Thursday, 11 January 2007

The Gender Podcast

I finally have my first podcast up and running. You wouldn't believe how complicated publishing podcasts is, and I thought the long bit was going to be writing the podcast :) Anyway, I'm all up and running now, so welcome to the first episode. First of all in this episode you get a bit of an introduction to the podcast and who it's aimed at (basically everyone who wants to learn German, but I'm hoping to get some feedback to make sure I'm not overstretching myself a bit there. So if you think the podcast isn't right for your level, but you'd like it to be, add a comment or email me at the email address given at the end of the podcast and tell me about it). Anyhow, after that, we go onto the grammar. This time I'm covering gender:

  • What is gender?

  • How does it work in German?

  • How does that affect me?

  • Tips and tricks for working out what gender a word is

  • What effect does gender have on German?
I've also put some tables, some lists of endings and a transcript of the podcast up on my other German GrammarPod website - you can use the link up on the top left of this blog under LINKS to get to it or just click here. To listen to the podcast, you can either subscribe or click here: MP3 link


Timothy said...


I've only just found your podcast - even though I'm a native speaker, your explanations were simply excellent - I think this may well be a great resource, especially as you make it so easy to follow ... I'm about to embark on a PGCE in German!

Laura said...

Thanks, Timothy. Good luck with the PGCE.

Anonymous said...


very nice podcast! Although I'm a native German speaker, there is a lot to learn for me in this podcast. (As you probably know most Germans (including myself) don't really no German grammar. :)

To give you some feedback on this episode: I found one little typo in the transcript: "Kaatze" should be "Katze".

The bold statement that German words with some specific endings are always feminine certainly challenged me to find counter examples (of course these are rather exotic, but still you might want to change the "ALWAYS" to "almost always"):

-ung: "der Dung" (engl.: the dung)

-schaft: "der Schaft" (engl.: the shaft) or "der Stiefelschaft" (engl.: the bootleg)

-heit: "das Scheit" (engl.: the piece of wood)

-tion: "das Bismution" (engl.: the bismuth ion")

-in: "der Schein" (engl.: the appearance), "das Schwein" (engl.: the pig)

I didn't find counter examples for -keit and -sion, but this probably doesn't mean much.

I shouldn't comment on learning German, but from my attempts to learn Spanish, I would assume that the best way to learn the gender of German words is to learn them with an article, i.e., to learn "die Hand" (the hand), "der Tag" (the day), etc. instead of just "Hand" and "Tag", at least that's the way I learn the gender in Spanish: "la mano" (the hand), "el dia" (the day).

Anyway, great podcast!


Anonymous said...

Some more counter examples for German words ending with "-in" that are not feminine:

der Harlekin (the harlequin)
das Morphin (the morphine)
das Kokain (the cocaine)
das Heroin (the heroin)

I guess in general many chemical substances that end with "-in" are neuter.


John said...

Thanks for this podcast.

It is very helpful, but one complaint, you are speaking way too fast in this episode, it is hard to keep up with all the information at that speed. I noticed you slowed down in your later podcasts. :-)

Learning the grammar of a language makes learning the language SO much easier.

paulF said...

Decided to learn German and really enjoyed your 1st podcast. The grammar is important to my learning style - it just makes everything easier if I know the rules. I agree the pace is slightly too fast in podcast 1.

Khalid said...


I just started with your podcasts and they are good specially for English speakers.

I only have one comment and forgive me but, you are speaking toooo fast mam. I can't catch up. I have to rewined the iPod to grasp what you have said.... Please slow down.


Khalid said...

As I'm learning German, I have found a few Podcasts in addition to GrammarPod.

Go iTunes and find:
- MyDailyPhrase German a total of 100 podcasts available !
- Deutsch - warum nicht? German, Why Not? by (4 series)
- Lets speak German! A daily bit
- Slow German by Annik Rubens

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Martin, some of these counter examples are a bit misleading. When one refers to a word "ending in -ung", that is just a shorthand way to say "ending with a morphemic suffix -ung". Thus, "Dung" doesn't qualify, since it is integral to the word itself (ie: it's not an ending in any grammatical sense). Likewise, the "heit" in "Scheit" or the "in" in "Schwein" are not an endings, they're organic parts of the word. And "Bismution" is a compound of "Bismut+ion", so the "-tion" is simply an accident of orthography -- not a proper suffix.

--The Phantom Linguist

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