Wednesday, November 05, 2008

폐를 끼치기 싫어

Yeong Gwang ordered his lunch while I sat opposite him in a restaurant. I had my lunch earlier so I did not make any order. While waiting for his meal to be served, he asked in Korean, "Why don't you want to meet?"

His question set my mind in a search mode, trying to find the most appropriate Korean expression to reply him. Seeing that I have difficulty speaking in Korean, he added, "It's okay. You can speak in English. I should be able to understand."

"I don't like to trouble you.", I said.

"다른 사람에게 폐를 끼치기 싫군요. 근데 왜요?", Yeong Gwang asked.

"This is not my first time in Kyunghee so I am quite familiar with the place. I believe you should be quite busy with your study, so I try not to trouble you unnecessarily.", I elaborated.

"It's okay. It is my duty to help you. I can help you to practice your Korean or help you with your homework.", He insisted on offering his help.

"It's okay. I knew all that was taught in class because I have learnt them before. This course was just a revision for me.", I insisted on not troubling him.

Yeong Gwang was my "dowoomi" (student helper) during my summer course at Kyunghee. He has the look of a rock guitarist and used to be one as well. When I first met him, what caught my immediate attention was his burn scar. Apparently, he was badly burnt as a kid when a gas cylinder exploded while he was playing near it. What he may be lacking in appearance, he made it up with his sincerity to help others.

After Yeong Gwang had finished eating his lunch, we left the restaurant. Just before we parted, he said, "I shall leave you with my email address. Keep in touch so that if you ever come to Korea again I can help you find a suitable accommodation."

"방금 다른 사람에게 폐를 끼치기 싫다고 했잖아요.", I turned down his offer once again with a big smile. But deep inside, I was touched by his sincerity.


I was brought up not to give trouble to others or in other words - to be self-reliance. From the day I was able to stand on my two feet, I have not asked for anyone's help, not even my family.

I am very grateful to all those people who had shown your concern for me and offered to help after knowing that I have quited my job. I just wanted to say, please do not worry. I will find my way and I will walk on my own as I have always done. 나 괜찮아요. 진짜 괜찮아요. ^^


  1. have quit your job? 打算出走,游走于韩国与日本吗?

  2. It's a pleasure reading your posts. I actually browsed through the lexicon to figure out the meaning of the sentence. Did your Korean friend say it first, like sort of giving a Korean equivalent to what you found difficult to say in it? ^^

  3. 우와.. 도우미는 진짜 좋은 사람인 것 같아요. ㅋㅋ

    I'm sure you made the decision that is best for you (: 화이팅!


  4. 와우~~wish u posted it 2 days ago ㅋㅋㅋ
    but now i remember this sentence easier since i made a mistake ^ ^

    by the way, what's the difference
    폐를 끼쳐서 죄송해요 (and)
    귀찮게 해서 죄송해요 (this is the one that i used to my friend before :D)
    좀 도와주셈~~

    I like your thought bout being independent ^ ^

  5. milkyway, 我打算游手好闲:D

    jim, thanks. i am not too sure if i understood your question. actually, i knew "폐를 끼치다". but at that moment, i just couldn't say it out correctly. i was going like is it 폐를 지기치다 or 폐를 기지다 or 펴를 끼지다? so i chose to speak in english. when my "dowoomi" repeated what i said in korean (to show that he knows my reason), i could understand him.

    hangukdrama, 고맙고요 ^^

  6. tata, i think 귀찮게 해서 죄송해요 is used when you can see that the person is showing some sign of displeasure. if you think that it is your unintentional action that resulted in that displeasure, you can use this expression to apologise.

    as for "폐를 끼쳐서 죄송해요", i usually use it out of politeness. i may not have exactly given any trouble but just in case i do, this is the expression that i will use.

    i don't believe you will cause irritation to anyone so more often than not, you should be using 폐를 끼쳐서 죄송해요 :D