Korean also does not have gendered pronouns (he/she). This doesn't come up in the writing much, but when my co-worker is speaking he often says the wrong one (he or she) and then corrects himself; that, I notice, I think because I rely on the pronouns more to help me understand the story he's telling.
I have a friend (British, of the English variety) whose wife of thirty years is Indian, from Gujarat. She's a very sweet lady; but, it would seem, not a natural linguist; after decades of living in the UK and speaking English most of the time, her English can still be a bit "wobbly"; including, having problems with he / she. (One takes it that Gujarati, like Korean, does not have gendered pronouns.)
One is prompted to wonder: do Asian languages, which seem as regards word-use (pronunciation, a different thing) usually to go the "simple" route, maybe have the best idea? Why tie oneself in linguistic knots about gender stuff, when such things can be worked out from the context? That applies to relatively-simple English; let alone to such tongues as the Romance languages, and German and Russian, which -- it would seem -- gratuitously choose to make life difficult by assigning different genders to inanimate objects.
Well, not to get too far off on the linguistic tangent, but IMO most languages that develop organically over centuries/millennia reach about the same level of complexity overall, if not in one area then another. So maybe Korean doesn't have gendered pronouns, but I believe they do have a rather complicated (to me) system of address based on hierarchy and relationship
, with different words and constructions used depending on if they're talking to someone older or younger, supervisory or supervised, etc.. Personally I think that would be very difficult to get correct as a non-native speaker--a mistake could be seen as rude
, not just poor communication.
When I studied French in high school I had such trouble with the gendered objects. You really just have to memorize them as they often make no logical sense. I find that when a language lacks an entire concept
, it's a lot more difficult to teach it to someone than if it's just a matter of different vocabulary words, or simple rules about whether the adjective goes before or after the noun. Personally I find languages and language change fascinating, and understanding how mistakes come about helps me to explain the correct way to someone. I think "should of" instead of "should have" is really interesting, for example--it appears to be related to people hearing the contraction (should've) far more often than they see or write it. Because really, it does sound
like "should of," at least in my part of the world.