Quick questions

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
SoweliTeloNasa
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Quick questions

Postby SoweliTeloNasa » Wed May 02, 2018 1:41 pm

A friend and I have been learning toki pona and just want to clear up things we couldn't find examples for.

Can you modify verbs in general or is kin an exception? If I wanted eat a fruit quickly which would be correct?
mi moku wawa e kili : i quickly eat the fruit
mi moku e kili poka wawa : i eat the fruit with speed

mute vs kin vs wawa
If you can modify verbs, which I'm assuming you can since kin does, then how do you know when something is modified vs just another verb. For example,
mi wile wawa e ilo : either 'i want to energize the tool' or 'I fiercely need the tool'.
I assumed it was just easier to say 'mi wile kin e ilo' if you really want the tool and that even though mute can be 'a lot', it has more to do with quantity so doesn't really modify verbs.

If 'mi wile moku e kala' is 'I want to eat the fish' then where does 'ala' go to say you don't want to eat fish.
mi wile ala moku e kala
or
mi wile moku ala e kala

Last question, do all proper nouns work like people's names? I read you translate to the right letters for toki pona and put 'jan' in front of it for people. So Chris might become 'jan Kis'? Does that mean that the Amazon building would be the 'tomo Amason', the webpage might be 'sitelen Amason', French food is 'moku Kanse', and so on?

pona

janKipo
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Re: Quick questions

Postby janKipo » Wed May 02, 2018 3:03 pm

So, to start with ‘kin’. This doesn’t modify the word before in the same way that, say, ‘mute’ or ‘wawa’ does, but merely is the equivalent of saying the word more forcefully. What that means practically varies with cases. The most common choices are 1. to contrast or add to something said before, as in “jan San li tawa ma tomo Loma’ ‘mi kin’ “Sam is going to Rome. “Me, too”, or ’jan san li tawa ma tomo Loma’ ‘mi Paki kin’ ‘Sam is going to Rome”” Me to Paris.”. 2. To correct something said ‘jan San li tawa ma tomo Loma’ ‘Paki kin’ “Sam is going to rome” “No, Paris” or 'jan San tawa ma tomo Paki’ ‘li kin’. “You forgot the ‘li’”. 3. To indicate an emotional response to something as being particularly (un)desirable or excellent (or horrible) ‘ona li tawa kin’. “He really travelled”(probably fast), ‘mi wile kin e ni”. “I really want that” (also -- and maybe more clearly -- ‘mi wile mute e ni’’).

“I eat the fruit quickly." ‘wawa’ does mean “fast” but usually with verbs of motion (‘tawa’ and ‘kama’) and there as part of its general meaning of “strongly”. I’m not sure what it means with ‘moku’, maybe “fast” but maybe just biting down hard or some other sign of strength. ‘poka wawa’. “accompanied by strength” doesn’t make a lot of sense, so probably you mean “kepeken wawa” using strength (also “with” in English). But the safest way is ‘kepeken tenpo lili’. “fast” = “using little time”.

As noted, modifiers do modify verbs and, alas, when the verb is a modal (pre-verb), they can also be the head (and maybe the whole) of the following predicate. You have to be sensitive to context here -- or try to write a different sentence. ‘mi wile kin/wawa/mute e ni’ is safest with ‘kin’, of coruse, since it can’t serve as a predicate head. In the other cases, you just have to know what the person wants: the thing or doing something (strengthening, enlarging) it.

Generally, ‘ala’ goes after the main verb (right after ‘li’). "I want to not eat the fish”, ‘mi wile moku ala e kala’ needs as special a context as the corresponding English does.

The whole issue of how unofficial words (loosely called proper names) work in toki pona is a muddle, but mainly terminological. Generally, there is one word (an adjective) for a selected individual: a person, place, corporation, etc. and all the related notions use that adjective with distinguishing supporting nouns. So, ’Sonko’ is the word for China (the country) and so is used for the country ‘ma Sonko’, the language ’toki Sonko’, the people ‘(kulupu) jan Sonko’, the food, ‘moku Sonko’ and so on. For English it is the word for the language which takes precedent. There is no pattern; you just learn them. There are some problem in that “John’s food”, for example, is not usually ‘moku Jon’ but ‘moku pi jan Jon’, unless John is a restaurateur and this is food from the restaurant rather than his own meal. Navigation can, apparently, be tricky sometimes.

SoweliTeloNasa
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Re: Quick questions

Postby SoweliTeloNasa » Wed May 02, 2018 3:21 pm

pona :)

sina sitelen tawa mi kepeken tenpo lili.

I've found there always seems to be a simpler or safer way to say ambiguous things and I love all the weird ways your brain has to think about the words. 'Using little time' and 'moku wawa' as 'eating to show strength' might be some of my new favorites.

janKipo
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Re: Quick questions

Postby janKipo » Wed May 02, 2018 4:59 pm

poka la kama pona taw toki pona. o awen sitelen. o kama lon lipu pi Facebook toki pona en Facebook Learn toki pona. ona li jo e jan pi mute mute lipu ni.

I’m not sure I would use ‘moku wawa’ for “eating to show strength”. It is more eating in a way that shows strength. “Eating to do something” is ‘moku tawa pali...’ but I am not sure how to say “show strength” without an. indication of whom I am showing it to.

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janTepanNetaPelin
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Re: Quick questions

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Wed May 02, 2018 5:27 pm

SoweliTeloNasa wrote:Can you modify verbs in general or is kin an exception? If I wanted eat a fruit quickly which would be correct?
mi moku wawa e kili : i quickly eat the fruit
mi moku e kili poka wawa : i eat the fruit with speed


Yes, you can modify verbs in general. "mi moku wawa" could work for "I eat quickly", I think, but I would prefer a more verbose "mi moku pi tawa wawa" ("I eat speedy"), since "tawa wawa" is used for running/speeding, as it makes it less likely to read the sentence as "I eat strongly".
"mi moku pi tawa wawa e kili."

Instead of "poka" I would use "kepeken". With "tawa wawa":
"mi moku e kili kepeken tawa wawa."

More pona might be:
"mi moku e kili lon tenpo lili."
https://github.com/stefichjo/toki-pona (mi sitelen e lipu ni pi toki pona)
mi jan Tepan. mi pu. mi weka e jan nasa.

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janTepanNetaPelin
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Re: Quick questions

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Wed May 02, 2018 5:43 pm

SoweliTeloNasa wrote:mute vs kin vs wawa
If you can modify verbs, which I'm assuming you can since kin does, then how do you know when something is modified vs just another verb. For example,
mi wile wawa e ilo : either 'i want to energize the tool' or 'I fiercely need the tool'.
I assumed it was just easier to say 'mi wile kin e ilo' if you really want the tool and that even though mute can be 'a lot', it has more to do with quantity so doesn't really modify verbs.


Good point. It may be clearer to use "kin" (or "a", which is synonymous in the official dictionary), in such an edge-case.

P.S.: "kin" could either replace "mute" or modify it:
"mi wile kin e ilo."
"mi wile pi mute kin e ilo."

I would still expect a simpler "mi wile mute e ilo" guessing that the risk of reading it "I want to multiply the tool" is small.
https://github.com/stefichjo/toki-pona (mi sitelen e lipu ni pi toki pona)
mi jan Tepan. mi pu. mi weka e jan nasa.

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janTepanNetaPelin
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Re: Quick questions

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Wed May 02, 2018 6:09 pm

SoweliTeloNasa wrote:Last question, do all proper nouns work like people's names? I read you translate to the right letters for toki pona and put 'jan' in front of it for people. So Chris might become 'jan Kis'? Does that mean that the Amazon building would be the 'tomo Amason', the webpage might be 'sitelen Amason', French food is 'moku Kanse', and so on?

pona


"mi wile ala moku e kala" is correct.

An observation I would like to share: "ala" is not an auxiliary verb. It does modify "wile", though, whereas other "normal" words are avoided (but perhaps not impossible) in this position, i.e. between an auxiliary verb ("wile") and the main verb ("moku"). Instead, an ordinary modifier like "mute" would go after the main verb:
"mi wile moku mute e kala."

Or even further:
"mi wile moku e kala mute."

I would try "jan Ki" in order to preserve the number of syllables, but "jan Kisi" might also work. "tomo Amason", "lipu Amason" (or "lipu sona Amason"), "moku Kanse" are perfect.
https://github.com/stefichjo/toki-pona (mi sitelen e lipu ni pi toki pona)
mi jan Tepan. mi pu. mi weka e jan nasa.

SoweliTeloNasa
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 8:43 am

Re: Quick questions

Postby SoweliTeloNasa » Thu May 03, 2018 10:40 am

Based on what y'all have said about wawa, it sounds like one the my examples,
mi wile wawa e ilo.
would only ever mean 'I want to energize/power-up the the tool'? or something like 'I want (in a way that shows power/dominance) the tool', which seems like it wouldn't be used very often. I had read wawa used as 'electricity' in another post, is that correct?

The more I think about it, there seems to be a lot of ambiguous nouns.

jan lili : child or few people
jan pona : friend or repair person
ilo wawa : power tool or gun (dominance tool) maybe

We've usually just elaborated a little to clarify but do people use them as puns or some clever word play in toki pona? I think our ability to translate is far off from doing it on purpose, but I feel like toki pona has to have jokes based on double meanings.

tenpo kama la mi wile toki e toki musi kepeken toki pona. :)

Random side note. Is there a common way to say 'difficult' in toki pona? My google searching lead me to an article where people used 'palisa' but I thought there might be a better way.

SoweliTeloNasa
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 8:43 am

Re: Quick questions

Postby SoweliTeloNasa » Thu May 03, 2018 10:59 am

pona kin. sina mute li pona. mi toki kepeken toki ike mute. taso sina mute li pona e sona mi.

If my toki pona wasn't clear, just want to thank y'all for helping me with all the random questions.

tenpo lili la mi toki wawa lon lipu kulupu sin. :)

Pretty sure wawa isn't needed there but just imagining wawa after most verbs as a 'in a way to show dominance' or maybe just confidence in this case, just amuses me to no end.

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janTepanNetaPelin
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Re: Quick questions

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Thu May 03, 2018 3:54 pm

SoweliTeloNasa wrote:Based on what y'all have said about wawa, it sounds like one the my examples,
mi wile wawa e ilo.
would only ever mean 'I want to energize/power-up the the tool'? or something like 'I want (in a way that shows power/dominance) the tool', which seems like it wouldn't be used very often. I had read wawa used as 'electricity' in another post, is that correct?

The more I think about it, there seems to be a lot of ambiguous nouns.

jan lili : child or few people
jan pona : friend or repair person
ilo wawa : power tool or gun (dominance tool) maybe

We've usually just elaborated a little to clarify but do people use them as puns or some clever word play in toki pona? I think our ability to translate is far off from doing it on purpose, but I feel like toki pona has to have jokes based on double meanings.

tenpo kama la mi wile toki e toki musi kepeken toki pona. :)

Random side note. Is there a common way to say 'difficult' in toki pona? My google searching lead me to an article where people used 'palisa' but I thought there might be a better way.


Yes: I want to energize/power-up the the tool
No: I want (in a way that shows power/dominance) the tool

Since electricity is a form of energy, "wawa" is a good translation for it.

Imitating official "pona lukin" ("good to look at" = "beautiful"), "pona pali" comes to mind ("good to do" = "easy") and its opposite "ike pali" - "difficult".

You probably found "pasila" (from Esperanto "facila"), which means "easy", but it's outdated and only used when talking about extinct words.
https://github.com/stefichjo/toki-pona (mi sitelen e lipu ni pi toki pona)
mi jan Tepan. mi pu. mi weka e jan nasa.


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