I get that "~라는 말처럼 어려울 수 있다" is "it's as hard as saying ~", but 더러 is something I've never encountered before. I'm not even sure what part of speech it is.

I do well know that 알 is egg and 섀 is bird, and that ~된다 means to become, so it must be something about the egg and the bird and one of them becoming the other and that saying that or one of them telling the other to become like them is a very hard thing to say.

알더러 새가 되라는 말처럼 어려울 수 있다

Is this an idiom or parable or just a common phrase?

  • 1
    It's a particle. So 알더러 with no space would be correct.
    – MujjinGun
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 11:55

3 Answers 3


See 더러 in Naver dictionary:

(사람을 나타내는 체언 뒤에 붙어) 어떤 행동이 미치는 대상을 나타내는 격 조사.

As far as I can remember it's only used for verbs like 시키다, 묻다, or 부탁하다, that is, where a person is speaking to another. In most cases, I think it can be replaced by 에게 without change of meaning.

So the sentence means:

[It] can be as difficult as telling an egg to become a bird.

  • 1
    +1 and correct answer for "replaced by 에게 without change of meaning". i can follow that pretty well (i do understand it is slightly different, but at least having a fallback that gets me "most of the way" is a big help in wrapping my brain around it). Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 21:58

"더러" means "although"
알, in this case, it is used as 알다 (knows)

so knows - 다 = knowing

although knowing it, it might be difficult as being a bird.


1) 에게 < 한테 < 더러, which is order of spoken expression. 더러 is most spoken language. That is, in public 한테, 더러 is not preferred. Surely 더러 has narrow usage rather than 에게.

2) We can not use 더러 to animal.

3) 더러 : asking action or response.

형이 나더러 빨리 집으로 오라고 했다

Brother said that I should return home quickly.

너더러 뚱뚱하대 ?

Who say that you are fat ?

4) 보고=더러 in almost case. But 보고 can be used when we describe simple facts (보고's additional usage).

친구들이 나보고 바보라고 놀렸다

Friends said that I am foolish.

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