sina ike mute tawa mi tan seme?

English Translation

Why are you being so mean to me?

“Toki Pona” is a minimalistic constructed language created by Sonja Lang. It is designed to express maximal meaning with minimal complexity. The sentence you have given, “sina ike mute tawa mi tan seme?” can be broken down and explained as follows in Toki Pona grammar and vocabulary:

  • sina: you (subject pronoun)
  • ike: bad, negative
  • mute: a lot, much, many (used here as an intensifier for ‘ike’)
  • tawa: to, towards, for (used here to indicate the direction of the action towards “mi”)
  • mi: me, I (object pronoun)
  • tan: because of, from, cause
  • seme?: what? (used here to ask the reason or cause)

Putting the elements together, the sentence “sina ike mute tawa mi tan seme?” translates to “Why are you so bad to me?” or more literally, “You are very bad towards me because of what?” Essentially, the speaker is asking for the reason behind the recipient’s negative actions or behavior towards them.

Breaking down each part:

  • “sina ike mute” translates to “you [are] very bad”
  • “tawa mi” means “towards me”
  • “tan seme?” is asking “because of what?” or simply “why?”

In Toki Pona, the sentence structure is Subject-Verb-Object, and the modifiers (like adjectives and adverbs) always follow the word they are modifying. Therefore, “ike” follows “sina” to describe the subject’s action or quality, and “mute” follows “ike” to intensify it. The prepositional phrase “tawa mi” indicates the direction of “sina ike mute,” and “tan seme?” asks for the reason