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If the sentence was "Jente spiser et jordbær", that would be "Girl eats a strawberry" in English. Neither would make any sense. There are often other hints that would let you guess whether or not 'jente' or 'jenta' is used, such as adjectives and demonstratives before it.
Okay, now reread what I said immediately above your response, and then look at the declensions so thoughtfully provided by yourself, directly above that. My question is, and still seems to be, even after all of this time, How do I hear the difference between the two vowels (A and E) when both sound to me like a schwa?
To me there is a clear difference between the -a and the -e ending, but you don't really need to hear the difference to tell them apart, you could just hear the preceding word. If it's a indefinite adjective/article, it's surely 'jente'. If there is a definite adjective or no article, it's surely 'jenta'. So you could either try and learn the difference in the pronunciation or you could try to hear the preceding word(or the lack of). 'jente spiser et jordbær' would be grammatically incorrect.
As fveldig has explained above, all feminine nouns may be declined as if they were masculine.
If you were wondering how "girl", which is so obviously feminine, can be treated as masculine, the answer is that there's little relation between biological gender and grammatical gender in Norwegian.
If you're having trouble with the letter "æ", you have a few options.
If you're on a mobile device, you can...
- Try to hold down "a", and see if "æ" appears as an option.
- Install an international keyboard.
- Install a Norwegian keyboard.
If you're on a computer, you can...
- Click the letters provided to you below the input field.
- Install a Norwegian or international keyboard.
- Learn the ALT-codes for the Norwegian characters.
Shouldn't "The girl eats a strawberry" be accepted? The present tense may be awkward to actually use in this case when speaking English, but it is a direct translation. In my experience, just using present tense is almost always accepted elsewhere in the course. It also keeps thing simple when there's no present continuous in the language you're translating from.