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Do you support Riism?

de logixoul, 27 août 2005

Messages : 22

Langue: English

godzup (Voir le profil) 21 décembre 2005 15:57:47

I'm not opposed to degendering Eo, but I find it would more than complicate things. English is fairly genderized. Hebrew is very much more so. I ask why all the fuss? What's wrong with it? It isn't like there is no difference between male and female. okulumo.gif (I'm teasing a bit.) But I think we make it seem more important than it is. Yes, it would have been neat to have it gender neutral. But it is just as cool to have it use gendered cases regularly. I would be in favor of a language being able to express both just as easily so one could naturally express either, like when translating "friend" (gender neutral in English), but "amigo" or "amiga" in Spanish is gender specific. Then the translater could get an accurate translation. But Eo half provides that option, which is acceptable, but not perfect. But the more important point to me is that it is already done. Although I am in favor of discussions like this, I do recognize a change adds a lot of complication. How's this one: I have recently been applying myself to learn Korean. In Korean, their "R" or "L" sound is one sound and is different than English & Esperanto. It is very hard for a Korean to say the English R, L, or even W. W tends to be silent, while L and R sound the same. So law and raw is best understood by context. Now how this applies to this Eo topic is that "Ri" in my opinion would be a nightmare for a Korean Esperantist to so commonly distinguish from "Li". I would want a different word. "Hesxi" is more appealing to me, but for that matter, "hesxi" is not official, but about any esperantists would very quickly understand its use. And that is the point--to be understood, not "technically" correct. Thus we already have a solution for the he/she predicament. We only need to use it whenever we care to. But so many people would differ in terms of what suffiv should be used for masculine words such as father, brother, etc. And the bigger problem that a popular change would bring is when someone uses "frato", would they be meaning the original meaning of 'brother' or do they mean the new/modified meaning of 'sibling'? This one, in my humble opinion is better left unsolved as is unsolved in most cases in English: uncle/aunt, cousin/cousin (not gender specific), etc. I don't think the gender shortcoming is a big problem. The bigger problem is not using Esperanto and not having a universally accepted and supported language. I've looked into Ido, and I intend to apply myself to learn Ido when I'm fairly fluent with Esperanto. But we must pick & choose, then apply ourself to what we choose, then we can try more. I must first learn Esperanto before I push for major support of changing it in any way. Maybe I will find that my first prejudisms against certain aspects aren't that much of a problem as I thought they were to begin with. Maybe they are more of a problem. But my first step is to learn Esperanto. ridulo.gif

I mentioned Ido, and got sidetracked. Ido is a gender neutral Esperanto alternative, inspired by Esperanto. But I think that in them "solving" problems they deduced that Esperanto had, I think they made just as many. For instance, they went totally English/Latin alphabet for sake of not liking supurscript symbols for trouble representing them in a plain Latin only context. So they use our English ch for ĉ and sh for ŝ. But I *hate* sh and ch use in English. I think this is one of the best parts of Esperanto that every sound has a distinct letter and ever letter has a distinct sound. It is MUCH simpler. In "fixing" Esperanto, I think they added several complications. But I have not learned Ido and Esperanto, so I don't know which is the easier yet. But I do see that Ido is not near as popular, so I chose Esperanto because I have learned a language is considerable work to learn. And finding good resources is very important. Esperanto has many good resources.

Long live Esperanto!

Thanks for considering my thoughts. That's the point and spirit of Esperanto. To be able to understand others. And I think it solves that problem very well! okulumo.gif

trojo (Voir le profil) 4 janvier 2006 17:51:43

"hesxi" is not official, but about any esperantists would very quickly understand its use.

"Heŝi" would mostly be recognizable only to English-speakers, and most likely even in that case only if they see it in written form. Spoken aloud in place of a normal pronoun, it would probably parse as some kind of name: Heŝi iris al la vendejo sounds like someone named Heŝi went to the store.

And again, there just isn't any point for creating unnecessary new words of this sort. What with onitiu, and si, there really isn't any instance in Esperanto when one has to say the equivalent of "he or she" when the gender of the person you are talking about isn't known. In fact it is possible to avoid gendered pronouns altogether if you want.


"Heŝi" plejparte estus rekoneble nur laŭ anglaj lingvanoj, kaj verŝajne eĉ tiukaze nur se ili vidus ĝin skribite. Parolate anstataŭ norma pronomo, ĝin oni verŝajne (mis)komprenus kiel ian nomon. "Heŝi iris al la vendejo" ŝajnigas, kvazaŭ iu nomata "Heŝi" iris.

Kaj denove, estas sen utilo krei novajn vortojn tiajn. Pro "oni", "tiu", kaj "si", ne ekzistas ia kazo en Esperanto, kiam oni devus diri la analogon de la angla "he or she", kiam la genro de tiu, pri kiu oni parolas, ne estas konata. Fakte, estas eble eviti inajn kaj virajn pronomojn ĉiel, se oni tion volas.

godzup (Voir le profil) 6 janvier 2006 18:59:37

Trojo, thanks for the correction. I wasn't thinking clearly when I mentioned "heŝi". That is the English equivalent. I was intending the Esperanto form, "liŝi" for most any Esperantist to figure it out (similar to our English "he/she" that I've seen a number of times). "ri" could too easily be confused with "li" for Korean speakers. And ambiguity between "ri" an "li" would be pointless for its purpose. I think "liŝi" would be the best choice if one were to use such a thing since it is probably what would be *most* recognized by current Eo speakers. And for people who have a hard time distinguishing R with L, "riŝi" isn't already a word that I can find, so "liŝi" wouldn't have such an ambiguity.

I just noticed what you mean by using "tiu" instead. I agree with you, that with oni, tiu, and si, I can't see any need for liŝi or similar. And in my humble opinion, Eo genderism isn't a big drawback, not even medium, but I do perceive it as a small one. I was surprised to see very strong genderism when I started learning Hebrew (which I think was the world's first language). My humble opinion thinks degenderization/neutering of English is yet another fad that sounds good logically, but makes little difference in terms of communicating effectively. Thanks again Trojo.

Last but not least, before I expect my opinions to be worthy of counting in such matters, I shall learn Esperanto. Thanks Trojo for being patient with new speakers like me who don't even know Eo well enough to translate my messages into it (well in a reasonable amount of time). Because you speak it so well, I count your opinion of the matter much higher than my unexperienced one. Ĝis! okulumo.gif

Machjo (Voir le profil) 9 janvier 2006 07:56:26

Just a point about the English word 'man'.  It's actually not sexist per se, since its etymological roots go back to Old English, when 'man' was strictly synonymous with contemporary English 'human being'.  the word for 'adult male human being' in Old English was 'wer', which eventually disappeared and was replaced by 'man' to cover both its original meaning as 'human' and its contemporary meaning as 'adult male human being'.

So looking at it from a historical perspective, there is actually nothing wrong with calling a female a fireman or foreman, etc, since according to its original meaning, 'man' just means 'human being'.  If anything is sexist here, it's the fact that 'man is being used in the sence of 'male human being'.  Thus for feminists to attack the use of man to signify 'human being' rather than to attack its use in the sence of 'adult male human being' actually reveals their ignorance of the original source of this word.

I personally see nothing feminist about it whatsoever, so much as just another word with more than one meaning.  Sure it might make the language more difficult for non-native speakers in trying to distinguish the significance of the word 'man' in context, and so ideally two separate words ought to exist for these different definitions.  But I certainly don't see it as sexist.

piteredfan (Voir le profil) 9 janvier 2006 18:49:07

The E-o words are almost identical to the Latin "vir" and "homo".

I'm reading Thud! by Terry lango.gifratchett, in which one of the characters is a female werewolf. Who's going to tell him that she is a "manwolf"? ridulo.gif  

godzup (Voir le profil) 9 janvier 2006 23:27:44

I appreciate that useful info, Machjo. Thanks. I'm glad I know that now. If we would all just grow up and get over our immaturities, the world would be so much easier. But the world isn't perfect yet because I'm still in it. (Just a few more thoughts to remember next time someone else does some silly thing.)


Now that would be a good newspaper article!ridulo.gif Could you immagine a newspaper article claiming that to refer to a woman werewolf is sexist due to its apparent relationship to the Old English word 'wer', and the, in order to not be so sexist, she ought to be referred to as manwolf?


Now that would certainly through more than a few ignorant feminists into outright confusion!ridulo.gif  Deservedly, of course; before we start to criticise something, we ought to know about it.

Eddycgn (Voir le profil) 14 février 2006 12:56:34

Why sould we always mention the sex of a thing or an animal or a person? The reason is that we live in a sexist society, but it is not necessary in most cases.

I tried to learn an oriental language years ago, a language where ther is no masculine or feminine. The teacher said to us, it is inpolite to continually mention the sex through words. He is right. So for me, one gender, one pronoun would be sufficient, li or sxi does not matter. Where it is necessary to indicate the sex I could add a suffix, but only where it is necessary. Exemple: "a client has bought a coffee-machine", man or woman does not matter. If I want to know exactly I can say "a he-client" or "a she-client".

Therefore I could alway use "li" for everything unless I want to indicate the sex for a very particular reason. "Ri", "sxli" "-icx" and alike are all superfluous complications, that make the language combersome, less fluent and beautiful in its simplicity.

Ci and Vi are a different story. I have to distinguish if I talk to one person or more than one. English is the only language I know without the singular (Shakespeare had it, thee).

But we should not take too much from english. There, the discrepancy between written and pronounced is a sort of sickness, would need to be reformed urgently  ^-^. 

Eddi, italian

godzup (Voir le profil) 14 février 2006 18:12:25

I agree with your suggestions Eddy. I would like the neutral ness too. The problem we are faced with thin becomes, *since* it is already gender based, what do we do about it? 1) Use it as it is. 2) Reform it. 3) Don't use it at all & use something different.

And I suppose we all have different ideas about such. My thoughts is #1, to use it as it is since there are many, many other things where Esperanto is great. It is just with this gender topic, I feel Eo leaves some to be desired. And when it comes to pronouns, it has been pointed out, we can already be gender neutral with those, using si, oni, tiu, cxi tiu, etc.

Oh, and there are other languages that use the same form of you for singular or plural meaning. Croatian is one of them. So now the list I know for this case is Esperanto, English, and Croatian. My humble opinion though is that not having the ability to be vague about the plurality would be as much a drawback as not having the ability to be plurality specific. I feel the same is true for gender. So I think we'd still have the same kind of problem if there aren't words for 1) singular you, 2) plural you, 3) singulay or plural you. Likewise for 1) he, 2) she, 3) he or she. The same for general nouns such as dentist. Of the plurality, we just don't realize our limitation of having to specify plurality because every language I currently know has different words for singular and plural (with the exception of "you"). But Korean does not have this kind of plurality. I think that for accurate translation, it is necessary to have the base word not specify plurality nor gender, and for that matter whether it is a verb or noun, etc. But then use suffixes for all of those.

But I don't want to change the subject of this topic with "what Esperanto should have been". I still think it is very good and quite sufficient. And I also know that for my preferences to have been the case, others would say it was too complicated. Yes, less ways to express oneself is simpler to learn. So no matter how Esperanto would have been structured, I still think there would be a topic like this one to question how good the feature/structure of the language is.

But I pray the international language movement can unify and make good progress. Then when communication is so much easier, humanity can focus more on other important issues.

piteredfan (Voir le profil) 14 février 2006 20:43:23

While standard English has only the form "you", other forms have such forms as "tha", "thou", "ye", "youse" and "y'all".

The last named can be usefully translated into Esperanto, as "vi ĉiuj".

Note also how some languages, such as Spanish, French and Italian, have more than one word for you: tu, usted, Lei, vous etc.

I also see nothing wrong with "vi du" etc. (Perhaps "du vi" would be better, to avoid confusion with "vidu".)

piteredfan (Voir le profil) 15 février 2006 23:59:18

To add, "tha" is Yorkshire dialect, for example:

Tha's been a cooartin' Mary Jane
On Ilkla Moor baht 'at 
(Vi  amindumis Marion-Ĝejnon

Sur Ilklia Stepo sen ĉapelo)

"Youse" is used in many dialects, but oddly in the Scouse dialect spoken in Liverpool, single and plural are distinguished in the second person but not in the first. For example: "Have youse seen our kid?"

(Ĉu vi [plurale] vidis mian knabon [fratonb] [/b]aŭ filon]?

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