tenpo suno pini la mi kama jo e toki sina.

English Translation

I received your message yesterday.

This is ChatGPTs breakdown and interpretation of the sentence. The fact that it produces such a different result in translation is symptomatic of the imprecision and lack of accuracy in Toki Pona. Neither translation is wrong, but they mean very different things. It makes actual communication sort of impossible

The sentence “tenpo suno pini la mi kama jo e toki sina.” is directly translated to English as “sun past time I become have your language”. This reads as “I learned your language yesterday” or “Yesterday, I began to understand your language.”

Here’s the grammar break-down:

  • “tenpo suno pini” is time related and means “yesterday”.
  • “la” separates a condition (in this case the time the action occurred) from its action.
  • “mi” indicates the subject “I”.
  • “kama jo e” means to acquire, gain, become or get.
  • “toki sina” means your language.

So, pieced together it reads: “Yesterday, I began to learn your language”.