How do you remember gender? | General discussion | Forum

How do you remember gender? | General discussion | Forum

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How do you remember gender?
January 8, 2013
11:55
ducedo

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I stumbled upon the following text the other day:

For gender, set up 3 very vivid verbs, for example “bouncing/exploding/melting” that correspond to “male/female/neuter”. For Der Tisch, for example, picture a table bouncing up and down, and for Das Fenster, picture a melting window. These images tend to remain in your memory much longer than abstract concepts like gender.

Since I've had problem remembering gender I believe this might help some of you in the same situation.

Sure, everyone will understand you if you use the wrong one but during an exam you really need to be sure. I've had more than one situation where I'm sure it's das Pferd (or similar) and then become uncertain - was it die Pferd, der Pferd, das Pferd? The more you dwell on it, the more uncertain you become.

Have you tried this method or are you using any other memory techniques?

Native: | Fluent: | Understand: | Learning: | // Stefan Nilsson
January 8, 2013
12:29
pq
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I am learning Russian which has specific rules for that, so I just check the ending. When it ends with ь I just try to memorize the word, I don't know of any special techniques for that.

January 8, 2013
13:14
ducedo

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I continued reading my grammar book after posting this and found der & das Mensch:

The word men, human or human being in German inherits its masculinity. Thus, I know that Mensch will be 'der Mensch' in German. However, it comes to the fact that I arrived knowing that there is also 'das Mensch' in German but has a different meaning. Literally, it means 'slut'.

Native: | Fluent: | Understand: | Learning: | // Stefan Nilsson
January 9, 2013
10:13
Raphacam
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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This technique sounds really good, where did you find it?

Mine is a bit more primitive, I usually visualise them in colours, being blue for masculine nouns, red for feminine and green for neuter. When it's as abstract as die Frage (the question), I picture a scene. In this case, a red guy with a question mark above his head looking to a thinking red man.

However, as done by native speakers, time makes it easier to guess gender. In the case of Frage, I would've guessed feminine because of it's ending in -e. German is a language that gets easier with time, really. 

Native: Português Fluent: English Deutsch Español Non-fluent: Esperanto Français Italiano Galego Basic: Latīna ייִדיש Abandoned experiences: Eλληνικά Pусский Cymraeg Bokmål LIBRAS

January 10, 2013
05:31
ducedo

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Raphacam said
This technique sounds really good, where did you find it?

I read it over at Tower of Babelfish.

Native: | Fluent: | Understand: | Learning: | // Stefan Nilsson
January 10, 2013
09:24
Murilo Ricci
São Paulo, Brazil

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I really liked this method, I'll sure try to use it. Thanks for sharing! :)
I use the colours method, red for female, blue for male, and green for neutral. So I try to memorize the name in the target language, and I imagine the object in that colour, i.e. der Pfirsich; I imagine a blue peach. Hope it helps.

Native: Portuguese (Brazil) | Speaks: English | Learning: Russian German | Future: Chinese
July 10, 2013
07:19
AFlondon
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This technique sounds really good, where did you find it? Mine is a bit more primitive, I usually visualise them in colours, being blue for masculine nouns, red for feminine and green for neuter. When it's as abstract as die Frage (the question), I picture a scene. In this case, a red guy with a question mark above his head looking to a thinking red man. However, as done by native speakers, time makes it easier to guess gender. In the case of Frage, I would've guessed feminine because of it's ending in -e. German is a language that gets easier with time, really. 

This method does work. I also use association with images, some of which are too silly to confess to. Here's an example: to remember that Zimmer (room) is neuter, I think of a neutral room, namely the one at the Panmunjom border between the two Koreas, where returning prisoners of war were given a choice of whether they wanted to go North or South, by choosing one of two doors to leave that room by. (Look, I told you that they were silly images, but it works for me: I use it to always remember that it's das Zimmer.)

July 10, 2013
09:40
yaquigrande

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Very interesting! I never thought this was a problem since I grew up speaking Spanish and the gender thing just kind of worked for me without thinking about it. Now, when I study my Italian, the gender seems to flow without effort and it sticks without effort (for the most part smile).

Speaks: English Learning: Planned:

July 10, 2013
10:51
aelissa
Bogor, West Java, Indonesia
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I simply memorise the noun with the accompanying article. So not only I memorise that "maison" in French is "house", but "LA maison" is "[the] house".

I've never learnt a language with 3 genders like German though, but I'm think I'd be using the same method confused

Native: Indonesian | Fluent: English

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July 10, 2013
12:41
Falkenstein
Germany

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ducedo said
I continued reading my grammar book after posting this and found der & das Mensch:

The word men, human or human being in German inherits its masculinity. Thus, I know that Mensch will be 'der Mensch' in German. However, it comes to the fact that I arrived knowing that there is also 'das Mensch' in German but has a different meaning. Literally, it means 'slut'.

"Das Mensch" doesn't exist in modern German. Maybe in dialects, but I'm not sure about that either. I think it existed in Old High German and Middle High German (500-1300 years ago). I can only say that personally I've never heard it being used by anyone in my entire life. I definitely wouldn't think "slut" if I heard it, I would think you don't know the correct article. Perhaps it can be used ironically if you're really into gender studies. If you want to know actual German words to express "slut", pm me. lol

Speaks: English | Learning: עברית Français | Interested in: 中文

July 18, 2013
11:20
Eric Masterson

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Wanted to learn French for quite some time now and luckily though a good friend of mine enrolled me in a French speaking class. There are many things to remember in learning a new language and each language has its own methods. Practice and familiarization with the words is what I do when I learn something new and it applies for me not only in learning languages but in learning new things as well...

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