He, She…it, Russian has genders?

This week in Things I Didn’t Pick Up Learning Online: Russian is a language with gendered nouns. он, она and оно are the new he, she and it!

I’m used to the idea of genders because of Greek, but I don’t think I’m used to there being exceptions about what gender a word belongs to*… and that’s before you get to the fact that words ending with ь apparently have to be learned on an individual basis.

Now I’ve had a couple of days to think about it, I get that it’s how we know she’s моя мама and he’s мой папа, but in a language without articles I hadn’t really realized I knew that.

Perhaps that’s actually a point in online’s favour, that I learned something without even knowing it was happening. Now I know the actual rules about it, though, my Duolingo practice will make even more sense!

This week’s homework is to divide a bunch of house-related words into their gender category. Once we translate them in class next week, I’ll be able to label everything in the house!

* For example, in Greek “girl” is a neutral word, and it doesn’t suddenly become a feminine word because a girl is a girl.


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