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  5. "Ist Geschlecht wichtig?"

"Ist Geschlecht wichtig?"

Translation:Is gender important?

August 3, 2013

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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"?


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


"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?"


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.


Any reason why Geschlecht is made from ge+schlecht?


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



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.


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".


and generation doesn´t work either. Why


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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