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Q’s Corner

To “-in-” or not to “-in-“

One of the most hotly debated points in the Esperanto community is how to indicate gender through grammar. Most talked about is the “riisomo” where one uses the pronoun “ri” for people who aren’t gender binary or for people whom the speaker isn’t sure what their gender is. One other point of discussion is whether or not to use “-in-” for words to make them feminine, specifically for professions. 


For example:


Kelnero – “waiter”

Kelnerino – “waitress”


Nowadays, “kelnero” can mean both a female or male waiter, while kelnerino is specifically a female waiter. One could specify that the waiter is male by using “Virkelnero” or “man-waiter” but it isn’t often used, and is somewhat comical. I should mention there is an affix, “-iĉ-” that exists which indicates the noun is masculine, but it is a neologism and in my experience not very popular. 


In other romance languages, when to indicate gender would be pretty straightforward, in Italian it would be strange if I called my female professor “professore” rather than “professoressa”. However, in Esperanto, would it be better to be as specific as possible, or maintain a vagueness, rather than going down a rabbit hole of trying to correctly gender every noun? Ultimately it’s up to the preference of the speaker and the context in which it is used. As a good rule of thumb though, if someone asks you to use a certain affix to describe themselves, you should modify how you reference them accordingly.

Ĉu “-in-” aŭ ne “-in-“

Unu el la plej diskutitaj punktoj en la esperantistaro estas kie oni devas indiki sekson per gramatiko. Plej priparolata estas la “riisomo” kie oni uzas la pronomon “ri” por homoj, kiuj ne estas neduumuloj aŭ por homoj, pri kiuj la parolanto ne certas, kio ria sekso estas. Alia diskutpunkto estas ĉu uzi “-in-” por vortoj por igi ilin inaj, specife por profesioj.







Nuntempe, “kelnero” povas signifi kaj inan kaj viran kelneron, dum kelnerino estas specife ina kelnero. Oni povus precizigi, ke la kelnero estas vira uzante “virkelnero” sed ĝi ne estas ofte uzata, kaj estas iom komika. Mi menciu, ke ekzistas afikso, “-iĉ-”, kiu indikas, ke la ulo/aĵo estas vira, sed ĝi estas neologismo kaj laŭ mia sperto ne tre populara.


En aliaj latinidaj lingvoj, indiki sekson estus sufiĉe simpla. En la itala estus strange, se mi nomus mian inan profesoron “professore” prefere ol “professoressa”. Tamen, en Esperanto, ĉu estus pli bone esti kiel eble plej specifa, aŭ konservi malprecizecon, prefere ol iri tra kuniklotruo por provi ĝuste genro ĉiun substantivon? Finfine ĝi dependas de la prefero de la parolanto kaj la kunteksto en kiu ĝi estas uzata. Kiel bona regulo tamen, se iu petas al vi uzi certan afikson por priskribi sin, vi devus modifi kiel vi referencas ilin laŭe.


Vikipedio Article of the Week: Koloroj

Learning about colors in other languages is a must for learners, and it typically covered in the earliest lessons when learning a language! You can go one step further by reading this article, which gives you all the information about colors in Esperanto that you’ll ever need. This article covers color theory, color in psychology, and color in history.

Website of the Week: The Earth for All

The purpose of this blog is to promote a set of ideas that the author believes would help make the world a more just and peaceful place. These ideas are veganism, the constructed language Esperanto, and an economic philosophy associated with the work of Henry George. It has helpful tidbits for learning Esperanto, such as avoiding google translate for 100% accuracy, videos in Esperanto, and commentary on philosophy – quite an interesting combination and a thought provoking read!

Creations of the Esperantujo

Fundamento Word of the Week: Kelnero

Keeping with the discussion from above, this word means “waiter” or one who serves you at a restaurant. Borrowed from German Kellner and Yiddish קעלנער‎ (kelner). Compare Polish kelner, dialectal Russian ке́льнер (kélʹner), Romanian chelner. (source)



English-Esperanto Annotated Dictionary:

The best English-Esperanto dictionary, includes compound English words.

Plena Ilustrita Vortaro de Esperanto:

The online dictionary that defines Esperanto in Esperanto.


The most awesome Esperanto spelling and grammar checker on the internet.

Lernu Dictionary:
Komputeka: The Universal Computer Terminology Collection:

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