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German Exercises and Noun Capitalization

I realize this may be difficult to implement on Duo, but it might be a good idea to force German learners to capitalize nouns to build good habits. I note that the gender exercises where you choose the article and spelling of the noun DO demand capitalization of the noun, but nowhere else have I seen this being a requirement.

I figure that the routine is generic, and probably German is one of few lanugages, maybe the only one, requiring capitalization of nouns, so maybe it requires a special handler and a way to set this as a mode globally (for German only, and maybe others needing this feature) so it doesn't need to be set on each call.

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August 8, 2017



I have never had an answer rejected for not being capitalised on nouns, even on the spelling ones, but I do always get a message in the green box saying to be careful because nouns in German are capitalised, similar to missing an accent in Spanish


I have not had any rejected either, but my suggestion was rather to force German learners to always capitalize nouns to encourage proper writing habits. Currently, this encouragement is only in the article/spelling exercises, which is inconsistent and was a bit confusing when I first started doing the German practice exercises.


apparently it is the only major language besides Luxembourgish


Seems Dutch and a few others also have capitalization, but not necessary just for nouns. Here's an article I found (because your comment really made me curious): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalization.


It's one of my favorite aspects of the German language actually

  • 1314

You're right! The lessons generally don't require you to capitalize nouns. Sometimes I find that what Germans consider to be nouns, I, as an English speaker, would not intuitively think of as a noun. I think it would be helpful to have that feature. Have a Lingot.


The nice thing is you don't have to remember whether a noun is a proper noun (always capitalized) or a common noun (not capitalized, except at the beginning of a sentence). In English, I always have to remember to capitalize certain proper names, particularly those of products and services which may be copyrighted.

For instance, I still prefer to capitalize "Kleenex," because when I was growing up, the name was still owned by Kimberly-Clark Co. I am not as certain that is the case today; I think copyrights run out after some time (or am I thinking of patents, which last 17 years unless successfully renewed).


“Kleenex” would be a trademark. Trademarks last forever as long as the owning company properly defends them. The rationale for trademarks is to enable the customer to know who the source of a product is and to enable a business’s brands to not be tarnished by unrelated imitations, and that need lasts as long as the company’s products can thus be identified, regardless of any time period. But if a trademark becomes genericized so that it can’t be reliably used to identify the source of goods, it loses protection.

However, that is starting to go off-topic. I agree that it would be good to be reminded to capitalize nouns properly in German. It could be treated like Duo treats accent characters, where it doesn’t cause you to fail an exercise, but you do get a reminder to pay attention to it.

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