Thursday, December 01, 2011

A child is an "it"

The German language is a little bizarre at times, at least for me a native English speaker. And sometimes its really hard to wrap my brain around why they have certain words like they do.  Let me give you a small bit of info for those of you who are not familiar with the German language.

First off, they have three genders for nouns: Masculine(der), Feminine(die) and Neutral(das). Second EVERY noun has a gender: glove= der Handshuh, sock= die Socke, car= das Auto. And the funniest part about the whole thing is that the gender is not always obvious... in German a skirt is Masculine... so is a bra. But my favorite? Children are Neutral!! Yes they have no gender and are basically referred to in German as "its".

The gender assignment for people go like this:

Child (regardless of sex)
Neutral (das Kind)

                 Boy                                                                     Girl
        Masculine (der Junge)                                         Neutral (das Mädchen)

             Young Man                                                      Young Woman
        Masculine (der junge Man)                                 Neutral (das Fräulein)

                 Man                                                             Married Woman
        Masculine (der Man)                                           Feminine (die Frau)

So ladies isn't it nice to know that in the German language you are not considered feminine until you are married... until then you are genderless. I can hear an entire generation of feminists howling at the thought.

1 comment:

  1. That last bit is oldfashioned. Since the 1950th it's just "Frau" - married or not ;-)