Gender Assignment

Today’s Tip: French (and German) have a lot of gender challenges. Recently I encountered a huge word list consisting of mostly nouns, that did not include the gender. Looking up each noun in a dictionary is a solution but the trick is to let Google Translate ( do the work. Here’s how I did the gender assignments:

1) Since I keep my word lists in Excel, I want to modify my English word in a nearby column. If the French word is in Column A, and the English word is in Column B, I place the formula:

=”the “&B1….there’s a space after the word “the”, in cell C1. I then highlight C1 and choose Fill, Down from cell C1 to the final row in column C. Magically, all the words are preceded by “the” and a space.

2) I want to get rid of the formulas in Column C and replace them with the words themselves. I do this by highlighting Column C and choosing Copy then Paste Values.

3) I copy the words in Column C and paste them in the translator (English is on the left side, and the target language is on the right side). The translator often automatically translates or sometimes I need to hit the “translate” button on the right side of the Google Translate page.

4) I double click the target language box and it highlights the contents. I copy using (CTL+C), or right click for the copy option. I then paste into Excel in the appropriate place.

Occasionally you may get a capitalized das, der or die in German or a le, la, les in French but you can quickly achieve uniformity by going to Find/Replace in Excel and entering something like: Find “Das ” Replace “das “. Click “Replace All”. The space is important because you do not want to change words that contain these letters.


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