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Chapter 10, 십 과 (Beginning 2)

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This chapter (십과) is far too ambitious. ~은데/는데 is a very difficult concept for English speakers and for such a confusing, yet important structure in the Korean language, it is only given cursory, and I feel, a nebulous explanation. For example, this chapter has been introduced immediately after ~지만 (Chapter 9, Conversation 2), however, these functions are often similar. Conversation 2 (십과) contains ~어서/아서 -- again, very similar to ~은데/는데. The English speaker is now expected to discern the very subtle differences between these three functions immediately in a row and format them into a language that it is nearly 100% incompatible with. Many times when I use these sentence structures, I am told by a native speaker, "it does not sound right," or "something is wrong." However, I never know exactly WHAT is wrong, just that it does not pass the "ear test." I also did not read a warning about how to properly use intonation with ~데요. That in itself creates a problem because it can occasionally sound rude.

As if that were not enough, the noun modifier ~은/는 is thrown into the middle of all of this as is the tricky 3rd person ~고 싶어 하다.

It is my opinion that some major functions should be their own units, possibly including the similar connectives together: ~니까, ~지만, ~어서/아서, ~은데/는데(요). These units should explain the apparent differences in great detail. The explanation on page 30 is not enough. Further, only linguists know what "copulas" or "existential" uses are (table, page 31). Would it not be easier to use plain English in the table ("to say something does or does not exist," and "to join two sentences.")?

Korean, although easy to read and write, is one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn. Great care should be taken in some of these language concepts to ensure that speed is sacrificed in the name of complete understanding.

저는 삼 년동안 한국어를 배웠는데 아직도 어렵습니다. 열심히 공부해야할 겁니다.

리차드 톰슨 드림

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