The Zompist Phrasebook
by Mark Rosenfelder at

Translated into Toki Pona by "Pije" (Bryant Knight). See other translations at

The author and translators disclaim all responsibility for the results of use of these expressions under field conditions. Use in a well-ventilated area. Do not expose to open flame. No user-serviceable parts inside. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting.

General Expressions

I wish to complain.
ni li ike. mi wile toki tawa jan lawa.

It's better in the States.
ni li pona mute lon ma Mewika. ona li pona lili lon ma ni.

How much is that in real money?
mi wile pana e mani pona. sina wile e mute seme?

Don't you speak English?
sina toki e toki Inli, anu seme?

At the hotel

Do all your maids smoke?
jan pali sina ali li kepeken e palisa kasi jaki seli, anu seme?

I'm coming, you silly runt!
jan nasa o, mi kama!

How do I get Letterman?
mi wile lukin e sitelen tawa pi jan Letterman.

If you go to the USA, you'll find that a dime is a lot of money.
sina tawa ma Mewika la sina kama sona e ni: mani lili ni li mani mute.

There's a corpse on the bed. Please change the sheets.
sijelo moli li lon supa lape mi. o pana e len sin.

The bellboy won't score me any coke.
jan pali li kama ala jo e ko walo wawa tawa mi.

Making friends

Just a small glass, please
mi wile e poki lili.

My God, I didn't mean microscopic.
a! sina pana e poki lili lili lili.

I understand your language perfectly.
mi sona e toki pona sama jan nasa pi toki Lojban.

Has your nose always been that way?
tenpo ali la nena sina li sama ala sama ni?

I may be drunk, but tomorrow morning I shall be sober, and you will still be ugly.
mi nasa. taso tenpo suno kama la mi pona. sina ike lukin kin.

So you've been to _____? You must know my Aunt Meredith.
sina tawa ma _____? sina sona e jan Mewete. ona li jan sama pi mama mi.

Stupid uncultured lout.
jan nasa tan ma nasa

Did your face get that way in the war?
tenpo utala la jan li pakala ala pakala e sinpin sina?

Don't "imperialist pig" me, my good man.
jan pona o toki ala e "soweli ike" tawa mi.

I would very much like to meet you again when you are sober.
sina nasa ala la mi wile lukin sin e sina.

No, I've always enjoyed simple-minded ethnic humor.
sina ken toki musi e ike pi jan pi kule ante. ni li pona tawa mi.

That's not all! I have two more photo albums!
mi pini ala! mi jo e sitelen sin mute!

Did you hear the one about the Polish guy who called the travel agency and asked, "I want to know how long it takes to fly from here to Warsaw," and the receptionist says, "Just a minute", and the Polish guy says, "Thanks, goodbye."?
sina kute ala kute e ni?: jan pi toki Lojban li wile tawa ma Epanja. ona li toki e ni: "mi wile tawa ma Epanja. tenpo pi mute seme la mi awen lon tomo tawa kon?" jan li toki e ni: "tenpo lili la o awen." jan pi toki Lojban li toki e ni: "sina pona. mi tawa!"

Do you have highways in your country?
nasin suli li lon ala lon ma sina?

A little romance

I love you, will you marry me?
mi olin e sina. sina wile ala wile unpa e mi?

Girls with big mazongas usually can't rhumba so well.
meli li jo e nena sike suli la ona li ken ala tawa musi pona.

You're very pretty for a foreigner.
jan mute pi ma ante li ike lukin. taso sina pona lukin.

Kiss me, my fool.
jan nasa mi o pilin e uta mi kepeken uta sina.

All right, all right, let's meet your parents.
pona. pona. mi mute o tawa mama sina.

Your mascara is peeling.
ko sina pi pona lukin li kama weka.

That's got to be silicon.
jan li suli ala suli e nena sike?

I've never thought that 'impotent' means you can't have a good time.
mi wawa ala. taso mi ken musi kin.

I admire you above all for your purity of spirit and your appreciation of the arts.
sina wile uta e palisa mi la ni li pona.


What a stench.
kon jaki!

Is this the way to Red Square?
nasin ni li tawa ala tawa ma Lenin?

Where can I find the dissidents?
jan li toki e ni: nasin pi ma ni li ike. jan ni li lon seme?

Is that Notre Dame or the Louvre?
ni li tomo Notre Dame anu tomo Louvre?

Back home we'd call this a village.
jan pi ma mi li toki e ni: ma tomo ni li lili.

Your country has such lovely dirt.
jaki pi ma sina li pona lukin.

I don't suppose there's anything but churches here.
mi pilin e ni: ma ni li jo taso e tomo pi nasin sewi.

I bet those machine guns are fake.
ilo moli sina li ken ala moli e ijo.

Are all of your jails this filthy?
tomo awen ali li jaki ala jaki lon ma ni?

Yessir, you folks certainly have made a mess of this country.
sina mute li pakala kin e ma ni.

You wouldn't have these ghettos if you people were willing to work.
sina wile pali la sina jo ala e ma tomo jaki ike ni.

Could I see some merchandise that the rats haven't found?
soweli jaki li moku e ijo ni. sina jo ala jo e ijo ante?

It's nothing compared to our shopping centers.
esun pi ma mi li suli. ni li lili.


Follow that car.
o tawa lon monsi pi tomo tawa ni.

Slow down, you cretin!
jan nasa o, tenpo lili la sina tawa mute! ike!

My wife fell overboard about ten miles back.
tenpo pini la meli mi li tawa anpa tan tomo ni.

Make sure my seat isn't next to any Lojban-speakers.
mi wile ala lon poka pi jan pi toki Lojban.

Is this tin can insured?
jan li pakala e poki lili ni la sina ken ala ken kama jo e mani?

Where can I rent a camel?
mi wile jo e soweli tawa. esun soweli li lon seme?

Officer, this is an outrage.
jan wawa o, ni li ike!

How about a little contribution for the Policemen's Ball?
mi wile pana e mani tawa musi pi jan wawa.

I'm a personal friend of the Ambassador.
mi sona e jan suli pi ma mi lon ma ni. ona li jan pona mi.

Oh, sure, you're going to shoot me, right?
sina wile moli e mi!?! a a a!

Understanding directions

Yonder. Hither and thither.
weka. o tawa ni.

Down the street. Around the block. Past the river.
lon nasin ni. tawa nasin ante. o tawa poka ante.

Across the bridge. Two blocks down. Go that way.
o kepeken e tomo tawa. jan pi ma ni li wile pakala e sina.

Where is the Cathedral?
tomo unpa li lon seme?

I know I'm naked, could you just tell me how to get back to the hotel?
mi sona e ni: mi jo ala e len. tomo mi li lon seme?

I must compliment you on your understanding of our language.
jan nasa o, sina sona e toki mi, anu seme?

This is the third time I've told you, so listen up this time.
tenpo mute la mi toki e ni tawa sina. o kute!

At the restaurant

One order of fermé le mercredi, please.
mi wile e "tenpo pimeja la tomo ni li open ala."

Two beers, please. -- Two beers for me too.
o pana e telo nasa tu. -- mi kin li wile e telo nasa tu.

I'm sorry, we don't serve tourists here.
mi mute li pana ala e moku tawa jan pi ma ante.

Could I have some clean water?
mi wile e telo pi jaki ala.

Can I have fries with that?
mi wile e moku Mewika.

Waiter, there's a fly in my soup.
jan pali o, pipi li lon moku mi.

You call this beer?
sina toki ala toki e ni?: ni li telo nasa.

Stop laughing and bring me the bill.
o pini toki e "a a a." mi wile pana e mani.

I know I ate it, but I didn't order it.
mi moku e ona. taso mi toki ala e ni: mi wile e ona.

Intellectual exchanges

Impressed as I am with the New Wave in cinematography, I must say that this particular film seemed both pretentious and unsatisfying, and that the director's imagery, though compelling, is no substitute for a true cinematic message.
sitelen tawa ni li ike.

Well, you see, we thought at the time that a limited engagement in Vietnam was necessary to prevent the rise of Soviet Communism.
mi mute li pilin e ni: mi mute li utala lili lon ma Wije la nasin Soviet ike li tawa ala ma ante.

I just don't know what Charles saw in that horse-faced girl.
meli ni li lukin sama soweli. jan Sawa li wile e ona tan seme?

Have you ever considered that we might be insulted because you haven't learned English?
sina sona ala e toki Inli. ni li ike tawa mi mute.

If I died tonight I'd be saved, but you would burn in hell.
mi moli la mi tawa ma sewi pona. taso sina moli la sina seli lon ma anpa ike.

Has there been any real intellectual life in your country since    (person's name)   ?
jan ____ li sona kin. taso jan ante ali pi ma sina li nasa.