"It is an orange."
Translation:C'est une orange.
Nouns in French are masculine or feminine.
Much of the classification to either gender is completely arbitrary having been developed over centuries. This is the case for many languages.
In some cultures gender is so important that everything and every idea in existence is assigned a gender.
Some cultures see the lack of gender in the English language as an indication of a lack of importance that English speaking cultures attach to gender and even sex.
Pretty well all languages have some sort of noun classification system even if it is fairly limited. Animists are cultures that believe that their god structure is present in just about everything. Some of them have noun classification systems based on the degree of godliness of everything around them. The point is it might even be true that noun classification is one of the basic requirements of a language system.
People from the few language groups that have a completely gender neutral noun classification system are just as frustrated and impatient with English gender denoted pronouns as English speakers are with French gender derived nouns.
There is a notion in sociology that complexity of language reinforces social cohesion and group identity. Gender is just one of the available tools in developing a noun classification system. As such it isn't, on its own, a good or bad thing. The impact on learning to speak the language falls on outsiders not native speakers.
Of course, if you are an outsider your perspective is different.
That's really interesting. Its amazing how much appreciation you can gain for something as seemingly trivial at face value, as a language, when someone gives you a deeper perspective of it.
I just wish that there were some clear cut rules regarding how and why gender was assigned, in French. Like, for example, why is Shark considered a masculine 'Un Requin', but a Whale considered a feminine 'Une Baliene' ? Or a Banana (M) vs A Grape (F). Its almost as if they flipped a coin when assigning genders.
It's amazing how far back linguists can trace the evolution of words. Over the centuries they change sound, appearance and meaning as they cross physical and cultural divides. Any logic is often lost. Even within generations a connection between basis and expression can be lost.