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  5. "Ist Geschlecht wichtig?"

"Ist Geschlecht wichtig?"

Translation:Is gender important?

August 3, 2013

13 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlazingFast

I'm totally being curious here:

German loves to make those compound words.

Schlecht by itself means "bad".

Could anyone explain the construction of the word "Geschlecht" and why it means "gender"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

They don't have the same roots, it's purely a coincidence that those two words share the same syllable. You can find something about the etymology of the word Geschlecht here: http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Geschlecht


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bauble

"Geschlecht" was highlighted as a new word, so when I hovered over it one of the translations was "family," so I translated it as "Is family important?" Why is that wrong? Why must it be "Is gender important?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

Geschlecht means family in the sense of a lineage. Of royal lineage = aus königlichem Geschlecht. But you can't put it in the sentence above, to avoid abiguity, you'd say "ist Herkunft wichtig?" if you mean lineage. Nowadays, Geschlecht is primarily understood as gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Atomic_Sheep

Any reason why Geschlecht is made from ge+schlecht?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

It has nothing to do with schlecht= bad, if that's what you mean.

http://www.wissen.de/wortherkunft/geschlecht.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Atomic_Sheep

A lot of German words appear to be made up of other words, so I thought perhaps there was some history or just an interesting story behind this one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

Well, as described in the link, it is made of other words, just not the one you thought. the -schlecht part has the same roots as "Schlag" in the meaning "kind". The Ge- prefix makes it "group of the same kind".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jabenpor

and generation doesn´t work either. Why


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

I would guess you are supposed to be able to tell from the context which of several meanings is being used. "Is generation important?" is a rather odd thing to say, although possible, so "gender" seems more likely here. Not being a native German speaker, I'm not sure what "Geschlecht" really sounds like to one, but what sakasiru said above makes a lot of sense. I assume, from what (s?)he said, that "Geschlecht" mainly means gender, but in certain contexts would be translated to the English words "generation" or "family". (Can't you just imagine "of royal gender" meaning "of royal lineage/family"?)

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