Konijn reminds me of the British English word coney. They are similar sounding and probably come from a common root word. Hopefully the following digression will help some to remember that konijn = coney = rabbit! I am reminded of Samwise in Lord of the Rings when he educates Smeagol on how to properly cook a brace of conies! With potatoes!
In my Swiss-Italian Dialect is "Conili/Cunili". In italian is coniglio. Also strange in my dialect we say "Usel" for "Uccello (bird) and it always remind me of" Oiseau" from french than the italian.
Both are correct. English is one of only few languages in which the progressive aspect is mandatory when it is applicable. In most European languages, including Dutch, the progressive aspect is only used when speakers really want to emphasise it. This is in part because the construction is a bit clumsier than in English.
In other words, the following are correct translations:
- Het konijn drinkt water. = The rabbit drinks water.
- Het konijn drinkt water. = The rabbit is drinking water.
- Het konijn is water an het drinken. = The rabbit is drinking water.
I don't think so. In Middle Dutch, -ijn or -in was an adjective ending, but this doesn't seem to help. I have looked at the words ending in -ijn in a rijmwoordenboek, but they seem to be a very mixed bunch. I suspect that Dutch got the word from Old French (le) conin, so the ending is not Dutch at all. Also, the original ending is present even in the German word, before the diminutive.
The words for animals are nouns. Nouns have gender, which is essentially arbitrary though there are some rules of thumb for certain classes of nouns. I am not aware of any such rule of thumb for animals other than the following:
- Nouns that imply the sex of the animal (examples in English: bull, steer, cow, bitch, cock, hen) were originally masculine or feminine and therefore are now de words.
- Nouns for immature animals (examples in English: calf, lamb, puppy) are likely to be het words (like het kind).
For words like cattle, horse, hare, rabbit, chicken that can be used for adult animals of either sex, you just have to learn the gender as for any other noun.