A compilation of information about Solresol, the universal musical language

Somewhere over the rainbow: Where do queers fit in Solresol?

Discuss the vocabulary of Solresol, including proposed changes.
As I mentioned in this and this post on Reddit, even constructed languages fail to overcome heterosexual and cisgender biases.

So, I pose some questions to Sidosi:

How do you identify, in terms of gender and/or orientation or lack thereof?
What precisely do you mean by that identification?
What are some queer concepts and experiences that you have difficulty describing with "standard" vocabulary?
Would you be willing to help me coin words for Solresol-speaking QUILTBAGs?
What is your opinion on Solresol gender vocabulary?
Do you think they reinforce the gender and/or sex binary?
Do you think we should add identities which are both or neither man or woman?
Do you think any of the above terms promotes erasure of any kind?
I think now's a perfect time to post this email conversation I had a couple months ago with a visitor to Sidosi (but never remembered to mention it on here). It's kind of amazing that this person appears to only speak German, yet we were able to have a conversation (probably with the help of a translator). Of course, it would be even more amazing if we could converse again in the future, but using Solresol! :)
Daniel Becker wrote: To: Dan Parson [Email Address]
Subject: Language Project
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 02:06:55 -0700 (PDT)

Hello,

I found your web-site looking for information on the Solresol language. I am actually working on a private language project. I actually need your help translating one sentence into Solresol. I know it is not you primary business, if at all; I hope I am not asking for too much. I would really appreciate your help. It would mean a lot to me to include Solresol, to include music as an universal language.

I want to create a design with I am gay, meaning male homosexual, in as many languages as possible. I want to emphasise it is a global phenomenon and can be found in every culture. I would like to kindly ask you to translate I am gay into Solresol, without being pejorative, or having a negative meaning. I do not know if such a terminology actually exists. I tried using the translator but did not come up with a solution. You would really help me a lot. I know that is very often considered a taboo and it is generally ignored. I want to make people see that it is a general phenomenon and it can be found everywhere, it is a trait of mankind everywhere. And also want to emphasise the need to protect the human rights of gay people in general; so many are still suffering from misunderstanding, prosecution and prejudices
Thank you very much for your time and support. This is very much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Daniel
--
Dr. Daniel Becker
[Street Address]



--- Sent from [IP Address] via Solresol website ---
Dan Parson wrote: To: Daniel Becker [Email Address]
Subject: Re: Language Project
Date: Sat, 09 Jun 2012 03:38:37 -0500

Hello, and thanks for contacting me about your situation! Unfortunately,
as you thought, there is currently no word in Solresol meaning
"homosexual". We at the Sidosi community hope to advance the language to
include such words, since Solresol is currently 150 years out-of-date.
Anyway, I looked through our Solresol-English dictionary
(https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreads ... zJLcVNKamc),
and the best phrase I can come up with is "I love men", which is "Dore
milasi domifad'o", or for female homosexuals, "I love women", which is
"Dore milasi domifad'ō". The word for "love" I used refers to romantic
love, so I feel it's the most accurate phrase in Solresol. I hope your
project is a success!


Dan Parson
Daniel Becker wrote: To: "'Dan Parson'" [Email Address]
Subject: AW: Language Project
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2012 21:19:10 +0200

Hello,

Thank you very much indeed, this is awesome. Now I am able to include music, represented by Solresol, as well. I would like to write the sentence using notes. I am unfortunately not sure about the last note, =
representing "d'o". SO far this is what I came up with (I guess symbols should be filled):
i_love_men.png
"I love men" in Solresol
i_love_men.png (4.18 KiB) Viewed 6706 times
Solresol has an interesting background, based on mathematical logic, following simple rules. Very interesting.

Thank you very much again for your invaluable help.

Best wishes,

Daniel
Dan Parson wrote: To: Daniel Becker [Email Address]
Subject: Re: AW: Language Project
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 14:47:14 -0500

Again unfortunately, there is no defined way to handle accents in the
music note form of Solresol. We as Sidosi have discussed simply leaving
out accents in this form, but the accents can be very important. I would
say either keep the sentence as it is, or make up your own way of
representing the accent. The accent in this sentence just makes "man"
plural, so it would not really change the meaning of the sentence. The
sentence "I love women" needs accents to specify female gender, so that
phrase would totally change meaning without accents. Also as a note, the
third-to-last note should be "mi", on the bottom line. I don't think it
is necessary to fill in any notes, unless you want to use that to show
accents. Here
(http://mozai.com/writing/not_mine/solre ... .htm#ecrit) is the
only official commentary on writing Solresol using music notes, but
again, much of Solresol is up for interpretation at this point, at least
until we at Sidosi (or someone else) start making decisions on aspects
of the language. Well, I hope this is enough information to perfect the
Solresol sentence for your project. Good luck again!


Dan Parson
Daniel Becker wrote: To: "'Dan Parson'" [Email Address]
Subject: AW: AW: Language Project
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 23:06:41 +0200

Dear Dan,

thanks again for your help and support. I also recognized my mistake at the third-to-last note; the system in Germany is different and I am not fully au fait with the Italian system, my mistake.

Thank you very much again and best wishes,

Daniel
Dan wrote: I want to create a design with I am gay, meaning male homosexual, in as many languages as possible. I want to emphasise it is a global phenomenon and can be found in every culture. I would like to kindly ask you to translate I am gay into Solresol, without being pejorative, or having a negative meaning. I do not know if such a terminology actually exists. I tried using the translator but did not come up with a solution. You would really help me a lot. I know that is very often considered a taboo and it is generally ignored. I want to make people see that it is a general phenomenon and it can be found everywhere, it is a trait of mankind everywhere. And also want to emphasise the need to protect the human rights of gay people in general; so many are still suffering from misunderstanding, prosecution and prejudices
I've seen a few anecdotes online which suggest that constructed languages tend to attract queerfolk, so making Sidosi/Solresol queer-friendly would be good for us and society in general. In order to expand our vocabulary in reference to gender, sexuality, and non-cis/hetero experiences, we should probably contact the most popular online QUILTBAG sites.

Significant progress has been made by and for gays and lesbians in the last couple decades. However, society has yet to accept trans* people and asexuals. What can be done to ensure that their voices are heard?
I'm going to intentionally avoid some of your questions, but answer some of them:
In its current form, I think Solresol absolutely reinforces the straight up (pun intended?) male/female mindset. But then, Solresol is a language from the 19th century, and it doesn't reinforce it any more than Spanish, or French, or any other language with male/female/(neuter) genders built in. Doesn't need to be changed, and doesn't stop us from being able to express all the other possible gender identifications. Really, all we need to do is come up with a comprehensive list of words we want to have, decide where we want to put them in the five-syllable section, and put them there, and problem solved! (and leave a bit of room for whatever people feel the need to be able to express in the future regarding the same topic.)

It'd be great to find a list of words regarding gender identity and QUILTBAG issues. Then we can also take the opportunity to brainstorm other possibilities that we want to be able to express, but which we lack the words for in English (or even any other language). We can take the opportunity to be really all-encompassing. And we can have a word that means exactly what QUILTBAG means, but doesn't sound completely ridiculous ;)

One thing to perhaps watch out for, though, is that, in its essence, Solresol doesn't tend to be incredibly specific. It tends to lump as many words together as it can - in a word that represents one general concept. So perhaps we should try to break down gender identity into as few words as can be used to properly express relevent specifics... though that might still lead us to having quite a lot of words, given how specific it might need to be :) We've got the room, though.

Thanks for bringing up this topic - it's certainly an issue that needed addressing, in my opinion.
(Next up: What does the gay pride flag mean in Solresol? ;) )
(Next up: What does the gay pride flag mean in Solresol? )
I know you are joking, but the other day I was seriously considering designing an LGBT Solresol flag.
I knew I was joking too, and then I started trying to break that rainbow into a meaningful sentence :)
If you have ideas for the flag, or some other flag, go ahead!