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73

One obvious way (still worth pointing out) is always learning vocabulary with the "der, die, das" prefix. If you memorize Der Hund Die Rose Das Haus instead of Hund Rose Haus you learn the gender automatically along the way — not unlike Latin (Rosa, Rosae, Rosam).


44

You are falling into the trap laid out carefully by German Gender Mainstreaming throughout the years. No, in German a noun does not have a gender. It has a genus. This genus is a purely grammatical property defined by tradition. By default, it has nothing to do with biological sex or sociological gender. The word der Student is a masculine noun describing ...


33

Generally I think we have to just learn them, but here are some patterns I've been told: Word ends with "a" -> feminine (die Sauna) Word ends with "e" -> feminine (die Tasche, die Küche) Word ends with "ung" -> feminine (die Entscheidung) Word ends with "chen" -> neutral (das Mädchen, das Märchen) Word comes from a foreign language -> neutral (das Hotel, ...


31

A major effort from feminist linguistics is achieving equality of men and women in spoken or written language. All terms that discriminate men and women should be avoided. Fräulein (the diminutive of Frau) was especially criticized as it did not only discriminate in sex but also has a strong sexist association by the meaning of Fräulein being an unmarried ...


25

Capitalization of nouns was introduced in Late Middleages (14th century). The first letter(s) of single words (especially religious terms like "GOtt", but not just nouns) were set in majuscules in order to emphasize these words. Today's capitalization of all nouns was officially introduced in 17th century German. The literary critic und translator Walter ...


25

I have never connected dingsbums with bumsen. I don't think this connection is usually made. To me dingsbums is a perfectly fine word to use, albeit very colloquial and hence not necessarily appropriate in serious situations. It's only rude if you keep referring to somebody as dingsbums whose name you should know. ;-) Dingsda, dingenskirchen and ...


25

Fräulein is a diminutive ('Verniedlichungsform') of Frau. Diminution is considered an intimate act, used a lot with nicknames couples give each other (Häschen, Mäuschen, Bienchen, Bärchen) or for "lovely little beings" like children and pets. So using Fräulein has a touch of intimacy not convenient to many women. Addressing an unkown woman as Fräulein can ...


23

One reason you are having difficulties finding an adequate dictionary entry is because Kärtchen is what is known as a diminutive form. One of the diminutive endings -chen or -lein, when added to nouns, makes the modified noun smaller, cuter, or (less often) laughable. (Unfortunately for many words one of the two diminutives is much more common than the ...


22

"Das Kind" is "the child", regardless of the child's gender. "Das Mädchen" has started its life as a diminutive ("Mägdchen", little maiden) and then became the standard word for a female child. Diminutives are always of neutral gender, and they can be identified by their suffix, which in written German is "-chen" or "-lein". Dialects bring a whole new ...


21

Eifersucht has a strongly relational connotation, while Neid has a very material and status connotation. So, the nuance is, that if you are jealous that your parents like your little brother more than you, then you are eifersüchtig, but if you are jealous that they give him the bigger piece of the cake then you are neidisch or, less common, neidig. This is ...


19

Neid ist envy und Eifersucht ist jealousy. (Diese Wörter werden in der englischen Laiensprache meistens auswechselbar angewendet. Die beschreiben aber tatsächlich – genau wie im Deutschen – unterschiedliche Emotionen.) Laut Wikipedia heißt es, "dass ein eifersüchtiger Mensch Angst hat, zu verlieren, was (oder wen) er besitzt und wirklich oder vermeintlich ...


17

It really is learning-by-heart, for the most part. There is no clean method to guess your way though, and no reliable pattern to learn. There is one simple rule though to determine the gender of a composite noun - it always has the gender of the last noun in the composition der Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän ...


17

Heiraten bedeutet eine Ehe eingehen. Man ist also entweder Braut oder Bräutigam. Sich vermählen ist ein Synonym zu heiraten, in meinem Verständnis formaler und definitiv seltener verwendet. Trauen bedeutet nicht, dass man selbst den Bund der Ehe eingeht, sondern jemanden ehelich verbindet. Der Pastor traut das Ehepaar. Entsprechend ist das Äquivalent ...


17

Unter einem Wohnmobil versteht man ein Kraftfahrzeug (oder Automobil, kurz Auto) bei dem die Einrichtung fest mit dem Fahrzeug verbaut ist und das sich von selbst fortbewegen kann. Sobald es sich um einen Anhänger handelt, spricht man von einem Wohnwagen (der keinen eigenen Antrieb besitzt, sondern ein Zugfahrzeug benötigt). Deshalb ist ein Wohnwagen ...


17

As the others have said, at the end of the day, you really just have to memorize them. I found a little list of generalizations regarding regular, genitive, and plural noun endings and their associated genders, but I stress that they are no more than generalizations. That does not mean that there are no exceptions! I'll go ahead and copy them below, but ...


17

It's Scheißhaus It's a composition of the verb scheißen (not the noun Scheiße) and the noun Haus See this or this for more details.


16

Unter Klappe verstehen Österreicher die Durchwahl einer Telefonnummer. Das ist normalerweise eine kurze Gruppe von zwei bis maximal vier Ziffern, die der Hauptnummer eines Anschlusses hinzugefügt werden muss, um die gesuchte Person direkt zu erreichen. Beispiel: Unsere allgemeine Firmennummer ist +43 01 998877. Meine Klappe ist 321. Die Person ist ...


16

Seh ich anders als alle anderen Antwortenden: Erbsenzählerei benutzt zum Beispiel der Steuerberater, der den Aufwand für eine Detailabrechnung fürchtet, während der Pauschalbetrag in der Steuererklärung den gleichen Effekt hätte. Gemeint sind viele einzelne Kleinigkeiten zu unterscheiden und in irgendeiner Form zu quantifizieren. Haarspalterei wäre das ...


14

Das Substantiv Ruderer ist eine männliche Personenbezeichnung, die aus dem Verbstamm ruder (vom Verb rudern) und der Endung -er gebildet wird. Weibliche Bezeichnungen werden mit dem Suffix -in zur männlichen Form gebildet. Da das Doppel-er in der Mitte eines Wortes jedoch schwer auszusprechen ist, wird es zu einem er zusammengefasst. Das ist im Deutschen ...


14

As a tip or trick, it may be worth considering the technique proposed by Dominic O'Brien in his book How To Develop A Perfect Memory. The basic idea is that you take advantage of the natural human ability to memorize locations and spatial relationships. Specifically, you choose a town that you know very well and divide it into three 'districts,' each of ...


14

'Fräulein' was mainly used for unmarried women, and therefore for very young women when in doubt. Not being married was often considered a failure, and even a female professor, 50 years old, could have been called 'Fräulein'. "This is Fräulein Meier" is nearly equivalent of telling somebody "This is Mr. Müller. He isn't married yet." Independent from his ...


14

If you know the name, use the name. That’s the easy part. You can often still get away with ‘generisches Maskulinum’, i.e. Studenten, but in a university setting, i.e. where you’d actually use Student and Studentin to refer to students (instead of Schüler and Schülerin ‘pupil’ in a school or most other courses), it’s becoming rather common to use ...


14

"Multi" wird im Sinne von "mehrfach" oder "vielfach" benutzt, nicht im Sinne von "mehr als". Da ein "Millionär" per Definition (mindestens) eine Million Euro / Dollar / Geldeinheit oder äquivalent besitzt, erfüllt ein "Multimillionär" dieses Kriterium mehrfach, besitzt also mehrere Millionen. Der Kollege hat nur insofern Recht, als bereits 2 x 1 Million ...


13

Yes, it absolutely is offensive. It is also not used at all anymore (except in some situations with small children). It does not denote class status, it marks the difference between married or unmarried. (It may have denoted class status historically in the sense that a young woman of low class would have gotten no honorific at all, but be called by her ...


13

Folgenden Satz We're jumping into a shit storm here. könnte man mit Uns fliegt gleich eine Menge Scheiße um die Ohren. übersetzen. Anmerkung: Beide Redewendungen sind natürlich vulg. :-)


13

I think "wanderlust" and "itchy feet" are the best translations. If you're using it in combination with a specific location, e.g. Wer Fernweh nach Australien hat, ... you could translate it to Anyone with a longing for Australia...


13

First of all, there is no clear scheme after which the genders of loanwords are determined (see also this question). Even with words that are in the process of being loaned right now, native speakers find it hard to agree on the gender (e.g., I have seen any gender for Blog) and even if they do, it’s hard to pinpoint the reason. But let’s have a look at ...


13

"Berliner" is a standard adjectival derivative of a proper geografical noun which carries the ending -er regardless of the gender of the noun: Der Berliner Raum Die Berliner Sparkasse Das Berliner Straßennetz What is more, "Berliner" is never inflected: Der Berliner Raum Des Berliner Raums Dem Berliner Raum Den Berliner Raum Same with ...


13

How are kids taught this? I'm guessing it is just repetition and memorization but any other exercises? Kids pick it up through osmosis, just like everybody learns their mother tongue, no additional exercises required. They just hear people talk, repeat and imitate what they said, perhaps get corrected once in a while, and that's that. Also, I wanted ...



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