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  5. Hähnchen vs. Hühnchen


Hähnchen vs. Hühnchen

In one of the animal lessons, the word "Hähnchen" is given for chicken. Later only "Hühnchen" is accepted (Hähnchen marked wrong). Worse, you can't report "My answer should be accepted" or even comment.

February 7, 2018



It's a matter of usage. Huhn or Hühnchen can be used as the general type of meat, while Hähnchen is a bit more specific as being a young chicken, historically because male chicken were just fed and soon butchered, while the females were used to lay eggs for at least a year, and then butchered. Since they are not so tender anymore, they are mainly used in cooked/boiled dishes like soups or stews, while the young animals are used in grilled and fried dishes. So it's Suppenhuhn or Brathähnchen, not vice versa. There is no Suppenhähnchen and rarely a Brathühnchen ;-). This is the only reason why you could prefer either the male or female word an exercise....

[deactivated user]

    Bonus points for the cooking lesson.

    The same confusion arise in English... Rooster, Cockerel, Chicken, Hen, Pullet. Couldn't the damn animal be just like a cat or a dog?


    Like a cat, tomcat, kitty, kitten, or dog, bitch, puppy...

    [deactivated user]

      Yes, those words exist but are not used that much... I mean, I give you cat/kitten and dog/puppy. Kitty and kitten are interchangeable... as for bitch, the less said... In fact, I don't know how that escaped the word filter, you got lucky. Unless there's no word filter at all.


      These are interesting factoids to know, for sure, but for Duo's purposes, when they want a translation for "I eat chicken", should they not accept both "Hühnchen" & "Hähnchen"?


      The only thing I can see is that Hähnchen is specifically a small male chicken (cockerel) and Hühnchen is a small female chicken (pullet) . The problem is that adding -chen to the end of a word makes it neuter gender, so both of these would take das as their article. So if the question asks for a generic "chicken", either one should be acceptable.


      hähnchen is the male, hühnchen the female


      I guess you're right about the gender thing, but for me "Hähnchen" is just short for "Brathähnchen", roasted chicken, while I use "Hühnchen" only as in "ich habe ein Hühnchen mit dir zu rupfen", which means something like "we have to talk about some unsettled - mostly unhappy - issues"

      [deactivated user]

        I've noticed that change too... it used to be "Hähnchen" but lately they have changed to "Hühnchen". Have no idea why.

        You say you can't report it?


        there is "das Huhn" which makes me wonder whether Hühnchen is a diminutive Huhn EDIT: I think Max.em has just covered this. (and thwain!)

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