I have a problem with genders in French language

… so I wonder if anyone can give me a link to some sort of cloze test, where I should fill in the gaps with words like “le”, “la”, etc…?

hi ninche, I think i would be able to help you. For that to happen i would like you to describe the problems that you are facing. 2. What kind of solution are you looking for, Example :- are you looking for a website or something else.

what about a memrise course Level 1 - 1 - 10 - + French • Nouns 1 - Memrise

@ Ninche - I did some of this for myself when I learned German. Maybe you can try what I did.

What I did was I downloaded some short text that I had the audio for (‘Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten’ from Deutschewelle), and I then went through and deleted the sedond and third letters of each article, so instead of ‘der’, ‘die’, ‘das’, 'den, ‘dem’, and ‘des’, I just had ‘d__’. I also went through and deleted the wierd endings of adjectives and replacing them with ‘__’. I then waited a week, so that I would forget the answers, and went back and tried filling them in and then checked my answers with the original. I did this a couple of times but gave up because it was so boring. I think it was a good thing to do and I think I would benefit a lot from doing more of it, but I probably won’t.


How interesting Colin. That’s a clever idea. I wonder if I could write a script to do this automatically…

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I wrote an IDL script that did the articles automatically, but I guess you don’t want to use that.

No, no thanks. I’ll write it in Python and show you how it’s done

Also, you can do it for the indefinite articles by replacing them with ‘ein__’, and other words such as ‘welche_’, ‘solche_’, and so on.

Maybe you can modify the script for Ninche to do it in French.

yeah ein, die/der/das/dem/den/des, welche, solche, jede… are the easy ones. The other adjective endings… could be difficult.

This actually sounds like a fantastic webpage for LingQ. Give the text, remove the endings, then have the user tab through and fill in the “answers” then show a diff or the wrong/right answers somehow. This has potential.

Perhaps I’ll find some time tomorrow to get a prototype script running. It could be easy to “translate” it to work with French… but then again, I’d have to look up French… and 4 years of high-school French left me scarred and afraid to dig up that language again Hell, I’ll just put it on github and someone else can do it

I don’t know how you could do the adjectives unless you can find a large list of German adjectives online, which you probably can. With French, you just need to ask some French speakers or learners what they want. For example, it would only take you a few seconds to modify your script to replace ‘la’ and ‘le’ with ‘l_’.

edit: This place probably has enough


It takes effort. Fortunately those nice smart people at Stanford have figured it out for us

That’ll give you the part of speech. Find the adjectives and strip off the ending. The Python NLTK might do it as well. I’ll investigate tomorrow “at work”

Edit: “Python: NLTK (2.0+) contains an interface to the Stanford POS tagger written by Nitin Madnani: documentation (note: set the character encoding or you get ASCII!), code, on Github.”


@personal advice

“My current goal is to reach C2 level in English, and to reach A2 level in French by the first half of year 2014”

Well, I don´t you should worry about genders - for now. You´ll rarely be misunderstood because you use the wrong gender.
Focus on vocabulary, verb conjugations and the other stuff that is * necessary* for understanding and speaking French.

@actually answering your question^^

The word “moustache” is feminin —>la moustache. When I heard it for the first time, I had to think of a woman with a mustache, that´s what made remembering the gender for “moustache” easy.^^
You could try to use your imagination to learn the genders of other words :slight_smile:
I think memrise (spatterson posted a link) is based on the same principle.

Besides that, you can often tell the gender of a word by it´s ending. To give just one example, words that end with “-isme” are always masculine —> le communisme, le socialisme, le capitalisme etc…
There´s a good article about that on about.com ---------> French Noun Endings Can Be a Telltale Sign of Gender


it was a good idea Colin. However you would have agree with me that the method that you used is time consuming. There could be another way also. Don’t you think so?

Time consuming in what way? Making the exercise or just doing the exercise?

it`s a good advice about imagination to learn the genders of other words

Did you carry on with your project?
“This actually sounds like a fantastic webpage for LingQ. Give the text, remove the endings, then have the user tab through and fill in the “answers” then show a diff or the wrong/right answers somehow. This has potential.”

Yes I finished it basically that day.

I’ve submitted it to my public code repository

basically it turns:
[shaun@redsavina nltk] cat test_german.txt
Sie sehen die langen Zug.
Wir rennen mit drei verschiedenen Katzen.
Hast du dieses neue Buch?
In der Praxis behandeln sie den ganzen Körper.
Die Biene mag die offenen Blumen.
Er benutzt die offenen Türen.
Wir tragen verschiedene Größen.
Die Kinder in Bayern haben lange Ferien.
Ihr habt verschiedene Krankheiten.
Ich sehe den zuständigen Trainer.
Ich habe die höhere Zahl.
Er kennt den starken Gegner.
Sie hat verschiedene Schuhe.
Ihr beide steht euch sehr nahe.
Lesen Sie die offenen Bücher.
Mein Vater mag starken Kaffee.

into this:

shaun@redsavina nltk] ./case_trainer.py test_german.txt
Sie sehen d__ lang__ Zug
Wir rennen mit drei verschieden__ Katzen
Hast du dieses neu_ Buch
In d__ Praxis behandeln sie d__ ganz__ Körper
D__ Biene mag d__ offen__ Blumen
Er benutzt d__ offen__ Türen
Wir tragen verschieden_ Größen
D__ Kinder in Bayern haben lange Ferien
Ihr habt verschieden_ Krankheiten
Ich sehe d__ zuständig__ Trainer
Ich habe d__ höher_ Zahl
Er kennt d__ stark__ Gegner
Sie hat verschieden_ Schuhe
Ihr beide steht euch sehr nahe
Lesen Sie d__ offen__ Bücher
Mein Vater mag stark__ Kaffee

It would be easy to adapt to French…

It’s not really in a “useable” format for the majority of users… and I don’t have the time right now to improve on it. The code is there for LingQ or someone else to use freely

Edit: Oh, i’m sure the code isn’t perfect. I remember doing this in a hour with the help of some Stanford language processing code…

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Thanks for answering.
Can it be adapted to other languages? I’m thinking about Portuguese, my mother tongue. However in Portuguese the articles only have one letter in the singular (o, a), so the format couldn’t be the same.