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That's my view of learning German. The six articles (die, der, das, dem, den, and des). But actually the genitive should be "of the" not just "the".
Learning German always was fun... they rammed "Aus bei mit nach seit for zu" into my head just to be able to learn all the exceptions.
That 'of' is important, as when I first saw the title "Der Herr der Ringe", I translated it as "The Lord The Rings"? Speaking of which. When I finally learned enough to read those books in German, I would always be corrected when I said I read the "Der wiederkehr des Koenigs". People insisted it was called "Der rueckkehr des Koenigs". No, that was the movie, the book used "wiederkehr". German is just fucked up ;-)
Correction: It's "Die wiederkehr" and "Die rueckkehr". Which just goes to show the OP is absolutely correct. German is out to fuck me!
+Steven Rostedt "Wiederkehr" and "Rückkehr" also need to be capitalized, because they're nouns. Why? Well the "why" has already been answered. :)
Also, how dare you deprive us of our precious "ü" and "ö".
Blame gnome3. I use to have a character palette on my panel that had all the German umlaut characters (and the crazy S and euro symbol). But now that's gone and I'm not going to bother clicking around to open a palette. So I use the old version where the umlaut came from.
And now you're decrying our beloved ß as "that crazy S". Shame, shame.
English used to be just as complex -- or more so.

See the "6. Demonstrative Pronouns" table. And note how there's an extra line compared to Modern German: the instrumentative case.

And if you were complaining about writing ü, now try writing þæs or, worse, þǽre / þǣre. :-)
+Steven Rostedt The original translation of LotR to German by Margaret Carroux called the third book "Die Rückkehr des Königs". The new translation by Wolfgang Krege changed the title.
+Arnd Bergmann - sure, I see that in wikipedia. But it still doesn't change the fact that what I was reading was called "Die Wiederkeher des Königs".

+Florian Haas cut and paste works for me when someone else uses a 'ö'.
Dänisch ist auch interessant mit den Verben. Die verändern sich über die 1./2./3. Person nicht.
... inch, feet, mile, gallon, date-format ... not even better!
German is a very precise language.
Deutsch ist eine sehr exakte sprache.
maybe it's a comfort for all learning german.
the most native speakers have a poor German grammar.
And now that you guys got the chart, for the love of God, pls stop saying DER Waffelhaus!
but then you need an Umlaut. here you go: ä.
c&p it.
And to ignite the discussion once more: I have to add that studying some few articles is not as hard as trying to make your tongue do a proper 'th'!
And guys, please don't forget that there are no real rules about the usage of articles, you have to learn each article for nearly every single word
nicht lustig
wenn man halt so ein einfallsloses volk ist
That's why i'm reading books only in english. The german language is...well...sort of ugly...and i'm a natural german speaker.
But can you do funny sentences like this in english:
- Darf das das?
- Ja, das darf das!
- Das ist aber komisch, dass das das darf.
- Dass das das darf, das entscheiden seine Eltern.
They are grammatically correct! =)
Funfact: The ß is a typographic ligature. It combines the characters s and z. You can use sz as an escape sequence. That is more precise than using a double s. Using a double s could end in an spelling error.
And yet another possibility:
Die Erbauer der Waffelhäuser!
Me hungry! Let's go to dem Wafflehouses right now!
+Andreas Hontzia As far as I know, the "ß" doesn't combine the characters s and z, but in Sütterlin bzw. Fraktur there was a long s and a short s (long and short with regard to their height) and the ß is actually a long and a short s combined.
Es gibt "s" - "ss" und "ß". Immer noch, auch mit der neuen Rechtschreibung. "das" - "dass" - Straße - STRASSE.
And an example from Finland: Kokko! Kokookko kokoon koko kokon? Koko kokonko? Koko kokon.
(Kokko (name)! Would you gather up a bonfire? The entire bonfire? (Yes) the entire bonfire.)
German was planned as a secret language that nobody else can understand. We couldn't guess, that you outlanders figure it out! hehe

If you don't wanna learn that stupid letters ä, ö, ü then you have to learn bavarian. We don't use them at all. We also can do without *ß*^^
It has always been funny to let a foreigner say "Eichhörnchen" :-)
why we do this article stuff? simply, because we can! ;)
Deutsche Sprache- Schwere Sprache!
German is not easy!!!
Wan Nan
+Steven Rostedt : Good point. However, I find the right use of prepositions in English just as hard to learn, let alone memorize ;) Just think of the many very different meanings a verb can take depending on the associated preposition, right? To give you an example: "I've given up on [e.g. understanding the correct use of the German article]." And: "I've given in to learning the German article." Up on, in to - WTF? ;) And although both phrases could be considered saying the same thing, they... actually don't, do they? In any case: I find connotation being heavily governed by prepositions. Makes the German article look like a petting zoo/kindergeburtstag/walk in the park/day at the beach LOL

+Benedikt Allendorf You have my vote as "winner" of this thread, hahahaha! :D
Wan Nan
And God bless Google/G+: I was totally unaware we had Wafflehouse in Germany ;) (But then: I shouldn't be that surprised given the reign of "The golden arches" and Burger King... sigh)
Try to make a table of adjective forms. Much better than boring articles.
Another surprise: We sometimes have many words for one thing
The ladybug/ladybird has more than 1,500 regional names in German. Here are a few examples:
Mariechenkäfer, Kuhkälbchen, Mufferküpchen,
Muhküfchen, Marienkälbchen, Gotteskälbchen, Herrgottsöchslein, Himmelmiezel, Himmelmietzchen,
Herrgottskäfer, Gotteskäfer, Herrgottswürmchen, Herrgottssöönken, Muttergotteskindchen,
Jesus-Chäferli, Junikäfer, Frauenkäfer, Leußfresser, Blattlauskäfer, Huppawermel, Hopfenwürmlein,
Maikäfer, Rotkalbl, Bluthienla, Gelbhänschen, Goldschäfchen, Graupelmiezchen, Sprinzerl-Spranzerl,
Glückskäferle, Brautmaneke, Brautmännchen, Olichsvöjelche, Sonnenkäfer

We people in saxony say Motschekiebchen, Mutschekiebchen or Motscheküpchen ;)
If you feel better, German kids have these problems too. :-)
What kind of crazy person sorted German articles in wrong order? My brain nearly exploded :)
+Steven Rostedt haha yes, but as a computer guy (software developer) i prever yyyy-mm-dd. I'am not sure, but isn't a standard in europe.
In business letters, you can use 2012-03-30
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