations with n. sex, sexuality
mod. erotic, sexual
vt. have sex with, sleep with, fuck
vi. have sex
beings/action verb+noun cai4 moku v. to eat, drink, consume, swallow, ingest n. food, meal
vt. eat, drink, swallow, ingest, consume
beings/action verb+noun hua4 sitelen n. image, picture, representation, symbol, mark, writing n. picture, image
vt. draw, write
n. representation, a visual or tactile work that serves to show, describe, explain or remind us of something else; representation, model
n. picture, specific lines and shapes marked on a surface; drawing, print, painting, image, sign, sketch, outline, blueprint, etching, picture,
n. diagram, chart, graph
n. sculpture , an object made into the shape of something; carving, sculpture, figurine, replica
beings/action verb+noun yan2 toki v. to communicate, say, speak, say, talk, use language, think n. language, talking, speech, communication
mod. talking, verbal
vt. say
vi. talk, chat, communicate
interj. hello! hi!
vt. to give and receive (e: information) (tawa: with); to communicate
vt. to put together (e: thoughts or ideas); to think out
beings/kinship mu3 mama n. parent, ancestor; creator, originator; caretaker, sustainer n. parent, mother, father
mod. of the parent, parental, maternal, fatherly
sounds like momma
beings/kinship pata n. brother obsolete
beings/sex nü3/nv3 meli n. woman, female, feminine person; wife n. woman, female, girl, wife, girlfriend
mod. female, feminine, womanly
beings/sex nan2 mije n. man, male, masculine person; husband n. man, male, boy, husband, boyfriend
mod. male, masculine, manly
beings/body shou3 luka n. arm, hand, tactile organ
num. five
n. hand, arm
beings/body zu2 noka n. foot, leg, organ of locomotion; bottom, lower part n. leg, foot
beings/body mu4 oko n. eye
v. to look at, see, examine, observe, read, watch
pre-verb to seek, look for, try to
n. eye
similar to oculist
beings/body shen1 sijelo n. body (of person or animal), physical state, torso n. body, physical state
beings/body kou3 uta n. mouth, lips, oral cavity, jaw n. mouth
mod. oral
the part of the human body that includes the lips and everything inside the mouth and throat; mouth, oral cavity, throat, pharynx, lips
a similar part in an animal's body, used for eating, sucking or grooming; beak, bill, rostrum, jaw, proboscis
color huang2 jelo mod. yellow, yellowish mod. yellow, light green
color verb+noun se4 kule mod. colourful, pigmented, painted n. colour, paint
mod. colourful
vt. colour, paint
color qing1 laso mod. blue, green mod. blue, blue-green
color hong2 loje mod. red, reddish mod. red
color hei1 pimeja mod. black, dark, unlit mod. black, dark
n. darkness, shadows
vt. darken
color bai2 walo mod. white, whitish; light-coloured, pale mod. white, light (colour)
n. white thing or part, whiteness, lightness
sounds like wall, which is often white
matter/consistency shi2 kiwen n. hard object, metal, rock, stone mod. hard, solid, stone-like, made of stone or metal
n. hard thing, rock, stone, metal, mineral, clay
matter/consistency gao1 ko n. clay, clinging form, dough, semi-solid, paste, powder n. semi-solid or squishy substance, e.g. paste, powder, gum
matter/consistency qi4 kon n. air, breath; essence, spirit; hidden reality, unseen agent n. air, wind, smell, soul
mod. air-like, ethereal, gaseous
matter/consistency shui3 telo n. water, liquid, fluid, wet substance; beverage n. water, liquid, juice, sauce
vt. water, wash with water
n. liquid, a flowing wet substance; liquid, fluid, water
n. beverage, a liquid for drinking; beverage, drink, water, juice
n. a liquid for washing; water
n. body fluid, a liquid that comes out of the body; blood, milk, saliva, semen, sweat, tears, urine
n. body of water, an area covered with water; bay, strait, sea, lake, river, stream
vt. to use telo on; to water, rinse, wash, wet
describer having the characteristics or properties of telo; wet, liquid
matter/shape mi4 linja n. long and flexible thing; cord, hair, rope, thread, yarn n. long, very thin, floppy thing, e.g. string, rope, hair, thread, cord, chain
matter/shape ye4 lipu n. flat object; book, document, card, paper, record, website n. flat and bendable thing, e.g. paper, card, ticket
matter/shape kong3 lupa n. door, hole, orifice, window n. hole, orifice, window, door
sounds like loop
matter/shape shan1 nena n. bump, button, hill, mountain, nose, protuberance n. bump, nose, hill, mountain, button
matter/shape zhi1 palisa n. long hard thing; branch, rod, stick n. long, mostly hard object, e.g. rod, stick, branch
matter/shape bao1 poki n. container, bag, bowl, box, cup, cupboard, drawer, vessel n. container, box, bowl, cup, glass
matter/shape hui2 sike n. round or circular thing; ball, circle, cycle, sphere, wheel
mod. of one year
n. circle, wheel, sphere, ball, cycle
mod. round, cyclical
matter/shape zhang1 supa n. horizontal surface, thing to put or rest something on n. horizontal surface, e.g furniture, table, chair, pillow, floor
n. supporting platform, surface
particle a interj. (emphasis, emotion or confirmation) interj. ah, ha, uh, oh, ooh, aw, well (emotion word)
particle ye3 kin particle (emphasis, emotion or confirmation) mod. also, too, even, indeed (emphasizes the word(s) before it)
particle ling4 o particle hey! O! (vocative or imperative) sep. O (vocative or imperative)
interj. hey! (calling somebody's attention)
particle she2 seme particle what? which? oth what, which, wh- (question word)
particle cong2 tan prep. by, from, because of prep. from, by, because of, since
n. origin, cause
relation word, origin, indicates the place of origin
particle zhi3 taso conj. but, however
mod. only
mod. only, sole
conj. but
that's all
particle/conj huo4 anu conj. or conj. or
particle/conj you4 en conj. (between multiple subjects) conj. and (used to coordinate head nouns)
particle/core bu2 ala mod. no, not, zero mod. no, not, none, un-
n. nothing, negation, zero
interj. no!
describer not, not such; no, not
describer no, zero, no quantity of; no, zero
describer un-, opposite of; un-
n. the state, situation or general phenomenon of being ala; absence, emptiness, negation, nothing, zero
interj. a short, sudden or emotional expression of ala; no!
particle/core ba3 e sep. (before the direct object) sep. (introduces a direct object)
particle/core la1 la particle (between the context phrase and the main sentence) sep. (between adverb or phrase of context and sentence)
particle/core li li sep. (between any subject except mi alone or sina alone and its VERB also to introduce a new verb for the same subject) sep. '(between any subject except mi and sina and its verb; also used to introduce a new verb for the same subject)'
particle/core de pi particle of sep. of, belonging to
particle/pronoun wo3 mi n. I, me, we, us n. I, we
mod. my, our
particle/pronoun zhe4 ni mod. that, this mod. this, that
particle/pronoun ta1 ona n. he, she, it, they n. she, he, it, they
mod. her, his, its, their
particle/pronoun ni3 sina n. you n. you
mod. your
place zai4 lon prep. located at, present at, real, true, existing prep. be (located) in/at/on
vi. be there, be present, be real/true, exist, be awake
place shi2 tenpo n. time, duration, moment, occasion, period, situation n. time, period of time, moment, duration, situation
place/celestial body yue4 mun n. moon, night sky object, star n. moon
mod. lunar
place/celestial body ri4guang1 suno n. sun; light, brightness, glow, radiance, shine; light source n. sun, light
describer having the qualities or characteristics of suno, shiny
place/inside nei4 insa n. centre, content, inside, between; internal organ, stomach n. inside, inner world, centre, stomach
mod. inner, internal
place/inside tu3 ma n. earth, land; outdoors, world; country, territory; soil n. land, earth, country, (outdoor) area
place/inside jia3 selo n. outer form, outer layer; bark, peel, shell, skin; boundary n. outside, surface, skin, shell, bark, shape, peel
place/inside xue2 tomo n. indoor space; building, home, house, room n. indoor constructed space, e.g. house, home, room, building
mod. urban, domestic, household
designated place
place/position xia4 anpa mod. bowing down, downward, humble, lowly, dependent n. bottom, lower part, under, below, floor, beneath
mod. low, lower, bottom, down
place/position hou4 monsi n. back, behind, rear n. back, rear end, butt, behind
mod. back, rear
place/position pang2 poka n. hip, side; next to, nearby, vicinity n. side, hip, next to
prep. in the accompaniment of, with
mod. neighbouring
place/position shang4 sewi n. area above, highest part, something elevated
mod. awe-inspiring, divine, sacred, supernatural
n. high, up, above, top, over, on
mod. superior, elevated, religious, formal
awe-inspiring, inspiring a feeling of wonder, respect and fear; venerable, reverend, estimable, honourable, awe-inspiring, humbling, mesmerizing, venerable, reverend, honourable, looked up to in adoration
captivating, causing a hypnotizing effect, able to hold people in an uncontrollable state of admiration; spellbinding, fascinating, mesmerizing, hypnotic, mysteriously impressive, captivating, enchanting
having higher powers or effects
interpreted as belonging to a world beyond the ordinary and physical; transcendent, transcending, divine, magical, mysterious, wondrous, miraculous
causing supernormal stimulus
physically deep
figuratively deep
place/position qian2 sinpin n. face, foremost, front, wall n. front, chest, torso, face, wall
quantity zu3 kulupu n. community, company, group, nation, society, tribe n. group, community, society, company, people
mod. communal, shared, public, of the society
quantity xiao3 lili mod. little, small, short; few; a bit; young mod. small, little, young, a bit, short, few, less
vt. reduce, shorten, shrink, lessen
quantity namako mod. extra, additional
n. spice
* this word is new
quantity gao1 suli mod. big, heavy, large, long, tall; important; adult mod. big, tall, long, adult, important
vt. enlarge, lengthen
n. size
quantity quan2 ale, ali mod. all; abundant, countless, bountiful, every, plentiful
n. abundance, everything, life, universe
num. 100
n. everything, anything, life, the universe
mod. all, every, complete, whole
quantity/heat bing1 lete mod. cold, cool; uncooked, raw n. cold
mod. cold, uncooked
vt. cool down, chill
quantity/heat verb+noun huo3 seli mod. fire; cooking element, chemical reaction, heat source n. fire, warmth, heat
mod. hot, warm, cooked
vt. heat, warm up, cook
n. fire, a force of nature or chemical reaction that releases heat and light, potentially causing destruction; fire, lightning, explosion, exothermic reaction
n. heat source, something that provides heat
n. cooking source, something that provides heat for preparing food
noun light source, something that provides light
vt. to use seli on
quantity/number da mute mod. many, a lot, more, much, several, very
n. quantity
mod. many, very, much, several, a lot, abundant, numerous, more
n. amount, quantity
vt. make many or much
quantity/number ge4 nanpa particle -th (ordinal number)
n. number
particle -th (ordinal number)
n. number
quantity/number verb+noun er4 tu num. two num. two
n. duo, pair
vt. double, separate/cut/divide in two
quantity/number verb+noun yi1 wan mod. unique, united
num. one
num. one, a
n. unit, element, particle, part, piece
vt. unite, make one
thing esun n. market, shop, fair, bazaar, business transaction n. market, shop
thing verb+noun shi4 ijo n. thing, phenomenon, object, matter n. thing, something, stuff, anything, object
mod. of something
vt. objectify
thing bi3 ilo n. tool, implement, machine, device n. tool, device, machine, thing used for a specific purpose
thing jin1 len n. cloth, clothing, fabric, textile; cover, layer of privacy n. clothing, cloth, fabric
thing yuan2bei4 mani n. money, cash, savings, wealth; large domesticated animal n. money, material wealth, currency, dollar, capital
verb you3 jo v. to have, carry, contain, hold vt. have, contain
n. having
kama receive, get, take, obtain
verb yin4 kalama v. to produce a sound; recite, utter aloud n. sound, noise, voice
vi. make noise
vt. sound, ring, play (an instrument)
verb kipisi v. to cut * this wasn't in the original classic word list.
verb da3 pakala mod. botched, broken, damaged, harmed, messed up n. blunder, accident, mistake, destruction, damage, breaking
vt. screw up, fuck up, botch, ruin, break, hurt, injure, damage, spoil, ruin
vi. screw up, fall apart, break
interj. damn! fuck!
verb zhan4dou4 utala v. to battle, challenge, compete against, struggle against n. conflict, disharmony, competition, fight, war, battle, attack, blow, argument, physical or verbal violence
vt. hit, strike, attack, compete against
verb li4 wawa mod. strong, powerful; confident, sure; energetic, intense n. energy, strength, power
mod. energetic, strong, fierce, intense, sure, confident
vt. strengthen, energize, empower
(of sound) having a high volume or amplitude
confident, sure
verb tuo1 weka mod. absent, away, ignored mod. away, absent, missing
n. absence
vt. throw away, remove, get rid of
verb/boundary kai1 open v. to begin, start; open; turn on
vt. open, turn on
verb/boundary verb+noun mo4 pini mod. ago, completed, ended, finished, past n. end, tip
mod. completed, finished, past, done, ago
vt. finish, close, end, turn off
verb/change dao4 kama mod. arriving, coming, future, summoned
pre-verb to become, manage to, succeed in
vi. come, become, arrive, happen, pursue actions to arrive to (a certain state), manage to, start to
n. event, happening, chance, arrival, beginning
mod. coming, future
vt. bring about, summon
come up
verb/change bian4 ante mod. different, altered, changed, other n. difference
mod. different
conj. otherwise, or else
vt. change, alter, modify
verb/change shou3 awen mod. enduring, kept, protected, safe, waiting, staying
pre-verb to continue to
vi. stay, wait, remain
vt. keep
mod. remaining, stationary, permanent, sedentary
verb/change tong2 sama mod. same, similar; each other; sibling, peer, fellow
prep. as, like
mod. same, similar, equal, of equal status or position
prep. like, as, seem
adjective filling the same or a similar role; equivalent
adjective self-
verb/change xin1 sin mod. new, fresh; additional, another, extra mod. new, fresh, another, more
vt. renew, renovate, freshen
verb/goal neng2 ken pre-verb to be able to, be allowed to, can, may
mod. possible
vi. can, is able to, is allowed to, may, is possible
n. possibility, ability, power to do things, permission
vt. make possible, enable, allow, permit
cont it is possible that
verb/goal 使 yong4 kepeken prep. to use, with, by means of vt. use
prep. with
verb/goal verb+noun shou3 lawa n. head, mind
v. to control, direct, guide, lead, own, plan, regulate, rule
n. head, mind
mod. main, leading, in charge
vt. lead, control, rule, steer
verb/goal gong1 pali v. to do, take action on, work on; build, make, prepare n. activity, work, deed, project
mod. active, work-related, operating, working
vt. do, make, build, create
vi. act, work, function
verb/goal gei3 pana v. to give, send, emit, provide, put, release vt. give, put, send, place, release, emit, cause
n. giving, transfer, exchange
verb/goal qu4 tawa prep. going to, toward; for; from the perspective of
mod. moving
prep. to, in order to, towards, for, until
vi. go to, walk, travel, move, leave
n. movement, transportation
mod. moving, mobile
vt. move, displace
verb/goal yao4 wile pre-verb must, need, require, should, want, wish vt. to want, need, wish, have to, must, will, should
n. desire, need, will
mod. necessary
verb/goal jiao lape mod. sleeping, resting sleep, rest
mod. sleeping, of sleep
verb/goal/good verb/goal/good dai3 ike mod. bad, negative; non-essential, irrelevant mod. bad, negative, wrong, evil, overly complex, (figuratively) unhealthy
interj. oh dear! woe! alas!
n. negativity, badness, evil
vt. to make bad, to worsen, to have a negative effect upon
vi. to be bad, to suck
sounds like icky
verb/goal/good hao3 pona mod. good, positive, useful; friendly, peaceful; simple n. good, simplicity, positivity
mod. good, simple, positive, nice, correct, right
interj. great! good! thanks! OK! cool! yay!
vt. improve, fix, repair, make good
describer beneficial; good
describer benevolent; altruistic, kind, symbiotic
describer helpful; cooperating
describer ideal
describer conducive to overall wellness
misc. verb+noun wu1 jaki mod. disgusting, obscene, sickly, toxic, unclean, unsanitary mod. dirty, gross, filthy
n. dirt, pollution, garbage, filth
vt. pollute, dirty
interj. ew! yuck!
misc. verb+noun tian2 suwi mod. sweet, fragrant; cute, innocent, adorable n. candy, sweet food
mod. sweet, cute
vt. sweeten
misc. ou2, hou2 mu interj (animal noise or communication) interj. woof! meow! moo! etc. (cute animal noise)
misc. dao4 nasin n. way, custom, doctrine, method, path, road n. way, manner, custom, road, path, doctrine, system, method
misc. ming2 nimi n. name, word n. word, name
misc. pu mod. interacting with the official Toki Pona book

Some quantity and number words