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Toki Pona Forums • Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)
Page 1 of 3

Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:17 am
by janTe
A discussion in another thread made me think about how one would use the traditional Chinese calendar in Toki Pona. (The advantage of the traditional Chinese calendar is that the years aren't numbered; rather, they're assigned a name containing one of five elements and one of 12 animals, resulting in a 60-year cycle.)

In TP, we already have words for the 5 elements:
fire -- seli
water -- telo
earth -- ma
metal -- kiwen
wood -- kisa

And, to my surprise, we already have words for a lot of the animals.

From the draft wiki article on "mani", we have:
Ox -- mani wawa (lit: beast of burden)
Horse -- mani tawa (lit: mount)
Ram -- mani len (lit: livestock raised for fibre)

From the article on "akesi", we have:
Dragon -- akesi suli
Snake -- akesi linja

And we already have:
Rooster -- waso (lit: bird)
Dog -- soweli pona

That just leaves rat, tiger, rabbit, monkey, and pig.

So how would you translate those? I'm going to suggest:
Pig -- mani moku? (As a vegetarian, I hate to say this, but that's basically why pigs are kept as livestock)
Monkey -- soweli nasa?
Rat -- soweli jaki?
Tiger -- soweli suli?
Rabbit -- soweli lili?

(The Vietnamese use "cat" instead of "rabbit", so I somewhat like "soweli suli" for the year of the big cat, and "soweli lili" for the year of the small cat.)

Hmmm, I can't believe the Chinese calendar doesn't have a single kala or pipi :-(

I realise that naming years possibly goes against the spirit of TP, so I'd like to make clear that I'm not suggesting that anyone does this. I'm just wondering how one would do it.

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:58 pm
by janKipo
Year naming is probably more tp than year numbering (we have a lot of names, after all). How well this one would work is another matter. Maybe we should redo the names, using all the available tp terms for the biota -- still not enough: soweli, akesi, pipa, kala, waso, kasi, mani, pan(?). More?

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:59 pm
by janTe

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:47 pm
by janKipo

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:04 pm
by toto1980
can you tell me since when "mani" means "beast"? i got used to the meaning "money".

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:09 pm
by janTe
According to http://en.tokipona.org/wiki/Talk:mani, "mani" can be used to refer to livestock, or animals kept for trade.

It's part of a "draft", so I don't know how official it is, but it makes sense to me. It's an earlier concept of "money" that pre-dates cash.

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:59 pm
by toto1980
i think just "soweli" or, if needed, "soweli tomo" would be much better and more comprehendable. we aren't living in the earlier civilization after all. by the way, not only cattle was used as money. so i don't think we should make things so complicated and use the word "mani" in such situations. and, beside that, mind that "cattle (or sea-shells or something)" was used for "money" and not vice versa. so it would be more logical to abdicate from the word "mani" and not from "soweli tomo". but i would keep both in their original meaning.

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:11 pm
by janKipo
Well, 'mani' in the old sense didn't fit very well with the tp philosophy; the new sense works much better (the aura of that earlier civilization), Of course, 'mani' doesn't mean just cattle but sheep, goats, camels and camelids. probably pigs and maybe chickens (for small change). True, it does not cover cowry and other money shells as critters, only as units of exchange, but then, they weren't domesticated either. And, to the last point, money was used for cattle, after carrying a couple cows around in your toga got to be too inconvenient. And it is nice to free up 'soweli tomo' for pets (although, in some parts of the world, dogs might slide over the line a bit).
All of which is off the point of this section. What about Native American (First People) names for months (see the new discussion around 'mun' btw to get your longing for the good old days -- last week -- going).

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:03 am
by toto1980
pona! tenpo ni la ni li pona tawa mi. ni li nasa lili li ike lili tawa toki mi. taso tenpo kama la mi ken ante pona e pilin mi tawa nimi "mani". ni li pona.

Re: Chinese calendar? (tenpo sike pi jan Sonko)

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:23 pm
by janKipo
Lordy, I hope 'tawa' doesn't turn out to be the solution to the "about" problem; it is already overworked.
There is also the problem of a prep phrase modifying a noun phrase -- it isn't yet clear whether it is legit nor how exactly to do it if it is. At present, the 'tawa nimi' bit officially modifies 'ken ante,' which doesn't make a lot of sense.