Asexuality in Esperanto

ace-eo-star

Trying to describe one’s sexuality and romantic orientation can be rather a mouth-full in Esperanto. It’s not quite as mono-syllabic as saying “straight”, “gay”, “bi”, and so on.

I, in particular, have a difficult time remembering terms I’ve seen suggested to describe asexual people in Esperanto, so I’m going to keep this blog post so I can have a single source to keep notes. ;P


Asexual Terminology

These definitions are from asexuality.org

Asexual

Someone who does not experience sexual attraction.

Suggested terms I’ve seen: neamoremo, neseksumemo, neseksuala, neamoremulo, neniuseksema

Heterosexual is translated as “malsamseksema” or “aliseksema”, homosexual is translated as “samseksema”, so for the sake of consistency, asexual could be “neniuseksema“.

Demisexual

Someone who can only experience sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed. This bond does not have to be romantic in nature.

“Demi” here means “partially”. This is different from the definitions above, as those specify what one would be sexually attracted to, while this describes the degree. We could use “parta” for partial, though I’m not sure whether a different suffix besides “seksema” should be used.

The problem with Demisexual and Gray-asexual is that they don’t specify “targets”, for whom one is sexually attracted to, which is a problem because in Esperanto, the descriptions for sexualities (samseksema) specify targets. It’s not the same in English, but it’s difficult to come up with a fit in Esperanto without making a really long word.

Gray-asexual (gray-a) or gray-sexual

Someone who identifies with the area between asexuality and sexuality, for example because they experience sexual attraction very rarely, only under specific circumstances, or of an intensity so low that it’s ignorable.

I believe that “Gray” here refers to a “gray area” – ill-defined, ambiguous, indefinite, indeterminate.

Attraction

In this context, it refers to a mental or emotional force that draws people together. Asexuals do not experience sexual attraction, but some feel other types of attraction.

Esperanto: Allogo

Aesthetic attraction

Attraction to someones appearance, without it being romantic or sexual.

Esperanto: Estetika allogo

Romantic attraction

Desire of being romantically involved with another person.

Esperanto: Romantika allogo

Sensual attraction

Desire to have physical non-sexual contact with someone else, like affectionate touching.

Esperanto: Sensema allogo

Sexual attraction

Desire to have sexual contact with someone else, to share our sexuality with them.

Esperanto: Seksa allogo


 Romantic orientations

These definitions are from asexuality.org

In Esperanto, “seksama” could be used to mean “-gender-fondness”. Though, it does sound pretty close to “seksema” when spoken aloud.

Aromantic

An aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships.

Neniu-seksama

Biromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to two sexes or genders. Biromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not sexually attracted to their romantic partners. The sexual counterpart to biromantic is bisexual.

I’ve seen “ge-seksema” and “antaŭ-seksema” used for bisexual. I don’t like these, because ge- and antaŭ both mean “both”, whereas “bi-” denotes two.  Specifically, my definition of “bi-” is that you’re attracted to “same” and “other” genders, not just “both genders” (because I do not approve of gender binary speech).

Heteroromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to a member of the opposite sex or gender. Heteroromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not necessarily sexually attracted to their romantic partners. Most heterosexual people are also heteroromantic.

Malsam-seksama

Homoromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to a member of the same sex or gender. Homoromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not necessarily sexually attracted to their romantic partners. The sexual counterpart to homoromantic is homosexual. Most homosexuals are also homoromantic.

Sam-seksama

Panromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to others but is not limited by the other’s sex or gender. Similar to biromantic. Panromantics will tend to feel that their partner’s gender does little to define their relationship. Often someone identifying as biromantic will also choose to identify as panromantic. Panromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not sexually attracted to their romantic partners. The sexual counterpart to panromantic is pansexual.

The “pan-” in pansexual means “all, every, whole, all-inclusive“.

Ĉiu-seksama – Romantically attracted to each gender? (Suggested by frenezulino)


 Additional thoughts…

Geeze, why does describing ourselves have to be so long-winded?! Also, I think that it is a problem that -seks-ema (tendency towards a gender) and -seks-ama (loving of a gender) sound so similar, it makes it hard to differentiate between “samseksema” and “samseksama”. I guess technically, “-seks-ema” doesn’t even describe sexuality, but it’s used commonly for sexuality.

The term “Asexuality” means to not experience sexual attraction towards any gender.  Oni, kiu ne sentas seksan allogon [al iu ajn sekso].

Another problem is that the term “sekso” is used to mean both gender/sex, and in certain contexts also refer to something dealing with the act of sex. The 1880s were quite a while ago, and these sort of details were probably invisible to the activists of the time. Still, just as words like komputilo have been added to Esperanto, perhaps there should be a better set of terms to talk about sexual and romantic orientations.

Geja is also a term in Esperanto, after the English word “gay”. So, perhaps instead of “neniuseksema”, something similar can be done for “ace” — Ejsa? Grej-ejsa? Demi-ejsa? @_@;;; Ho, ve…

  • Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!
  • Also send me any Ace resources you may know of, especially if it’s also related to Esperanto. 🙂

  Sources

Why I find myself wanting to leave the software development field.

I love Computer Science. I love programming video games. I love building cool websites.

But I’ve been working professionally for 6 years now, and I’ve never been happy with any

job I’ve had. A few years ago, I attempted to escape this career path and explore an alternative, which did not work out. Running out of money and not being able to afford additional school without a development job, I returned to the realm of web and software development. I’ve been back in for 10 months, and I’m already trying to figure out the least-painful way to leave the field, and find a career where I can earn at least $40,000 per year, with minimal time spent training for a new field.

There are articles about challenges that many women face getting into the field, but I’m facing something different, and I’m not fully sure how to describe it. I’ve always been unhappy working as a programmer professionally. I’ve already gotten over the hump of school and establishing myself as a developer, but in the end it just doesn’t feel worth it anyway.

Working as a programmer has meant working on boring software, intangible to me, in industries that I don’t much care about.

Working as a programmer has meant working with bad code, unmaintained after initial writing.

Working as a programmer has meant working without documentation, because who cares if the new developers can get their environment and the software configured and running?

Working as a programmer has meant working without a process, where I’m unsure of what to work on without constantly polling someone perceived as higher than me for work to do.

Working as a programmer has meant being required to physically be at an office for 9 hours a day, a place that quickly drains my energy and happiness. Often noisy, rarely private, the lack of sun or places to talk a walk.

Working as a programmer has meant don’t do what’s best for me – do what’s best for the company. I could exercise more if I were closer to home. I could eat better if I could cook at home. I would be less stressed if I could work in an environment that I built on my own.

Working as a programmer has meant all my time and energy going towards products that I really don’t care about, leaving little to spend on the projects close to my heart.

Working as a programmer has meant I feel trapped by money. I cannot get another job making a decent wage without more training, and I’m still paying off my college loans from the first time through and the first time exploring other careers. I’m stuck in the daily grind until I pay off my debt and pay time and money to get re-trained in something else.

Working as a programmer has meant I feel trapped by location. I’ve tried multiple times to apply for jobs in other industries and in other places – namely, Washington state, where I originally come from. It hasn’t worked out so far. So I either need more experience, more training as a programmer, or the funds to move myself closer to the jobs that I want.

Not all places have bad process, or bad code, or have even required me being at an office all day. But for any one perk, there is usually a slew of other problems – poor communication at the remote job, bad code at the job with an interesting product, abysmal pay at the job where I had friends, great process at the job with a boring product.

My first impulse is to blame the common denominators – myself, Kansas City, I don’t know. Why am I so unhappy when plenty of other people work as developers around here? Am I too picky? Why are there no interesting businesses in Kansas City? Would I be happier as a programmer if I were working for a game studio? At least I know more about video games than I do about what businesses need for distributed document management systems. Will I only be happy if I’m working for myself? Could I even “make it”, working for myself, or do I definitely need training in another area, while I work on my programming on the side?

I am a woman software developer. I’ve been working professionally for a while now. I make a pretty good salary now. I have a lot of good things happening in my life, but every workday is a slow, painful struggle to get through the requisite 9 hours as quickly and easily as possible. For every evening and weekend that I do not spend programming my own projects (in hopes of eventually supplementing my income), I beat myself up for not taking the next step towards getting out of this situation.

Rayto: Language Fantasy Dev Log #1

What is Rayto?

Now that life is beginning to calm down a bit, I’ve been working on gaining momentum with my game development again. My current project is called “Rayto: Language Fantasy”, which I’m writing with C++, SDL2, and Lua 5.2.

Once I get more work done, I’ll post a video about it, but right I do not feel like there is enough to share to actually record gameplay. Because… I haven’t programmed any gameplay yet. But I do have a working menu system.

So this game comes in two parts, Kuko, the C++/SDL/Lua framework which is reusable (I had begun fleshing it out by writing Pickin’ Sticks, and now I’m extending it as-needed while I work on this new game), and Rayto, the game code itself. These are both Open Source, woo!

Oh, but what is Rayto? The idea is to make a bi-lingual life-sim-slash-RPG to help with language learning. Mostly inspired by a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory type deal, the purpose is to provide an immersive experience in a target language, while still giving hints and lessons to help the person learn the language.  It’s not the be-all-end-all, single-lesson-for-full-fluency, but it’s an aid. A game built around teaching vocabulary as well as having dialogue and story, presented in the target language.

So here’s a preview of what I’ve done so far.

On Being a Woman and Negotiating Salary

I originally posted this to a different blog of mine, rather than my more visible one here, because this is such an awkward topic. Honestly, I’m afraid of being shamed (“It’s your own fault you’re not getting paid fairly – you never asked!” sort of thing), but I think that it’s also important to get my own point of view out there – especially for other women just starting out and who, like me, have no professional mentors to guide them.

After hearing an article on NPR about how Reddit was doing away with salary negotiations in an attempt to remove the pay gap, for the first time I asked myself the question, “…Does everybody negotiate their salary, every time?” — I had never negotiated a salary for myself; it hadn’t occurred to me that it was perhaps ubiquitous, something that you just did as part of your professional life.

So, I asked a question on my Facebook wall, regarding being a woman software developer and not knowing how to negotiate. I did receive some good advice from friends and acquaintances, so I’d like to post it for others to benefit from.


Rachel

I’ve never negotiated a salary when first starting a job. [I’ve been working professionally for 6 years as a software/web developer.] I honestly don’t know what I would negotiate for.

West coast job? $100,000 sounds sufficient, if that is what the company glassdoor page says is the average. Or am I supposed to go “no, I need $X more.” — and is that X = 1k? 5k? 10k? Etc.  It is also hard to judge because the Midwest average is so much lower.

Usually I’m just happy enough to get the offer. At the same time, I feel like I’m failing because the stereotype is that women *don’t* negotiate. Do ALL men negotiate their starting salary??

I’ve ASKED for raises at the first two of my jobs and that didn’t go over well, so I haven’t asked any more, but how often are you supposed to ask for one? Yearly?

This is something that really bugs me and I don’t know what to do.

Senta

That’s a really good set of questions, Rachel.

First off, do your research, both on Glass Door and every other site you can find. Remember that education, experience, relocation, benefits and other factors play into what you could expect.

As a rule of thumb, I’d advise you to ask for 10-15% more than they offer on principal. Even if they don’t budge on their offer, they’ll know you’re not afraid to ask. And you may be pleasantly shocked when they agree to pay more- perhaps not the full amount you asked for, but negotiating is empowering.

Long ago, someone told me that money is about respect. Get into the good habit of knowing what you’re worth. Another way of looking at this… How much would they offer/pay a man with identical education & experience? And don’t take less. Go get ’em!!

Thomas

I’ve found that whatever offer I’ve made, the company has countered with slightly less. I usually go with the average for the job, +20% because I have documentation to back up that i’m in the 90th percentile (and I’m lucky to be very good at interviewing, having been a workaholic).

Rachel

OK, when I’m offered a job, usually it’s over the phone, and I ask for a couple of days to make a decision. At what point, and HOW, do I say, “I want $X more than your offer.” ?

Senta

“I’ve had time to reflect upon your offer. I’d like to join XYZ company and I bring a lot to the table. The salary I had in mind for this position is in the X to Y range.” Then give them a chance to think about it.

If they flat-out refuse to negotiate and tell you to take it or leave it, spend a little time thinking about it. Don’t just give them a yes-or-no on the spot. Even if they indicate they can’t go higher, let ’em stew for a bit.

THIS is what generally makes women uncomfortable and why we’re perceived as poor negotiators: our inner feelings of insecurity and that we have to be nice. Guys don’t play that game- and we need to stop undermining ourselves.

Abbey

I have used getraised.com as a reference point. I like it because it gives you a bell curve based on title, location and your experience.


Oh, and since Abbey brought up getraised, I checked it out, for myself. Here are the results (I’m not squeamish about discussing my salary, btw):

raise

Makes me feel like a shmuck.

I guess the moral of the story is – nobody is going to give you fair pay out of the kindness of their heart; even if you’re not a very assertive person, you really have no choice but to demand fairness. Another good idea is, starting out, really try to find some professional women to associate with, to give you advice. I certainly did not have this.

Now I’m really depressed.


Additional Reading:

Douglas G

I would be greatly honored of THE (pronounced with a long e) Rachel Morris would write me a congratulatory letter.

Usually they tell Eagle Scouts to e-mail politicians and such, but I wanted to request people who left a lasting impact on my life. I do not think I would have developed such an interest in computer science if it had not been for your awesome community outreach on youtube and your moosader website.  
I still remember looking at the alien lawnmower game in awe of how young you were when you first started and how far you have come. Your art is incredible and your sprites for some reason always always always put a smile on my face- from the tiny evergreen trees to the iconic knight-Rachel on the trusty steed sticking out its tongue.  

I thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on your videos and website, and I would greatly appreciate a congratulatory letter from you.”


Request for ‘Eagle Scout’ congratulatory letter from Douglas G.

The Magic of SDL

For a while, it felt like C++ was falling behind in usefulness, when it came to indie game development. With my C++ games, I’d have to compile for Windows, Linux, and OSX (or rely on someone else to build for OSX for me), but games that could be played in a browser, or on a phone, had some advantage – easier to play and easily portable for Web, more ubiquitous marketplace for mobile.

Over the past two or three years I’ve experimented with game-dev using something other than C++. I wrote a few games with Java and LibGDX, I made some browser-based games with JavaScript and the HTML5 canvas, and I’ve published a few small applications using Lua and the Gideros framework.

Since then, SDL2 has come out. And, while Gideros has actually been a joy to use, Gideros does not currently offer support to export for Desktop, and I would like to be able to offer some of my apps for more than just Android.

Looking at SDL2, it looks like you can have it all now – Cross-platform PC, iOS, Android, and if you’re using something emscripten, you can even build your C++/SDL game into a JavaScript/Canvas project.

So, finally, it seems as if I could possibly have my cake and eat it, too.  When I’m programming for myself, I want it to be in a language I enjoy, and I want to be writing software and games that I care about – otherwise, why would I do it in my free time?

I am currently working on writing a framework on top of SDL for use with my PC/Mobile games – I will be reworking Pickin’ Sticks LXXIV, Dolphin & Kitten, and Fantazio de Esperanto to all be using this new framework, and they will be extended and, hopefully during the year, completed. I’m excited!

The Problem with Video Game Character Creators

For video games where you build your own character, why does it only give you the option of “male” or “female” to choose from?

The first character creator that stood out to me, honestly, was in My Sims, an adequate Wii game spin-off of The Sims. You create your character in it, but you don’t assign any gender – you have access to all options in the editor.  Of course, all the characters are chibi so there isn’t really a “body type” difference in the characters you see around town, so why bother having that constraint?

But what if more games did that? Even if you did have different body-types, why not have all the options available, and not have to assign a gender? The lead character is usually addressed by their name anyway, and the Singular They could be used when your character isn’t directly being addressed.

I’ve had some people just recently argue with me about how “Singular They” is an abomination to the English language and that they refuse to use it, however. (Really? English? English itself is an abomination…) So I have a different suggestion for your character creators to get around this.

Don’t assign gender to your character in a character-creator. Assign pronouns.

The programming is not going to be much different from switching between he/she in the dialogue. You could store variables to be swapped out based on the pronouns. (He Him His – She Her Hers – They Them Theirs – and so on).

But that doesn’t go far enough – since these values are going to be stored in variables anyway, why not allow the user to type in their own pronouns?  Just have them enter in the three-or-so variations of the pronoun that shows up in the given language.

pronounbox

Many games allow the user to type in their own name – so give it a try, let people enter their own pronouns. Let people choose any option in the character editor.

Update, February 19th

I recently watched a GiantBomb Quick Look for Sunless Sea, and during the character creation process, I saw that they ask the question, “What term of address do you prefer ashore?” with options like “Madam”, “Sir”, “Citizen”, and more, which is a nice, story-integrated way to deal with this.

address

You can check out Sunless Sea’s official webpage here.

Do you know any other games that do this?

La Ido Linguo and Sharing it with Others

quoesasito

Esperanto has a problem with branding. Can Ido be a blank slate for introducing others to Auxiliary languages?

Most people who have already heard of Esperanto, regard it with disdain, for some reason. I think part of the problem is that they see it as egotistical for one man to invent a language. Some people are a bit more familiar with Esperanto than just the ‘synopsis’, and their dislike of Esperanto comes from run-ins with Esperantistoj, who come off as pushy and defensive. (This, I think, is mainly because there’s a few myths about Esperanto that everybody brings up, and we’re tired of hearing it, so we get exasperated. Nobody listens to us! :P)

So, Esperanto has a branding problem. However, Ido does not. This is partially because almost nobody knows what Ido is.

Ido is more of a tabula rasa at this point. Yes, there are few speakers of Ido, and nobody knows what it is, but that can make it a building point.

I also think that telling people what Ido is would go over a bit better – Oh, a committee of people put together this language! Somehow sounds more scientific and thought-out than just some random man.

You still have the problem of the over-European influences on the language, even more so than Esperanto it seems like, but since nobody knows Ido to begin with, it’s about “marketing” that as a strength. Perhaps not jumping right into the “Fina Venko”, “This is a global second language for everybody” pitch. (Does Ido even have a “Fina Venko”? I’m not that close to Ido culture).

You also have the advantage of Ilu Elu Olu. People new to Ido won’t find the same fighting going on over the Esperanto -iĉ, gender neutrality, and so on. Some people, who would otherwise be interested in learning Esperanto, can run into this early on and leave – not because it’s being discussed, but because of the hate that gets spewed when it is discussed. Alienating people who voluntarily come to the language is not the way to spread your language!

I, myself, kabeis (left the Esperanto world) several times, but eventually came back because it was fundamentally a fun thing for me. I just learned which communities to avoid. ;P

Minor pluses include lack of hats – strange and different, hard-to-type (relatively) characters are intimidating! And perhaps lack of accusative – though, really kids, the accusative isn’t a difficult concept to grasp. I had trouble with it at first, too, but it’s really not difficult. ;P

So what do you think?  If you’re an Esperantist, do you think that Ido is worth a shot? (I mean, you already know Esperanto, how much more work would it be to learn Ido?)

Would it be worth it to be a part of and build the Ido community?

My Ido website is here: http://niaido.moosader.com/

And if you’d like to be part of a chatroom, there is #NiaIdo on Freenode. You can connect via the web through this link.


Some input from my friend Tea (with formatting/grammatical fixes):

As a long time Ido learner, I think that Ido has both a disadvantage and an advantage. That is: It is not well-known.

How’s that good?

Well, Esperanto community is already as big as it is but it’s also very crystallized. It is not flexible at all. Now, Ido is a very beautiful language and it fixes and improves a lot of Esperanto flaws (Call it flaws, call it features) although that depends on your taste. Ido has a chance of not learning of the mistakes of the past and to grow up and mature (both physically and actually the community feels very cozy because is not as big as Esperanto’s).

I always saw Esperanto and Ido as two languages that can live together, that could even merge into one or even many languages (which would be really cool). Maybe they are not as close as dialects but they are two really close languages one to the other.

I saw other communities of not-known-languages that are really cool they are so flexible, so collaborative, they care about newcomers and about making the language grow and not bashing people for “not using it properly” and to see people speaking different languages, understanding each other and going towards the same goal is simply marvellous.

Because what I hate the most is to be new at something and have a bunch of smart-asses bashing me instead of helping me.

Inspiro

Only available in Esperanto

Languages, Text Parsers, and Video Games

I can speak English and Esperanto. I’ve started learning a handful of other languages, though I tend to have a hard time sticking with one. Oddly, sticking with Esperanto is easy, perhaps because I already have communities I’m part of, and uses for it, while with other languages – say, Korean – I really only get to use it at the nearby Korean grocery store.

But, I’ve decided to start learning Chinese. I decided that a couple of weeks ago, but so far I haven’t done much studying yet, just skimming pieces here and there. Do I start with reading on grammar? Do I start by studying Pinyin? Do I start by learning the building blocks of the writing system? Hm.

I’m a bit restless when it comes to sticking with a single textbook, and I want to start using the language as soon as I can, so then – do I memorize phrases and investigate how words are put together?

I began compiling a list of the verbs, nouns, and adjectives I find myself using the most in Esperanto. It’s hard to really quantify what English I use in my day-to-day life because it’s so engrained, but that’s one of the good things about being familiar with Esperanto – I have more of an explicit idea of what I’ve learned over the past three years, so it could perhaps be a blueprint of what I would need to learn for another language.

Building this list of words and common ways I end up combining them actually reminds me of writing a text parser for a text adventure (or something like the old King’s Quest games).  Actually – wouldn’t it be kind of fun to learn some basics of language through mixing and matching verbs and nouns together to interact with a virtual environment? (OK, maybe it appeals to me because I grew up with Sierra adventures…)

Though a problem with this method of “learning the patterns and extrapolating from there” would be more difficult for an irregular language, when you can’t always be sure that it will be something like “Verb-command-form [the] noun”

On a similar note – games can be a great way to give a controlled, somewhat immersive experience. If designed properly, a whole game could be in the target language, while not overwhelming the player with more nuanced parts of grammar.

If I pick up a new multiplayer game, for example, I pretty much always want to play Single Player first to get a feel for the maps, weapons, gameplay, etc. Similarly, I am going to be pretty shy when it comes to actually practicing a new language, I want a “safe sandbox” to practice in first.

And, with respect to old Sierra and LucasArts games, I know that I, personally, have heard a number of non-native-English speakers say that those games were a big part of how they learned English.

So, what might be a good way to apply language learning in a game medium? What games have done this, and done a decent job? Hmmm…