https://www.duolingo.com/MrsBlakeney

Words: Please add gender and capitalize nouns

Right now the Words list for German does not capitalize nouns. This is an error in German, just as much as not capitalizing the letter I in English would be.

Also, it would be really helpful if the gender were indicated with the nouns on the list. Example. der Mann . This would help the new learner to associate the gender with the noun. Alternately it could be indicated with a notation in parenthesis or a subscript. Ex. Mann (masc).

This is a pretty major learning point for English speakers, especially those who have never learned another language. It is a pretty be learning point to understand that nouns have gender and that the gender is associated with the sound or spelling of the word rather than some innate quality of the noun in question.

I would also suggest that the elaboration of a noun when you hover over it should include the plural form. There are so many ways of pluralizing German words compared to the patterns in other languages that this ought to be introduced at every opportunity.

November 4, 2014

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/quantmeyer

I see this brought up multiple times a week. I agree wholeheartedly every time and will continue to do so until Duo does something about it. Like you said, the non-capitalized nouns is an error! Considering that Duo is meant as an educational tool, correcting wrong information should be high priority.

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cal-Gal

I've sent the same comment as feedback many times; it's very disappointing to see no action is taken

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferNarzt

I cannot even say "AGREE" enough to communicate how much I do in fact agree with this.

Please please PLEASE implement this, Duolingo!

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mathso2

While I wholeheartedly agree that nouns should be capitalised, if you click on a word in the list it shows the gender as part of an info box in the top right hand corner. However, they should probably also show the gender with the word when revising as that is really useful and lots of different parts of speech in German depend on gender.

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MrsBlakeney

You're right about the info box within the Words list. However, many nouns are first introduced in the actual lessons. There you can only hover to get a translation. I've noticed that in the German lessons there is only an English translation. Maybe the thinking is that since hovering gives the English, it would be inappropriate to give the gender of the German word that is being glossed. However, even within the info box, the German nouns are not capitalized. This really just isn't correct.

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mathso2

I've just had a look, and lack of genders also seems to be a problem in Italian. You can access them the same way in the top right hand corner, but when revising flashcards gender is not shown, leaving people confused about genders and losing hearts on lessons because of it.

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/suzshu

I agree. The word list should have capitalization of nouns, since that is proper in German. I also agree that it would be helpful to have their gender. I personally would prefer your example for Mann to show der Mann.

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielFloresU

One thing that needs to be done with the words is make it more dynamic. I always get the same words... there is no practicing on that! Am probably around the middle of the tree, I think they should come up with more words for me to practice!

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MrsBlakeney

Following the advice on another thread, I submitted a request via the support tab (left hand side of the screen on the computer mode). Suggest others do the same.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/linda928069

Thanks for this comment. I agree completely. I am 50% of the way through the course now but constantly stumble over gender because it is not handled well. Better to learn gender from the beginning.

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MrsBlakeney

I also just noticed that when you hover over a noun in a strengthening exercise, it only gives a translation. There is no indication of the part of speech or the gender. Yet both of those seem to appear in the Spanish lessons. Why the difference?

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ethan.murdoch

They do show the gender for some nouns some of the time, but I haven't noticed a pattern to this.

I completely agree with all the comments requesting the gender to be much more prominent as this is so key to learning German and speaking correctly

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/flandybandy

I am pretty sure the pattern is this: When you hover over a German word you get the gender at the bottom, when you hover over an English word you don't.

The irony is that the gender is only really helpful when you are doing English to German translations, but on the other hand it would not make much sense to show the gender at the bottom for en English word, since it can have multiple translations with different genders.

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MrsBlakeney

Now I'm really confused, because when I went back to look at the exercises, I am now seeing gender at the bottom of the box that opens when I hover. I don't know if this is a matter of having different browsers on different computers, just not seeing it before, or different features in different exercises.

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferNarzt

I've never noticed a gender on "hover". Maybe they're AB testing it? (Pleeeeease let it pass if that's the case!)

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordbaermelk

Yes, it would be nice if this were fixed.

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dcress

I agree, in addition it would be great if the gender would be included with the nouns on the flash cards. Thanks

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jmoli56

Absolutely, although I finally realized that if you hover over the word when it is first introduced that the gender of the noun is presented. I do wish the plural was given also.

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MrsBlakeney

I was just looking at my list. One of the issues that strikes me is the lack of correlation between singular and plural nouns. The list really treats them as if they are completely different words, rather than two versions of the same word.
For example, kinder [sic] is listed as neuter and meaning kids. But there is no indication that it relates to das Kind. For many new students, this will result in their learning twice as many nouns as necessary. It may also keep them from realizing that there are patterns in pluralization. Plus I'm trying to think of an occasion when the gender of a plural noun would matter. If I remember correctly, the declension of adjectives and articles is the same for all plural nouns, regardless of the gender of the noun.

November 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferNarzt

I totally agree with this. The verbs are a big thing, too. They should be on the "Words" list in the unconjugated form, and there should be a conjugation chart in the info box. (At the very least, if Duo isn't going to give us "Vocab" back & let us do mini-lessons on a particular word, they should improve "Words" so that it's actually useful, as opposed to completely & utterly useless!)

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cheybunny29

I think they should have lessons that are just conjugating verbs. It's imperative to know the difference between regular and irregular verbs and how to conjugate them and there isn't anything to help with that.

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferNarzt

Exactly! There used to be, back when "Words" was "Vocab". But for some reason Duolingo got rid of it…. :(

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/territech

try http://www.conjugation.org. Also, I have found "Spanish Verb Workbook" by Dr. Frank Nuessel to be extremely helpful. It's available in paperback as well as Kindle version.

November 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/territech

I disagree that the word list is "completely and utterly useless." I copied and pasted the entire word list into an Excel spreadsheet, from which I could sort any way I want and/or add notes (such as plural forms, gender, etc.). I found this very useful. Duolingo could make all the information we need more easily obtainable, but I am sure that my own efforts to research on other sites and rearrange the information to suit my own thought pattern helps me retain it.

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferNarzt

OK, I should clarify: The "Words" list as it exists on the site is useless. Sure, you could spend a whole bunch of time creating a spreadsheet to catalogue the data in a meaningful manner, but the only help the website provided you was a page to copy from (not to mention that as you learn more words, you have to add them to your spreadsheet by hand). The "Vocab" page USED to basically do all the work of your spreadsheet, plus had built-in mini-exercises to practice with, before Duolingo replaced it with "Words".

I too have made spreadsheets with verb conjugation, the pronouns in different cases ("he/his/him"), etc. My point is that Duolingo spent all sorts of time destroying a helpful feature & rendering it into such a state that the only way it's at all useful is if you completely change it on your own time.

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/territech

It really is a shame that Duolingo dropped something that so many participants found helpful. Obviously I started after that was eliminated. You might find Quizlet.com a way to fill the gap left by Duolingo.

November 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MoxieZhang

Strongly support this plea

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/brendanashworth

Yes please! It's especially hard to copy the nouns with the genders down onto flash cards, (doing 20 at a time), so this would be a great improvement.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sperph

Hi guys, I use google translate to help. Click on 'more translations' and a list of the word plus synonyms with their genders will pop up. I just keep another browser tab up while I'm working. It forces you to think wether you might already know the gender before checking.

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cheybunny29

Google translate is actually really bad for translations because it's actually inaccurate a lot of the time, I recommend trying try Leo. It was shown it to me and it's much more accurate and helpful. Here's the link --- http://dict.leo.org/ende/index_en.html

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/valeiltale

Good suggestion, thanks

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/territech

Thank you for that suggestion. I have added dict.leo.org to my favorite references. I also use reverso.com and linguee.com, both of which are better than Google.

November 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cheybunny29

gender is sooo important because it determines what ending you add to ein and other things, how can you properly learn a language if you're missing important pieces?

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GregfromOZ

When reviewing words it would a big help (especially to visual learners) to see "der Fisch" instead of "fisch".

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/valeiltale

I agree. I want to add that having in hand a more analytical dictionary with gender and other informations might be good. Sometimes I give look to http://www.wordreference.com/ende it's very helpfull

November 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DirtyHarri3

a lot of the words in my list don't have any translation when hovering over the work, or even when I click on it. I have to go to more information before I get anything, and sometimes not even then. I keep notes, have made a spreadsheet, but I'm still messing up with der, die and das. Freaks me out.

August 7, 2018
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