Han Guk dopers, sipsio

I’ve started a new job working with a Korean post-doc whose English is not the best. It’s isn’t bad, but he forgets words every now and then, and is apologetic about it. I know exactly his situation, as my French is somewhat lacking and I find myself forgetting words as well. I understand that Koreans are very polite and apologetic, but am at a loss as how to respond to make him feel comfortable. How are such apologies handled in Korean society?

Kamsa hamnida,


If someone is apologizing for making a lot of mistakes, you could say something like, “Shingyung sseujii masehyo (신경 쓰지 마세요)” which basically means “Don’t worry about it.”

I don’t think you’ll be able to get him to stop apologizing though. It’s a cultural thing.

So Koreans are like Brits, “You can tell we’re Brit because we apologise all the time! We apologise for existing! We almost apologise for apologising” (in the words of one of my British classmates)?

You could always stick a “Pabo-ya!” on the end of that… which means “Idiot!” :smiley:

Or not.

Your British classmate must have taken the Canadian pill that day. Sorry about that. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I know I won’t be able to make him stop apologizing, nor would I want to. I just need something to respond with. Building relationships and all that, you know.