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61

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).


29

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, ...


29

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 ...


22

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 ...


21

"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 ...


20

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 ...


18

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 ...


18

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 - underschiedene Emotionen.) Laut Wikipedia heißt es, "dass ein eifersüchtiger Mensch Angst hat, zu verlieren, was (oder wen) er besitzt und wirklich oder vermeintlich ...


18

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 ...


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

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 ...


16

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 ...


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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

Heiraten bedeutet eine Ehe eingehen. Man ist also entweder Braut oder Bräutigam. Sich vermählen ist ein Synonym zu heiraten, in meinem Verständis 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 ...


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

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 ...


13

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 ...


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. :-)


12

The distinction is pretty easy. "Das Mädchen" simply means girl (=female child), "das Kind" means child (= neutral), and for a male child or boy you would use "der Junge" (old-fashioned "der Knabe", southern dialects as well "der Bub(e)"). As far as I can see, the neutral gender for "girl" comes from the ending "-chen". This is a diminutive and always ...


12

Both relate to hoch, although not quite literally. A wedding is a high time, a time of great joy; and Hochmut is a high (nowadays usually: too high) self-esteem. Mut means courage, but there is a older meaning (cf. Gemüt) that can be translated as frame of mind.


12

zufolge is a postposition which can be translated as according to and whose object (here, Presse) is in the dative case, and the dative of die Presse is der Presse. der Presse zufolge therefore translates to according to the press and your whole example sentence translates to: According to the press, the trial was unfair. The translation you gave is a ...


11

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...


11

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 ...


11

There's almost no difference, both verbs can be replaced by each other without a significant difference in meaning in most cases. So usually it isn't a mistake to use prüfen instead of überprüfen and vice versa. To narrow down the slight difference: I would prefer überprüfen to prüfen if it's about verifying or double-checking a certain fact. However, if ...


11

Yes, there is a subtle and difficult-to-grasp difference and there even is a third possibility. First of all, a neutral form can be used for something in this colour: das Weiße des Auges – the white part of the eye das Schwarze der Zielscheibe – the black part of a target; the bullseye The second neutral form (note the different inflection ...


11

In that sentence it is not possible to differentiate the meaning of Sie. You need either a context or the possibility to see if Sie is capitalized because of the punctuation, or because of its meaning as "formal you". For instance: — Haben Sie meine Brieftasche gesehen? Ich habe die verloren. — Möglichkeit A: Ja, sie haben Ihre Brieftasche. ...


10

Another suggestion from LEO: She's got the travel bug. See here.



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