Answeing Machine Message

idialegre

Senior Member
USA English
Hi, everyone, it's me again. I hope you're not getting too sick of me this week...

I want to put a Korean message on my answering machine, just to surprise my Korean friends. I tried composing one with the help of a dictionary. Here's my best effort - I'm sure there are plenty of errors:

여보세요! John Smith - 입니다. 지금은 바빠서 미안하는데 발신음 후에 메시지를 남길 수 있습니다. 천천히와 명확히 말하십시오. 감사합니다!

A few specific questions:

1) I have seen both 메세지 and 메시지. Which is it?
2) Would it be better to put my last name first - Smith John, as is the Korean custom?
3) Would it sound too impolite if I shortened it to this: 여보세요! John Smith - 입니다. 발신음 후에 메시지를 남길 수 있습니다. 천천히와 명확히 말하십시오. 감사합니다! (I have to include the part about speaking slowly and clearly, because at this point I can speak a certain amount of Korean without too much trouble, but I still have enormous difficulty understanding native speech at a normal tempo.)

Thanks very much for all suggestions, corrections, etc.
 
  • Vanloon

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Hi, everyone, it's me again. I hope you're not getting too sick of me this week...



    여보세요! John Smith - 입니다. 지금은 바빠서 미안하는데 발신음 후에 메시지를 남길 수 있습니다. 천천히와 명확히 말하십시오. 감사합니다!
    You'd better to say...

    여보세요! John Smith입니다. 지금은 바빠서 전화를 받을 수 없습니다. 대신, 발신음 후에 메세제를 천천히, 그리고 명확하게 말씀해 주세요. 감사합니다!

    1) Both are possible.
    2) It's no problem to follow your custom. I believe it's more proper.
    3) It is fine.
     
    Last edited:

    kenjoluma

    Senior Member
    Korean
    1) I have seen both 메세지 and 메시지. Which is it?
    1. '메시지' is correct, according to 국립국어원 (an academy where idle yet idealistic grammarians are paid for prescriptivism of the language) But many people still use 메세지 as well.

    2) Would it be better to put my last name first - Smith John, as is the Korean custom?
    2. When it comes down to foreign names, we generally follow the foreign customs. I've never heard 오바마 버락 대통령, it's always 버락 오바마 미국 대통령.

    3) Would it sound too impolite if I shortened it to this: 여보세요! John Smith - 입니다. 발신음 후에 메시지를 남길 수 있습니다. 천천히와 명확히 말하십시오. 감사합니다!
    No. it's never impolite.

    여보세요!
    We never say 여보세요 in the recorded message. It's used in the premise that you talk to someone "specific". Remind you, '여보세요' is derived from '여기 보세요'(Look me in here!=Hey you! you look at me!) '안녕하세요' is more approrpiate in this context.

    천천히와 명확히
    Adverb and -와 put together sound a bit awkward. 천천히, 그리고 명확히 is better. Or, '천천히, 또박또박...'

    감사합니다
    Again, 국립국어원 says it's more recommended to use '고맙습니다', rather than '감사합니다'. Well, it's completely up to you, but you will notice that news anchors nowadays barely say '감사합니다'. Because Chinese(or Japanese)-derived words are such evil and we need to protect ourselves from imperialism and communism. Wait, is it still 1919?

    바빠서 미안하는데... 메시지를 남길 수 있습니다.
    Some errors found.
    First: 미안하다 is adjective. 미안하는다 is impossible, therefore 미안한데
    Second: ~한데 (<그런데) has to be strongly connected to the next sentence semantically. Being busy actually has nothing to do with someone being able to leave a message. ~지만 works better here.
    Third: For unspeakable reasons, 죄송하지만(<죄송하다) sounds more... hmmm.. acceptable. I can write a brand new article about this, but you don't want that in this one, do you.
    Fourth: Even in English, (I'm sorry for being busy, however, you can leave a message after beep) it sounds... weird? You are sorry however you can leave a message? Why not separate those two? Or... 전화를 받을 수 없어 죄송합니다. 발신음 후에(삐- 소리가 난 뒤) 메시지를 남겨 주세요.

    ...I don't understand why you have to be sorry for being busy.
     

    idialegre

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thanks, guys!!!

    Remind you, '여보세요' is derived from '여기 보세요'
    Didn't even know that!

    미안하는다 is impossible, therefore 미안한데
    Damn it! I thought about that for about five minutes and still chose the wrong form!

    For unspeakable reasons, 죄송하지만(<죄송하다) sounds more... hmmm.. acceptable. I can write a brand new article about this, but you don't want that in this one, do you.
    Unspeakable? Kenjoluma, if there is one thing I want for my birthday, it is that article from you. I love reading your answers. In fact - (nervous, trembling) - will you marry me? (Could it work?)

    Even in English, (I'm sorry for being busy, however, you can leave a message after beep) it sounds... weird? You are sorry however you can leave a message?
    I understand your logic, but it is very common for us to say, "Sorry I can't take your call right now, but you can leave a message, etc...." Does that sound so strange in Korean?

    So here's what I have now: 안녕하세요! John Smith입니다. 발신음 후에 메시지를 천천히, 또박또박 말씀해 주세요. 감사합니다!

    I want to keep it short, so I left out the other stuff.

    Is that OK?
     

    kenjoluma

    Senior Member
    Korean
    안녕하세요! John Smith입니다. 발신음 후에 메시지를 천천히, 또박또박 말씀해 주세요. 감사합니다!
    Just the way Koreans would say. Very natural.

    but it is very common for us to say, "Sorry I can't take your call right now, but you can leave a message, etc...."
    Maybe "busy" in English is a broader term than "바쁘다". Or maybe it's about difference between '미안하다' and 'sorry'.

    As you know, you can say 'I'm sorry' in English when your friend's dad passes away, which is not your fault. '미안하다', however, is said only when you do something wrong. Hence, you NEVER say '미안합니다' in someone's funeral, unless you actually killed him.

    A thing for sure is, it's weird that you're 미안하다 because you are 바쁘다, even though it's okay that you're sorry you're busy.

    will you marry me?
    No. But I can strip dance for your birthday. Let me know if you want my business card.
     
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