I managed to translate a lot of things but I'm stuck on a word. How to say "physics" (knowledge of the nature) in toki pona? A proposition for "nature" would also be appreciated.

linguistics: sona toki

geology: sona ma

medicine: sona pimejo

mechanics: sona wawa

quantum mechanics: sona lili


I did not find any solution on https://glosbe.com/en/mis_tok/.

4 Answers 4


sona lon. science of existence

  • 2
    What evidence do you have that this is used by people in the Toki Pona community to refer to physics?
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 15, 2019 at 12:45
  • 1
    The tp community does not use physics a lot, that is why I asked a question :)
    – user966
    Apr 20, 2019 at 11:51

It might be sona pi ijo tawa —knowledge of moving things— or sona pi ijo ante —knowledge of things that change.

  • I think "pona tawa" is enough but it describes cinetics which is only a part of physics.
    – user966
    Mar 23, 2019 at 20:35
  • pona tawa is "peace in movement". 🤭 I think you'd rather say sona tawa for "cinetics". 😉
    – KNTRO
    Mar 24, 2019 at 7:14
  • Yes I misspelled that ;)
    – user966
    Mar 24, 2019 at 7:15
  • 1
    Shouldn't this be sona pi ijo tawa and sona pi ijo ante? Since it is the ijo that moves and changes rather than the sona.
    – jan Emon
    Jul 27, 2021 at 9:39
  • Yes, I think adding the "pi" word makes the phrase easier to understand. 😉 I have updated my answer. Kudos to you! 👏🏽
    – KNTRO
    Jul 28, 2021 at 14:26

sijelo is "body, physical state", so you could use sona sijelo; physicists would probably like sona ale or sona ali, "knowledge of everything" :)

  • Great suggestion but I feel "sina sijelo" works better for medicine. Moreover, "sona ali" is overconsideration.
    – user966
    Mar 26, 2019 at 14:58
  • I agree with the point about medicine; my sona ali suggestion was somewhat tongue in cheek. But then, you trade simplicity for precision in toki pona, so I would still see it as a valid choice in the context of sciences. Mar 26, 2019 at 16:48

To capture all of physics, perhaps "sona pi pali ijo" or simply "sona pali" (a knowledge of action). I prefer the former, since persons may tend to think only of human action with the latter, which may translate to "behavioral science", whereas the former is a bit more precise.

Physics is a general field that focuses on the behavior of things in our universe, finding explanations for their actions and the interactions that occur between things. The term is also a little more precise than "sona ijo", since Physics doesn't (correct me if I'm wrong) really answer questions like 'what structure a thing has', but would rather more specifically answer 'how did the thing's structure come to be'.

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