"It is a girl."
Translation:Es ist ein Mädchen.
"Einen" is the accusative for of the masculine article. Mädchen is neuter, not masculine. BUT, also: in equative sentences like "X is Y", Y is a subject attribute, not an object complement. So it takes nomivative and not accusative anyway. "Er ist ein Mann", not "Er ist einen Mann".
If a word is masculine gender (grammatical, not biological), then it is "ein" when it is the subject of a sentence, and "einen" when it is the object. None of that is relevant to Mädchen, because that word is not masculine, but neuter (and, no, not feminine), and it is "ein" in either case.
No that's not right. The indefinite article "einen" is used instead of ein (masculine) when the noun is used as direct object. Mädchen is neuter, so it goes with the article "ein" and it remains "ein" in its accusative form. It has nothing to do with "a" or "an", it depends on whether the noun is femenine, masculine or neuter.
I assumed that 'Mädchen' was a feminine noun, but it is described as a neuter noun. How can that be, and how would it be conjugated? "eine Mädchen" or "ein Mädchen"
A bit confusing, eh?
For people, usually the gender reflects what the word actually is, but not in the case of Mädchen. This is one you just need to learn (protip: words ending in -chen are always neutral). The word itself does not get conjugated. So you can have das Mädchen - The girl, or die Mädchen - the girls.
As others pointed out, "chen" itself doesn't really mean anything, exept that it signals a diminutive. Although I believe that everything with a "chen" in the end would automatically be of a neutral gender. (I am a native speaker, this is more of an assumption based on my "feel" for the language, there might be an exeption for that, but I can't think of one right now)
"-chen" signals the diminutive form of the noun it's added to, meaning it's a small form of something (which isn't valid for "Mädchen" in this case). "Mädchen" can also be used for a small maggot ("Made" -> "Mädchen"), but is seldomly used in that sense.
"Diminutive" doesn't necessarily mean "small" when used in this way. It implies a sense of familiarity, rather than anything to do with size. So, a diminutive can be, for example, a nickname - Charlie for Charles, Jack for John, Harry for Henry, even Jenny for Jane and Polly for Mary (no, really).
As for "Mädchen", as I understand it, it comes from an older German word, "Magd", meaning a girl or a lass (Kuhmagd - milkmaid). So, Magd+chen = Mädchen.
And for all other forms: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/M%C3%A4dchen#Declension
Hope that helps.
Yes, masculine, feminine and neuter. Please review the Tips for the Basics 1 skill level.
Oh, wait. That will be the Tips on the website. On the app, there is less - a little bit on the "The" skill level. Suffice it to say that Mann is a masculine noun, Frau is a feminine noun, and Mädchen is a neuter noun. In this case, both masculine and neuter nouns use the same word, "ein" for "a" or "one", while feminine nouns use "eine".
Please understand that grammatical gender has no particular relationship to biological gender, so there is no use complaining about "girl" being neuter. Ha. :-)