gepatroj - what if both are women? .
If one's parents are both women, does "gepatroj" change, or is there a biological component to this word?
Troubled by Esperanto's gender assumptions? Not sure how to indicate a lack of gender? Don't fit into the masculine/feminine divide? Become an iĉisto today!
As an iĉisto, you can:
- Assume all words are non-gendered by default
- Use -iĉo as a masculine equivalent for -ino, in cases where gender matters
- Impress other esperantistojn with how hipster you are
- Entirely eliminate that pesky ge- prefix
In this example, you would just use "patroj", then use "patriĉo" if you needed to refer to a father specifically, just as you'd use "patrino" to refer to a mother.
If you're speaking with someone who is dismissive of iĉistoj, you can make a point of adding "ge-" to everything. "Mi iris al la gedoktoro hieraŭ." "Kial estas via gefilo?" "La gekelnero estas ĉi tie, ni devas mendi."
And when they say, "Patrino de Dio, ĵus diru kelnero!" you can honestly answer, "Sed vi ne scius, se mi sencas 'vira kelnero' aŭ 'ia kelnero'."
And they'll respond: "Mi malamas vin. Ne diru kun mi refoje." Doesn't that sound nice?
In the past gender was more important to specify. Now even patroj should do as gender neutral. Patrinoj would be more specific, but not fully precise as there's only one biological mother, and could mean a group of mothers (in some contexts)... Gepatroj should mean parents, both or any sexes. Maybe femala gepatroj?
People handle this in multiple ways.
Here is the original way:
There is simply no gender neutrality, you must represent the genders in the words you use, even if the gender is completely irrelevant and superfluous information. Unfortunately this limits the use of Esperanto in cultures where this information could get people killed and arrested but I digress. "Gepatroj", at least one mother and father. "Patroj", fathers. "Patrinoj", mothers. Representation of other genders in familial terms was also not written in as Zamenhof is but one person and the likelihood of meeting such individuals is low enough that he likely never met anyone like that or if he did then he did not know it.
Here is a different way that people do use as well:
Simply use ge- as a gender neutral prefix. Even the Duolingo course actually does this as they always translate "gepatroj" as "parents" and "geavoj" as "grandparents". In original Esperanto those words mean "an unknown number of both male and female parents/grandparents". Myself, I like this way better as having a prefix for gender neutrality is more useful in actual conversation than a prefix for specifically denoting two genders as well as being more informative than having to guess whether someone is referring to males or no gender. It is however, what it is.
Then there are the followers of iĉismo:
They use "patro" as "parent" and never "father", "patriĉo" as "father", "patrino" as mother and maintain "gepatroj" as "an unknown number of both mothers and fathers"
Thee is completely wrong. "Patro" means "father", not merely "parent", full stop. It does not contain any sort of "gender neutrality" nuance in any way. It denotes the male parent to a person. Therefore, you DO need the 'ge-" prefix (along with the plural -j) to translate the English word "parents" Anything else is not correct Esperanto.
I don't disagree with you as far as "patro" no meaning "parent", I have learned recently from Bertilo that Zamenhof did not seem to anticipate this problem.
I do disagree in the incorrect statement: Therefore, you DO need the 'ge-" prefix (along with the plural -j) to translate the English word "parents
As far as correct Esperanto goes, there does not exist a word in Esperanto that translates to the English word "parents".
In English, the word "parents" is gender neutral. In Esperanto(unchanged from Zamenhof), there are no gender neutral familial words. People just use words as if they are now, such as you suggestion of "ge" which actually in Esperanto means "of both genders", or the iĉisma lack of a prefix. If you are translating the word "parents" then you are either using incorrect English or incorrect Esperanto.
EDIT: rev_ero had shown the way that you must translate these to be correct and that means throwing the word "parents" out the window and using correct meanings.
"At least one mother and father" - Gepatroj
"Multiple fathers" - Patroj
"Multiple mothers" - Patrinoj
I think that if you are introducing your parents, I would use "gepatroj." If you want to be specific, you can say "miaj gepatroj estas ambaux patrinoj" or "miaj gepatroj estas ambaux inaj." To me, the concept of "parents" doesn't have a biological component. "Father" and "mother" would be, to me, a biological statement, but "mom" and "dad" would not. A nicely confusing question!
Wrong. You have two or more mothers: patrinoj. You have two or more fathers: patroj. You have at least one mother and one father: gepatroj. No matter if you are adopted by none, one or all of them.
Esperanto is not English (or other language) with other words. Personal concepts don't mind in the meaning of these Esperanto words. Just because you have to talk with people. And it's suposed you are going to talk with people with a very different cultural backgrounds not just with yourself.