Your korean (soon-to-be-ex) girlfriend has actually been waiting in a coffee shop for two hours. And, judging by the watch of those emojis, she fuming mad.

You are watching: How do you say i am sorry in korean

When you finally arrive, you decide to lighten the mood and surprise she by coming as much as her from behind and cupping she eyes, teasingly asking “Guess who?”… and poking her in the eye, instead.

In moments like this, you’ll be really glad to know just how to appropriately say sorry in Korean.

Here’s an additional potential scenario:

Yesterday, your oriental boss gave a C-level presentation v a PowerPoint Presentation you choose from thin air. You to be so hungover indigenous the night before and were in such a hurry the you make a chaos of things. You almost got whatever wrong.

Like his name.

You gained the fiscal year wrong, part decimals and also commas ~ above the numbers acquired misplaced and, by the end of the presentation, girlfriend made the look choose the firm has been underwater because that years and negated every the tough work done by everyone in the company.

So today, you have the honor of being dubbed to her boss’ office. (I’m guessing a promotion isn’t on the plate.)

An apology is certainly in order.

In situation you haven’t recorded on yet, saying “Sorry!” in oriental will it is in the crux the this post.

And you’d far better do it best or you’ll be the end of a job and a romantic partner very soon. And also nobody will be the least bit sorry because that you.

So, let’s grovel away, then?

Apology Accepted: how to Say i m really sorry in Korean

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The 2 main Ways come Say “Sorry” in Korean

By this time, you currently know the there are levels the politeness in Korean. There’s the formal or extra polite language the you usage for elders, and also there’s a casual tone that’s the language of close friends.

There room two main stems because that apologizing in Korean, together well.

One is 미안 (mi-ahn), and the other is 죄송 (joe-song). They both average “Sorry,” despite the latter is considered much more formal.

Let’s look at each, and also some of their variations, in closer detail.

미안 (mi-ahn)

Variations: 미안, 미안해, 미안해요, 미안합니다

미안 (mi-ahn)

You have the right to simply to speak 미안. But it wouldn’t typical much.

It’s the most informal way of apologizing in Korean. It’s not that serious and also has practically a playful tone to it, sometimes also accompanied by a smirk. You usage this once addressing children or civilization younger than you, and also when the boo-boo you’ve made is really not that serious. Virtually a token apology, I’d say.

미안해 (mi-ah-nae)

You simply include (hae) come the 미안 stem.

We’re quiet in the casual are with 미안해. You usage it when saying sorry to her friends. For this reason it’s more than likely the most typical apology thrown around.

Also, this is regularly the apology used in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. Back in the scenario, you’ve created above, your “Sorry” can be more acceptable as soon as accompanied by romantic gestures of “reparations” like flowers and chocolates, etc. (I mean, friend did poke she eye.)

미안해요 (mi-ah-nae-yo)

You simply include 해요 (hae-yo) come the 미안 stem.

With 미안해요, we’re now entering the officially category. The tone is an ext serious. You usage 미안해요 for human being who are a little bit older than you and also people who rank greater than girlfriend at occupational or in society.

미안합니다 (mi-ah-nam-ni-da)

Finally, once you add 합니다 (ham-ni-da) to 미안, you have 미안합니다, i m sorry is the most formal kind of apology the the 미안 stem.

If friend want, girlfriend can add 정말 (jeong-mal) in ~ the start of the phase and also end up through 정말 미안합니다 (jeong-mal mi-ah-nam-ni-da). 정말 is the Korean identical of the English native “very” or “truly.” adding it serves as an intensifier and will let the aggrieved party recognize that you’re truly sorry because that the ache feelings did you do it caused.

Okay, let’s relocate on to the second stem.

죄송 (Joe-song)

Variations: 죄송해요, 죄송합니다

With 죄송, we’re getting even much more formal through the apology.

죄송해요 (Joe-song-hae-yo)

죄송해요 is likewise used v elders—like as soon as you’re apologizing to parental or grandparents and people that are plainly above girlfriend in age, rank, or society standing. Your boss, in the script above, need to at least gain this apology.

죄송합니다 (Joe-song-ham-ni-da)

죄송합니다 is a really formal means of speak “Sorry.” You know that when you check out endings favor 합니다, it means the situation requires polite and formal language.

You use 죄송합니다 to apologize to civilization you don’t know. Stop say in her rush to acquire to the coffee shop where your girlfriend’s been wait for 2 hours, friend bump right into somebody in the street. Friend say, 죄송합니다.

So because that a oriental beginner, you’d most more than likely need this one in your arsenal.

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Korean Phrases to Express the You’re Sorry

제 잘못이에요. (Je jal-mo-si-e-yo.) — It’s mine fault.

This declare is a humble join of fault or mistake, so friend can include it to bolster her apology.

Take keep in mind that in Korea, you speak “Sorry” only as soon as you’ve in reality made a mistake and have caused damage or hurt. It’s basically an admission of fault. Meaning, the failure is attributable to you.

In the West, words “Sorry” has more varied uses. Because that example, “Sorry” deserve to be provided to express exactly how sad or sorrowful you room at part unfortunate turn of events—even when you plainly have nothing to execute with it.

Let’s say a girlfriend failed to make the soccer team. Someone from the West would certainly say, “Dude, that sucks. I’m really sorry to hear that.”

This doesn’t occur in Korea. You carry out not use the word “sorry” since it’s no your error he didn’t make the team. So girlfriend don’t use 미안해 or 미안해요.

In the case of your friend not making the soccer team, you have the right to say 안타깝네요 (an-ta-kkam-ne-yo) instead. It means you’re sad to hear around it… however not “sorry.”

다시는 안 그럴게. (Da-si-neun one geu-reol-ge.) — i won’t execute it again.

Not doing that again is, the course, the highest proof that you really room sorry because that what you’ve done. That proves come the other party that you’re seriously repentant of your offense.

Since speak “Sorry” doesn’t take place in a vacuum, as soon as apologizing, there are associated gestures, facial expressions and tones that you should do to show remorse.

Bowing as soon as asking for forgiveness is expected, specifically when addressing elders, strangers, and those over you. Bowing is deeply rooted in korean culture, and also they bow to present respect, gratitude, and also regret. Belt bowing at a 45-degree edge is standard.

But, simply as you have to calibrate your apology come the level of offense, level of regret and also the connection you have with the aggrieved party, the bow is calibrated as well. The thing to mental is that the worse the offense and also the deeper your remorse, the reduced you bow and also the longer you remain down.

Big bows the apology, like when korean public public official or public personalities kneel in front of the cameras to display remorse for an offense, don’t occur every day. (Although korean dramas make it look prefer they happen every week.)

When asking for forgiveness to civilization your age, those younger 보다 you, your girlfriend or her circle that friends, overt action of formality room not required. A slight tilt that the head and delivering her 미안해 in a somber tone space enough.

제발 화내지 마세요. (Je-bal hwa-nae-ji ma-se-yo.) — you re welcome don’t it is in mad at me.

Anyone who’s learning around a whole new culture is most likely to commit a society faux pas that might require one apology. In the case, you’ll need to use this apology.

Different societies have various ways of act things and also you may inadvertently cause a tiny scene just because you don’t understand better. Because that example, crucial part of oriental etiquette is the elders collection the speed of family events. In a dining situation, for example, the oldest human being gets to take it the first bite which signals others to start eating. Girlfriend scarfing under your food before grandma it s okay to her very own is not a nice picture.

Koreans are typically understanding of foreigners’ social booboos, however you should definitely have your 죄송합니다 ready simply in case.

How come Respond when Someone claims “Sorry” to You

On the rare chance that you find yourself on the opposite side of the equation, and somebody has hurt you, forgiveness is the best mindset forward.

You have the right to say things choose the following phrases:

당신을 용서합니다. (Dang-si-neul yong-seo-ham-ni-da) — ns forgive you.

Say this in somber tones and with a sparkling tear in your eye for complete effect. Show the other human that even though you’re quiet hurt, you’re ready to it is in the larger person and also move previous the offense.

사과를 받아들일게. (Sa-gwa-leul ba-da-deu-lil-ge.) — Apology accepted.

If you’re the miffed girlfriend, Visa and also Master Card also accepted.

아니에요, 괜찮습니다. (A-ni-e-yo, gwaen-chan-seum-ni-da.) — that okay, never ever mind.

Say this come the other human when you desire to play that cool (even despite you are, because that instance, literally bleeding). It easily absolves the various other party that the offense and also refuses to take it the mistake also seriously. People make mistakes and also you’d want others to forgive you on days you do yours.

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Now girlfriend know how to say i m really sorry in Korean. This isn’t a license to perform things you’ll should apologize for, yet it’s a an excellent skill to have actually in situation you require it.