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https://www.duolingo.com/JakeyGenius2004

Gender in Esperanto

JakeyGenius2004
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Okay, we all know the family words in Esperanto: patro is father, patrino, mother, and gepatroj, parents, and the same with other words. I was always under the impression parent was gepatro; however, I recently read this was not true. What's the right word, and if not gepatro, why not?

1 year ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DaveRutan
DaveRutan
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I think generally the best way to say 'parent' in Esperanto is 'patro aŭ patrino' or 'zorganto'. I realize that 'zorganto' actually means 'guardian' but isn't each parent a guardian at heart?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eo_
eo_
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gepatro - patro aŭ patrino.

http://vortaro.net/#gepatro

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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All that means is that someone edited that dictionary to include that information. I've given my thoughts on the matter above - and this entry (in Reta Vortaro) is just one of the many things I considered when coming to my conclusion.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZofiC
ZofiC
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I hate it that languages are so gender-defined. It's really irritating.

I always thought ge- could be used with a singular word, because using it in that context should still make sense to everyone. Right? I mean, for a language that's supposed to be universal, the least we could do is bend an affix to be gender-anonymous. Using ge- with a singular word isn't changing its both-sexes meaning, it's just sort of… expanding its meaning. That's how I see it at least, but I realize I'm not such a stickler for the 1880's rules.

Maybe people will sort this out in my lifetime, but I get the feeling I'll still be buried with the -in- suffix.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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Not all languages are quite so gender-defined. Just the European languages (and those based on them) seem to be particularly bad (although there are plenty of language groups I can't speak for).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziniamanto

I'd say languages where you have to be gender specific even on pronouns ("I (a male) love you (a female)" vs. "I (a female) love you (a male)" etc.) are quite a bit worse.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziniamanto

for the record, Esperanto, as a whole, is not "so gender-defined"; less than 20 words are.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZofiC
ZofiC
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True. I am thankful that both English and Esperanto don't assign gender to all nouns, adjectives, etc. I'm just being picky…. But in my defense, Esperanto promised me only the best.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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That is a real low ball estimate. There are "several dozen" inherently masculine words most referring to kinship, nobility, religious positions, and domestic animals and there are "several dozen" feminine roots most referring to women (and of course some are insults), professions (mostly related to dancing or sex work), titles, and mythological figures.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziniamanto

most of the animal words are now epicene. as to the feminine roots, nobody seems to be all that bothered by them, do they?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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You didn't say "There are several dozen gender-defined words, but a number of them are epicene". You said "less than 20 words are [gender-defined]".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziniamanto

I think I hear a hair splitting......................

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lyise
Lyise
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Issues like this, and the underlying assumption of male being the default, are why I support (and use) iĉismo - effectively a male version of the -in- affix. Then, stems without a suffix can be a non-gendered version. Under iĉismo, "patro" is parent, "patrino" is mother (as it usually is), and "patriĉo" is father. Some people like that change, other people don't, but really, it doesn't harm understanding at all.

Vikipedio link for more info (including some of the criticism of this approach): https://eo.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%C4%89ismo

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziniamanto

Ugh! This again! I personally would be happiest with a new group of root words for the epicene (gender-vague) words: parent, sibling, etc. and let the iĉistoj go to town. I really think this solution would rile up the fewest people. After all, "komputilo=computer" was added to the language, why not "*tevo=parent"? (no, "tevo" is not a real Esperanto word; I just used it as an example)

But until that happens, I'll be saying "gepatro" etc. I know it irritates some of the more pedantic folks in Esperantujo, but it's a lot shorter than "unu el la gepatroj", so there it is.

It's funny though; the same people who are all descriptivist ("This is how the language is actually being used, so we should go with the flow") about such things as "ujo vs io" for country names, suddenly get all prescriptivist (THAT'S THE RULE!!! FOLLOW IT!!!) when it comes to (among other things) "ge-" with a singular noun.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carrots084
carrots084
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Patro - dad Patrino - mom gepatroj - parents

Ge is a prefix meaning "of both genders"

1 year ago