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Accept "Hähnchen" for chicken

I just finished going through the Animals 2 practice exercise. At some point in this exercise you are presented with a picture of a chicken and asked to provide the German phrase for "the chicken", to which I entered "das Hähnchen", which I believe to be correct. But the exercise only accepts "das Hühnchen". Although I think Hühnchen also works, the exercise should accept "Hähnchen" as well.

Duolingo used to have a good error reporting system, where, regardless of question type, users had the opportunity to actually put in a sentence or two to describe a problem or point out some subtlety and not just choose some canned problem from a multiple choice list. Inexplicably, years ago, they ditched that in favor of a dumbed down system that provides no mechanism for adding comments to describe a problem at all, and, in some cases (like this one), no way to even report the actual problem! For the type of question where a picture is shown and you need to provide a translation, the only possible option when reporting a problem is "the picture doesn't match the answer". If there is any other problem (like "my answer should also be accepted"), that's too bad, because that can't be reported. (That is one of the multiple-choice possibilities on most question types, but not this this type).

Most questions have a discussion forum devoted specifically to that question, so normally I'd do my crying and whining about it there. However, for reasons I don't understand, picture questions don't seem to have an associated discussion thread (or at least this picture question doesn't). So anyway, in a desperate attempt to report the problem to someone that might be able to fix it, I'm making this post. I'm sure this is mostly a waste of my time, but I have a bit of time to waste, and I don't know what other options there are.

March 2, 2018


  • 1102

First of all: sorry for my bad english...

I can't fix such problems, but in this case 'Hähnchen" is not a correct answer. Female chicken are "das Huhn", "das Hühnchen" or "die Henne", if it's male you call it "der Hahn". When you talk about "das Hähnchen" you are in the food-section, because it's something you order in a restaurant / from a butcher.


Oh I see. I feel stupid. I couldn't get that out of the couple of dictionaries I looked at. Thank you so much for the quick reply and a very clear explanation. So "Hähnchen" only refers to the dead and butchered bird you're planning to eat, but "Hühnchen" (and "Henne") are female live birds, and der Hahn is a male bird. Do I have it straight?

  • 1102

That's correct... hope, I could help :) btw., when you have a group with male and/or female birds they are called "die Hühner".


a hühnchen is dead as well. huhn/ henne(female) or hahn (male) for living animals. hähnchen if you plan to fry it. hühnchen for the soup (or for asian dishes)


First of all, your English is very good. Secondly, thanks for your very clear explanation.


I'm a German native speaker and Hühnchen and Hähnchen are the same for me (both referring to the cooked/grilled chicken).

For the living animal I say Huhn or Henne (female) and Hahn (male). I don't say Hühnchen to a living animal.

  • 1102

Sorry, if my try of explanation was not clear enough...

When we talk about food, we will find both terms: Huhn/Hühnchen and Hähnchen, for example: a meal called "Hühnerfrikassee", a category "Gerichte vom Huhn" in a menu, "Hähnchenschenkel", and so on... In Bavaria the Hähnchen is normaly called "Hendl".

The OP was about "Hähnchen" in Animals 2 practice exercise. So, i asume we talk about living animals and I can not imagine a single situation in which I would use "Hähnchen".

[deactivated user]

    It used to be Hähnchen, but they changed to Hühnchen a couple months ago.


    Did they? That makes sense, because I'm sure I've seen that question before and, to tell you the truth, I have always only used "Hähnchen" when referring to "chicken", but from Raisinnor's response, I guess it is not as simple as just that.

    [deactivated user]

      Yes, I have a TinyCards deck on German animals and I still have the Hähnchen version. Guess I'm a bit lazy to go and change.

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