Tracking Noun Gender in German

One thing that has caught me by surprise is most of the dictionary words don’t have the gender of the noun. I don’t want to have to manually edit every flashcard. What are my options? Thanks!

Perhaps the users who have put in the hints knew the respective genders and couldn’t be bothered to enter them. Some of us are very careful, others just do the basics. It is up to you to choose / enter hints that work for you. I can’t think of any way to make it easier, perhaps someone else has more of an idea. A good dictionary is a good starting point. Which ones are you using?

Luckily I just started with this site, so I can go back and edit them. I’d hate to learn the word and never know the gender. I use

That’s a good one, as is the leo one. Your solution sounds great, new learners will profit from your work (and by entering as much as you can you’ll also retain more, I suspect).

How will new learners profit from my work? I was under the impression all of the flash cards I create are private? How can I make it so others can use my modifications?

When you create a LingQ from a blue word in your chosen text, you’ll see hints for most of the words. These hints have been added by other users. The edited hints that you’ll be adding can later be seen by a member who wants to create a LingQ from the same blue word in whatever text he is using.

As far as I know there is no privacy of hints, but what do I know?

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SanneT is right - all hints are public, and this allows learners to come in later and benefit from seeing hints that others have created. If you see hints that are incorrect or in the wrong language, please flag them and we will take care of them :slight_smile:

It’s not what you are asking for, but still could be useful to get some confidence with German noun genders:

Ok, I tried changing one of the cards from Idee to die Idee and it screwed up the matching in the text. Basically it though it was a new word again.

My personal advice about learning genders in lingq. Notice that for every lingq, you store an example sentence which will be shown in the lingq itself and in some of the flashcard variations. By default it’s the same sentence as the one you originally encountered but you can edit it, choose a different one from Tatoeba, …
It is the sentence that will show you the gender and a lot more. If you meet up with (example from another thread):
“Es ist eine Frage der Zeit”, you know “Zeit” is a feminine word. In fact, remembering that you say “Frage der Zeit” is much, much more useful than remembering the gender. It teaches you the genitive and when to use it, … It’s a much better base for automating language production: At some point, you don’t want to think while speaking “Well, Zeit was what?, oh yes feminine, but wait, I need the … genitive? good, what’s the genitive singular feminine form of the article? Oh yeah, “der”, I guess I’ll use that” That’s the exact opposite of “being fluent”. Having a feeling that “Zeit” goes with “der” in sentences of that kind helps much more. With enough exposure you’ll get an almost subconscious feeling that “Frage der Zeit” and, thus analogous phrases (“Macht der Zeit”, “im Laufe der Zeit”, …) sound right whereas, say “im Laufe des Zeites”* is plain awful. That’s what you use when you speak in your native language.

So, what if the sentence you get happens not to give info on gender (it can happen “Zeit ist wichtig”, e.g.), you have several options:
a) Forget about it for the time being. You’ll encounter the word again. Leave the sentence.
b) Leave the sentence, be on the lookout for new occurrences within more informative sentences and change the example when you find one.
c) Find another example from dictionaries, tatoeba, … and edit the sentence.

Anyway, don’t overthink gender (or case, or plural, for that matter). Much better, read a lot. listen a lot and pay attention to the context in which words show up (time, attention, lots of material, sounds familiar? :slight_smile: )

Thank you so much! This is really helpful advice. Also good to have another resource like Tatoeba.

I’m glad it helps.

Oh, and not to forget, you have also a “Related sentences” section at the bottom of the lingq. Either that or tatoeba will give you a good sentence most of the time.

A little further detail. This method of focusing on sentences works better with cloze quizzes than usual flashcards. When you review, you can select the cloze option, and focus more on understanding (even half memorizing) the sentence than the isolated word.
In stubborn cases, repeat the sentence aloud a couple of times.

I agree with ftornay…maybe other people have luck with committing time to memorizing German word genders…I personally never did it, I just slowly absorbed the genders through a lot of exposure to content, like ftornay mentions…you start to get a sense for the gender of words, the way a German child does, by hearing them over and over again in context.

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Yes, after a lot listening and reading you can gradually remember the right article, it means - the right gender.
But also the suffixes of the nouns can help you in defining the gender.
For example, the main suffixes of the masculine nouns: -er, -ler, -or, -ent, -ant, -at, ling
The main suffixes of the feminine nouns: - in, -ung, -heit, keit, -schafy, -tion, -ie, -ei
The main suffixes of the neutre nouns: -chen, -lein, -um, -tum, -ment, -sal.
For example: dfie Freundschaft ist Feminine because of the suffix -schaft
Und das Museum is Neutrum because of the suffix -um.
At least, I think that the defining of gender is in German much easier than the defining of gender in French.