I saw a post on twitter about creating a "Japanized" version of toki pona. Has anyone done that? toki pona certainly seems to be influenced at least a little bit by Japanese anyway (word structure/particles). The poster suggested starting by substituting the vocabulary with the equivalent Japanese words, which would be a little difficult, because tp words can vary quite a bit in meaning so it's difficult to fit them into one word/kanji. Kanji are usually chosen with simplicity in mind first, over having the exact equivalent meaning. 'lon' for example can mean at/in/on, but also means true/real/alive. 在 is the standard kanji used. 'tawa' can be go/move (could be 行?), but also means for (as in 'for me/you'). Officially 去 is used. The word 'toki' could be 話 (hana, speak) or 語 (go, language) depending on the context, but generally 言(gen?) is used.(言良-good statement/quote 話良-good speech, & 語良-good language, would all normally just be written as 言良). Has anybody created a list of toki pona words with the equivalent Japanese words? I use the seperate kanji as well as unofficial words like te...to for surrounding quotes

  • 2
    It sounds like you're confusing Japanese with Chinese. "去" does not mean "go/move" in Japanese (but it does mean "go" in Chinese.) 行く (iku) is "to go" in Japanese. And 在 is not used to mean "at/on/in" in Japanese (上 is "on", 中 is "in" depending on context, and "at" could be に also depending on context,) but it does mean "at" in Chinese.
    – Lou
    Sep 21, 2020 at 13:33
  • Kanji selection is difficult because most words have a few different meanings. 去 is used for 'tawa' go/move as well as 'for' like "for me" & is translated as go in Chinese according to G translate & 'leaving' in Japanese. 在 is translated as 'in/at/on' which matches G translate. 上 is up/above/divine. Very often kanji are chosen for simplicity (easy to write), over exact translation.
    – jastako
    Sep 21, 2020 at 14:42
  • Google Translate is going to give you an approximation of the language at best, not the real thing. The character 去 was historically used in a word meaning "to go", but now is uncommon for this purpose, and is instead found combined with other kanji in words like 去年 "last year", and 過去 "the past". It is used as the verb "to go" (pronounced qu4) in Chinese. Japanese does not use 在 in the context you specify either (but Chinese does.) In Japanese, it is used in words such as "existence" 存在 and "the present" 現在. And so on ...
    – Lou
    Sep 21, 2020 at 14:55
  • So I can't answer your direct question, as I have not seen any instances of Japanese / Toki Pona inspired conlangs. If you were to embark upon the project yourself, I would advise you to study some Japanese directly first, and not rely on Translate for your sources of information, as you will almost certainly get it wrong if you do.
    – Lou
    Sep 21, 2020 at 14:57
  • I use Jisho.org occasionally too although I don't know how reliable it is, & according to it, 在, 行 & 此 could be used for 'lon', 'tawa', & 'ni' (this/here) respectively, but not 去. jisho.org/search/%E5%9C%A8%E5%8E%BB%E8%A1%8C%E6%AD%A4
    – jastako
    Sep 21, 2020 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


There's a list of Chinese symbols that can be used for toki pona words on the official toki pona website. I know I saw something on Reddit about a week or two ago that said that there was somebody trying to create a mapping system for kanji for toki pona, but he hasn't uploaded a finalised version from what I've seen.

  • tokipona.net/tp/Compress.aspx has conversion to & from both Hanzi(Chinese) & Kanji(Japanese) as well a unicode character set. The word list also gives both the Hanzi & Kanji.
    – jastako
    Oct 22, 2020 at 3:19


The “unified” is a good idea, so that more people can use it. More specifically:

  1. It should be classic or historical usage of kanji usage, which basically means we should focus on classic hanzi usage
  2. Note that classic hanzi usage is different from today’s hanzi usage. This means we are not too much biased towards Chinese language, not today’s at least.
  3. However, we should used the “simplified”, so that the system can be used by people from other areas. Effectively the system can be used as a practical browser or typing friendly option that is similar to emoji, but fits more serious occasions.

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