Before he died, the inventor of Esperanto, “Professor Esperanto” (real name L. L. Zamenhof had some ideas that would make Esperanto easier to learn and more euphonious. Some of them are a little odd, but I like some of his ideas on it.
I don’t think calling it sexism is really fair. Many languages have a similar suffix, and the use of instruisto/instruistino that you cited just isn’t the same as what I’ve observed in actual speech. Unless it’s something like patro/patrino or frato/fratino, people will only use -in to emphasise or highlight the fact that the person is female. I doubt many would balk at the gender neutral use of instruisto nowadays. Ŝli is pretty popular and ri is gaining traction, too. Iĉismo is too complicated to gain a wider usage, though, and there’s the risk of not being understood. Even my Esperantist friend who is a firm naisto and riisto tried using it and gave up.
I don’t think Zamenhof could’ve guessed that accentless English would come to replace French as the lingua franca du jour and indirectly cause a multitude of unicode and accent problems with the birth of computers. But it would’ve definitely made sense to use ones already used in other languages. Typing Esperanto characters is very easy now, though.
I also prefer -oj to -i.
No, you’re right, but that method comes from the idea that all men are, by default, [such and such profession], and you have to add more letters to make it unambiguously female. Granted, it is possible to do both in Esperanto, and you would know this in much greater detail than I would. I have no doubt it evolved into a system where the basic noun is at least nominally unisex.
It would likely take context and/or suffixes to be absolutely correct, but one wonders why they would have to do so anyway. “The doctor came into the room,” for instance, does not require a gender for the doctor. And yet, if we’re approaching the language as one that can serve many people, the semantic possibilities could cause problems. I mean, simple splits in ideological purity have been responsible for over six versions of Esperanto to fit the person’s use of it.
Is there a particular reason that you prefer the semi-Russian construction of -oj instead of -i? It is definitely easier to distinguish, but I find that most people I’ve tried to get into the conlang scene find it awkward and silly. Not that it is or isn’t, I’m just speaking from my experience.
(And also, how easy is it to type those characters? I’m curious as to what you use.)
There is occasional (somewhat playful) subversion of that. For example, using ‘ino’ for woman and ‘malino’ for man (literally “unwoman”). It’s one of those things that isn’t perfect with Esperanto, but it doesn’t cause any massive problems and it’s fairly cemented in the language. Another example of a word that’s become gender neutral is ‘amiko’. Originally it would specifically refer to a male friend, but there are Esperantists now who probably aren’t even aware of that.
I just like -oj ‘cause it’s more unusual, plus -i isn’t the nicest vowel and it occurs fairly frequently in Esperanto anyway. Also using -oj is agglutinative, as most of Esperanto is, so using -i would be a weird glob of fusional grammar.
Linux distributions (to my knowledge) almost all come with a few Esperanto keyboard layouts installed. On Windows you can use Tajpi or Ek, or create your own keyboard layout using an official tool from Microsoft. On Mac it’s pretty easy to create a dead key for them.
(Source: kleroterion, via kleroterion)