The State of Toki Pona

How’s it doing? Toki pona hit peak popularity in 2007, when there were more google searches for “toki pona“, more posts to the yahoo mailing list than any an other year since it was invented in 2001.  It’s a top 500,000 website according to Alexa.  According to the way back machine, the tokipona.org website got the most updates in 2003.   Toki pona has 400,000 google hits vs  845,000 for Klingon, 890,000 for lojban, 309,000 for Sindarian and 29 million for Esperanto, at least as of late 2009.

I’m baffled by the lojban hit number.  Lojban is considered barely speakable.  People must be using these subliminal, “Learn Lojban” CDs from Amazon. (I’m not kidding, click the link!)

For small languages people study whatever happens to have materials available. Rumor is that the long awaited book is on the way.  I sure hope so, because up to now, you often had to scrounge for content to read and many questions of the language’s definition were addressed in an authoritative source.

In my spare time I study Icelandic.  I’m just as unlikely to run into anyone who speaks Tocharian or Faeroese as Icelandic, but Icelandic happens to have better study materials and I can find reading material on the internet.  I think the same is true for conlangs, people study what there is materials for.

3 thoughts on “The State of Toki Pona

  1. In what way is lojban barely speakable? It is more verbose, but that doesn’t mean that it’s unspeakable.

  2. Matt is right. Lojban is a thought experiment. I have some plans to increase our speakers’ opportunities to gain fluency, but even if those plans don’t work out, Lojban is still a success, even without speakers.

    -Matt Arnold
    President, Board of Directors, Logical Language Group