What if there was a loanword that can't be translated into German, and must remain the same as it was in its original language? Like Lamborghini, for example?

How can you tell the gender of a loanword like that? Is it the way it ends, begins, etc.?


1 Answer 1


You are asking about proper names and for these, the "rule" is to use the same gender as other members of the same class have, if it's not obvious it should be different:

der Porsche/der AMG/der Melkus

der Lamborghini/der Ferrari/der Maserati

but e.g.

die Corvette/die Cobra/die Viper/die DS/die Ente

das Kommißbrot/das Cremeschnittchen

  • I think I understand?? What if the loanword is English, where its words usually don't have genders?
    – sen
    Feb 10, 2018 at 19:20
  • Use the same gender as other specimens of the class. In this case, the class is "car brands" and those are usually male, in German. So it is "der Rolls", "der Bentley" and "der Rover" even if these don't have a gender in English. There are exceptions, and you'll just have to know them. ISTM that the exceptions are often pet names (Vette, Cobra, Viper, Ente, Kommißbrot), not proper brand names. Feb 10, 2018 at 20:17
  • @sen: FWIW: Der Chevrolet, der Dodge, der Citroen, der Hanomag, der Renault. But die AC Cobra. Feb 10, 2018 at 20:26
  • E.g. if it wasn't a car brand, but a motorbike brand, the members of that class are female. So, der BMW is a car, while die BMW is a motorbike. Same with der/die Honda. For exceptions, e.g. it's die Corvette because -ette is a female suffix. (And now think a while why motorbikes are female in German.)
    – Janka
    Feb 10, 2018 at 21:10
  • Even this is inconsistent. It is die Isetta, die Alfa-Giulietta, ... but even if their names are feminine we still hear people say der Mercedes and der Toyota Corolla ;)
    – Takkat
    Feb 12, 2018 at 9:08

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