German grammar: it’s good for something… Or: the difficulties of gender in translation

German grammar has a bad press, but its complexity actually lends itself to a lot of flexibility in expression – particularly when you want to indicate gender. Using the definite articles die/der, noun suffixes (like -in) or gendered adjective endings are all rather simple ways to add the information that the person or thing in question is male or female. All of these are possible in German, but very hard to replicate in English translation.  Continue reading