"Is your friend a translator or a programmer?"
Translation:Ĉu via amiko estas tradukisto aŭ programisto?
I agree that the English -> Esperanto translation here is ambiguous. Same with the question from a previous lesson about the flag being red or blue. "Is the flag red or blue" in English is ambiguous. If the flag is green, it's clearly "no". If the flag is red, it could be "red" or "yes". The ambiguity doesn't exist in Esperanto, and I think that they should accept both here.
The ambiguity doesn’t exist in Esperanto, and I think that they should accept both here.
What are the “both”? My understanding was that
Ĉu via amiko estas tradukisto aŭ programisto?
can mean either — in other words, the ambiguity you mention does exist in Esperanto, like English.
If it does not, I wonder which the above unambiguously means (jes/ne or tradukisto/programisto), and how one forms the other?
I’ve somehow managed to complete this course and though it was one of my earliest questions I still don’t understand the answer.
If it has nothing to do with gender, then either word for friend should be accepted
Right—my understanding was that while you don’t need and generally today shouldn’t use the -in suffix for professions, etc., that for personal relationships it’s mandatory for women—avo can never mean “grandparent”, and amiko can never mean “female friend”. (I’m talking about my understanding of Esperanto as presented in this course, not in general.)
There are a number of new Esperanto movements trying to address the three biggest structural sexism issues: the assumed-masculine-unless-stated-otherwise of words like this, the lack of a direct way to refer to a specific person of unstated gender (one use of English’s singular “they”), and the inability to deal with gender fluidity or nonbinariness. But none of these movements are standardized or used in Duolingo, so you need to specify—amiko (male friend), amikino (female friend), or geamikoj (a group of friends including at least one male and one female).
It seems to me that if you're going to be that specific, you should go all the way:
- Ĉu via amikino estas tradukistino aŭ programistino?
Following my advice and usage, this sentence (with -in-) seems exceedingly heavy and unnecessarily specific. It's not something I would say, even if I did want to know whether your female friend was a female programmer or a female translator.
Many Esperantists follow the same usage that I'm recommending - and that is to consider amiko, tradukisto, and programisto as inclusive. Some only count the professions as inclusive. Others still feel the need to be specific even about professions (e.g. the authors of Complete Esperanto.)
I am not a course contributor, so I can't speak for what they will add as alternatives, but my sense is that once you show that you feel the need to say amikino here, you've opened Pandora's Box to include tradukistino and prgramistino as well.
Put another way -- it's fine with amiko and should not be seen as a problem.
Am I right in guessing that even those who are stuck-in-the-mud for amiko/amikino would probably still say unu el miaj amikoj and not unu el miaj geamikoj or unu el miaj amikinoj, if they’re thinking of a female friend? Or would they likely still insist on geamikoj or amikinoj?
Just to add to what Ariaflame said, "friend" is the subject of the sentence, not the object. Indeed there is no object in this sentence. Let me illustrate with a simpler sentence. "I am the mayor". "I" and "the mayor" are the same person. It is not a case of "I" doing something to "the mayor", as in "I hate the mayor". There, "I" do something (hate) to the mayor, so mayor is the object, and if the sentence were in Esperanto, it would be, "Mi malamas la urbestron."
Would it be appropriate to use the -in suffix on the ends of tradukisto and programisto if the referenced person was female? For example: "Ĉu via amikino estas tradukistino aŭ programistino?".
Also, I thought Ĉu was an indicator for yes/no questions. What is it doing here? Is there anything that you could use in place of it?
After I entered via amikino I was called incorrect and told via amiko is correct. Is there any reason whatsoever to prefer amiko here? It seems sexist—I don’t know the male/female ratio among translators (though among linguists women are well-represented), but while they’re certainly the minority, I’ve worked with a number of female programmers. (Not to mention, until the early 70’s when it became highly-paid, to the contrary programming was seen as a “female profession” akin to secretarial work or bookkeeping.)