Language learning: How to speak Toki Pona, translation problems, advice, memory aids, tools and methods to learn Toki Pona and other languages faster
Lingva lernado: Kiel paroli Tokiponon, tradukproblemoj, konsiloj, memoraj helpiloj, iloj kaj metodoj por pli rapide lerni Tokiponon kaj aliajn lingvojn
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:24 pm

Re: Fluency

Postby Baerdric » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:06 am

Well, for the sake of conversation, I'm willing to hold that he was fluent but with a small vocabulary.

I think, like a lot of things, we try to overload one term with meanings that are best described with other terms. We say fluent when we mean fluent and large vocabulary and good grammar and perhaps "thinking in the language" and maybe other things. But fluidity of speech (which, again, I am holding the side of the conversation that says it's mostly the physical skill with the language), is an independent quality. The quantity of those other variables does not directly affect the quantity of it.

I have a large vocabulary in English, but in person I tend to stammer, hesitate, search for words, and, as in my writing, I often get lost in parenthetical remarks. But some folks with a tenth of my vocabulary can talk circles around me. I'm going to say that they are more fluent.
I answer to jan Linja Sinpin Loje but you can call me jan Loje

Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:13 am

Re: Fluency

Postby natan » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:24 am

fluent adj. 1. able to express oneself easily and articulately: a fluent speaker and writer on technical subjects.

As jan Loje mentioned, someone with a small vocabulary who can "easily and articulately" express themselves is fluent. Someone who is not able to do this (regardless of vocubulary size) is obviously not.

I may be fluent in basic woodwork techniques, but not fluent on more advanced ones, as the basic ones I use over and over, while advanced ones I use seldom.

Believe jan Loje may have meant:
The quantity of those other variables does not directly affect the quality of it.


Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:44 am

Re: Fluency

Postby janpona120 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:36 am

The fluentest speaker is a river.

jan li toki telo -- a fluent person

jan li toki pakala -- a tongue-tied person
jan li toki suwi -- a sirenical person

User avatar
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:14 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Fluency

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:42 am


To me, "toki telo" sounds like "liquid language", because "telo" is "fluid", not "flowing". Therefore, "tawa" should be used. But "toki tawa" sounds like "moving language" but communication should always be directed... so, in order to express the metaphor of "fluent", I would suggest to think of "moving water" ("river") instead:

→ mi toki pi telo tawa. (I'm talking riverishly.)
→ mi toki sama telo tawa. (I'm talking like a river.)

Without that metaphor, I would go with something with "lon tenpo lili" ("fast").

→ mi sona toki lon tenpo lili. (I know how to talk in a small amount of time. I'm capable of speaking fast.)

Not to be confused with:

→ mi kama sona toki lon tenpo lili. (I'm learning to speak in a small amount of time. I'm learning fast how to speak. Soon I will know how to speak.)

jan Tepan
jan Tepan: "o pilin pona o pu!"

Posts: 2741
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Fluency

Postby janKipo » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:22 pm

I welcome the move from trying to define fluency to trying to find a way to say it in tp, although I see that the old problems merely resurface in new guises. Does 'telo' imply "flowing" (could "panta rhei" be 'ali li telo')? I don't think so; 'tawa' seems safer, although it does always imply a destination, however weakly. Talking fast (or briefly -- 'lon tenpo lili' works for "fast" only when we have a fixed amount of work to get through) (We need to distinguish between me 'mi kama sona toki lon tenpo lili' from 'mi kama sona toki, lon tenpo lili' here (those commas come in handy), i.e., between taking little time to learn to speak and learning to take little time to speak. tp is not very good on this, alas.) In any case, fast talking (or brief talking for that matter) don't seem to me to be necessarily related to fluency so much as possibly glibness (not generally a desirable characteristic).

Return to “kama sona toki”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest