https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

Anyone? Having gender problems!

Does anyone have any hints on how to learn the genders of nouns in German? I'm having major trouble.

January 21, 2015

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JBranch1998

Mind jumped to gender identity crisis when I first read the header, but opening the post, I realize should have known better on duolingo lol

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jaceyjace88

i did the same thing

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

Yeah, should've labeled differently

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JimmiDee

Nah, it makes people read it. Besides, a lot of people would have realised what you were referring to (I did).

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

Yeah, link baiting.

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Just have to remember it... There's no way around it. Memorize the gender with the noun. I know Duolingo might not do that... But write down like das Haus, der Hund, die Katze or whatever for every vocab word you get. Memorize those.

Gotta memorize it with the noun otherwise it'll never stick.

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

For the most part you better remember any new noun with its article. Don't memorize "Haus", but "Das Haus", e.t.c. Nevertheless, there are some patterns I noticed. The more you get to know words, the more you will notice these patterns. Example: All the words ending with 'tion' are probably feminine (die Station, die Lektion...). Many of the 'ung' words are also feminine (die Regierung, die Genehmigung...). Nouns ending with 'en' are frequently masculine (der Boden, der Norden, der Osten...). Many of disciplines are feminine (die Musik, die Literatur, die Physik...)

So while my list is far from being exhaustive, it still might give you hope for a brighter future :)

P.S. My condolences to you, my friend, if you are indeed a native english speaker. Having english as a mother tongue is probably the worst basis to start learning foreign languages. No genders, no cases, and many more, that makes your language kinda easy to learn, but doesn't give you much in a sense of linguistic comprehension.

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JimmiDee

Although they aren't very prominent English actually has three cases. Just look at the pronouns: he, him, his (subject, object, possessor).

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

Yes, of course. He/She/It are the remainders of once distinguished genders/cases. And still, in real life practice, we could as well say it has none.

January 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JimmiDee

In real life practice English still has cases, it's just they only affect one part of speech, unlike German in which it affects four. Grammatical case only affects pronouns in English, but affects nouns, pronouns, adjectives and articles in German (source: English grammar for Students of German, 5th edn).

An awareness of the three cases in English can actually aid in learning German, as it can speed up the process between recognising the difference between the subject and an object. Unfortunately it provides no assistance in identifying the difference between direct and indirect objects.

January 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

I do realize that it makes it harder to learn another language. You seen to be progressing steadily through many languages. If you don't mind my asking, what is your mother tounge?

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

I actually got two of them. One is Russian, the other is Hebrew.

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

I hear Russian is one of the hardest languages to learn, is that true?

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

I don't agree, though it has its difficulties. It actually has quite a few similarities with German. 3 genders, cases, word building.

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

It is strange I don't have the option of "reply" under your last message, so I'll write here. I cannot speak for all the languages in the world, and of course the question of the "hardest language" depends a lot on which languages you already know. For example, studying German for a native English speaker would be easier than for say, Hebrew speaker, since they both come from the Germanic language family (I am sure you have noticed certain similarities). For me Chinese sounds very difficult, as it is a tonal language, something westerns are not aware of at all (same word said in different intonation has completely different meanings). And of course the Chinese writing system is frightening.

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RJA_15

When I started my tree I wasn't very good at remembering gender. I had to stop on virtually every question to look up the gender of a word. I started using two visual techniques to help me.

Firstly I grouped words of the same gender together into a little picture, for example, I imagined a man standing on a rock in the middle of the river with a dog watching a fish swim by. This reminded me that der Mann, der Stein, der Fluss, der Hund and der Fisch are all masculine. I ended up with lots of little visual pictures full of objects of one gender: a boy in a tree drinking juice (der Junge, der Baum, der Saft) or a wooden house house on fire (das Haus, das Feuer, das Holz). I knew Haus was neuter so by associating other words with it I began to remember them too.

My second technique was to associate each word with a colour, either blue (m) pink (f) or green (n). Some are easy like the sky is blue, der Himmel is masculine, or the grass is green, das Gras is neuter. Other things I just imagined being the appropriate colour, I imagined pink flowers and ducks and blue chairs and tables.

This really helped me to start with. I have a picture or colour reminder for most of the words in the first half of the tree. After that I found that I began to learn the gender of new words without these memory aides and found I was automatically learning the genders of new words without thinking about it too much. It does get easier!

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

Thanks! I'll give it a go.

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

Oh sure, you can just search by "german gender rules or hints." Here is one result: http://jakubmarian.com/how-to-recognize-gender-in-german-using-endings/

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/schyrsivochter

And if you don't know the gender of a word, look it up in a dictionary. It will say n, f, or m (neutral, female, male)

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bibeaults

You just have to memorize it.

http://www.memrise.com/course/335725/comprehensive-german-duolingo-vocabulary/

I stumbled on that course and it helped immensely. It has flash cards for all the duolingo German lessons and the nouns have their articles so you are forced to learn them along with the noun to get it right.

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jaceyjace88

I too struggled with this and even now I have to double check myself. I found some youtube videos that explained some tricks on how to learn them and that helped me heaps. While duo is awesome I found it helped to have outside resources as well. If you like I can try and find the videos for you xx

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/eleanorlh

There are some basic rules that will help you guess, but mostly it's just memorization. Maybe make a quizlet?

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AddictedToPain

Start reading in German, it will become more natural for you!

January 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutschmitDuo

he probably shouldn't until he's familiar with the cases, lest he starts thinking feminine words are masculine because they're in dative or genitive!

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JimmiDee

I also use Memrise and if I continuously get a word's gender wrong I create a colour-coded 'mem'. For example, to learn 'die Gans', I created a mem using a picture of a pink goose.

der-blue, die-pink, das-green.

January 22, 2015
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