What Gender Is My Burger?

Image via Wikipedia

German can be a complicated language to learn, mainly because every single noun is either one of three genders – masculine, feminine or neutral.  However, there is no rhyme or reason to what gender a noun is.  For instance, girl is neutral but turnip is feminine – try making sense out of that. Therefore, when you learn the word for something you have to learn its gender, otherwise you’ll be getting its gender wrong for ages.

I’ve been trying to speak small German phrases every day as an attempt to get somewhat fluent in German.  So when I was trying to express in German how good my Mushroom burger was, I needed to know the gender of the noun burger.  This lead to me coming out with the wonderful phrase, “What gender is my burger?” and no one batted an eyelid. Germany is the only place where you can ask the sex of a random item and no one thinks its strange.

BTW, burger is masculine and for the record, der burger war sehr gut.

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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4 Responses to What Gender Is My Burger?

  1. Karita says:

    I remember this when learning German. I mean, lots of languages have the gender thing, but why have three? THREE! Gah. But, on the upside (apart from the random gender thing) it is usually a nicely logical language which helped me a lot.

  2. I completely feel your pain and unlike in French or Spanish where it kind of makes sense, in German it seems completely random. I will never understand why “das madchen” the girl is neutral, shouldn’t it be feminine? Hope your German is coming along well!

    • Riayn says:

      I know, it’s just pure madness. It should be die Mädchen not das Mädchen. But apparently the gender is neutral because of the suffix -chen, according to Wikipedia.

  3. I find that French has the same issues, though not as severe!

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