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toki pona keyboard layout

toki pona keyboard layout

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Inspired by jan Misali’s toki pona ASCII syllabary, I had an idea: what would such a syllabary look like if the final “n” was treated as a separate syllable (like in Japanese)? How far could it be compressed?

The end result of my experiments turned out to look like this:

   ┌───┬───┬───┬───┬───┐
   │-i │-u │-e │-o │-a │
┌──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤
│ -│ i │ u │ e │ o │ a │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤ ┌───┐
│m-│ I │ 3 │ M │ X │ x │ │ - │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤─├───┤
│n-│ y │ Y │ N │ H │ h │ │ n │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤─└───┘
│p-│ b │ B │ P │ F │ f │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤
│t-│###│ 2 │ T │ D │ d │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤
│k-│ q │ Q │ K │ G │ g │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤
│s-│ c │ C │ S │ Z │ z │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤
│w-│ v │###│ W │###│ 1 │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤
│l-│ J │ 5 │ L │ R │ r │
├──┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤
│j-│###│ U │ E │ O │ A │
└──┴───┴───┴───┴───┴───┘

To make the system easier to learn, the characters in it all follow a set of rules:

At the end, it completely used up all of the remaining lowercase and uppercase letters of the Latin alphabet, with the exception of V, as well as a few numbers. Which in turn made me think: how would it look as a keyboard layout?

┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬──────
│    │    │    │    │    │    │    │    │    │    │    │    │
│ wa │ tu │ mu │  4 │ lu │  6 │  7 │  8 │  9 │  0 │  - │  = │ Back
┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬───
 |<│ ku │ we │ je │ lo │ te │ nu │ ju │ mi │ jo │ pe │ {  │ }  │
 |>│ ki │ w  │  e │ la │ t  │ ni │  u │  i │  o │ p  │ [  │ ]  │
───┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬
 Caps │ ja │ se │ to │ po │ ko │ no │ li │ ke │ le │ :  │ "  │ │  │
 Lock │  a │ s  │ ta │ pa │ ka │ na │ j  │ k  │ l  │ ;  │ '  │ \  │
──────┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴──┬─┴────┴─
         │ so │ mo │ su │ lu │ pu │ ne │ me │  < │  > │  ? │
 Shift ^ │ sa │ ma │ si │ wi │ pi │ n  │ m  │  , │  . │  / │ Shift ^
─────────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────────

(In this version, uppercase V is also used for “lu”. After all, V is the Roman numeral for 5, and V is an easier key to reach than 5.)

toki pona smartphone keyboard layout

Of course, on smartphones, everything is much easier. You can use whatever layout you want. Here’s an Android-style virtual keyboard, modified to only include characters needed in toki pona (the ones shown on the upper part are the characters shown when holding the corresponding key down):

     ┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
     │VF  │?   │D   │'   │"   │:;  │BH  │
     │  w │  e │  t │  u │  i │  o │  p │
┌────├────┼────┼────┼────┼────┼────┼────┤────┐
│    │!@  │CXZ │#   │-+$ │Y   │GQ  │R   │Back│
│Shft│  a │  s │  n │  m │  j │  k │  l │ <- │
└────└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘────┘
│   #  │    │                    │    │      │    
│  123 │ ,  │ t o k i    p o n a │ .  │      │    
└──────┴────┴────────────────────┴────┴──────┘

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