How to Say “Please Wait for Me” in Korean

Learning how to say “Please wait for me” in Korean can be a useful phrase to know, whether you plan to visit South Korea or have Korean-speaking friends. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to express this request, focusing on everyday usage rather than regional variations.

Formal Expressions

In formal situations, such as when speaking to older individuals, strangers, or in professional settings, it is important to use polite and respectful language. Here are some formal ways to say “Please wait for me” in Korean:

“제가 조금만 기다려 주세요.” (jega jogeumman gidaryeo juseyo)

The phrase “제가” (jega) is an honorific form of “I” used to show respect. “조금만” (jogeumman) translates to “a little while.” Finally, “기다려 주세요” (gidaryeo juseyo) means “please wait.”

Another formal option is:

“저를 기다려 주십시오.” (jeoreul gidaryeo jusibshio)

Here, “저를” (jeoreul) is the honorific form of “me.” While this phrase is less commonly used in everyday situations, it is suitable for formal occasions or when speaking to someone of higher status.

Informal Expressions

Using informal language is appropriate when speaking to friends, peers, or people of the same age group. Here are some informal ways to say “Please wait for me” in Korean:

“나 좀 기다려 줘.” (na jom gidaryeo jwo)

In this phrase, “나” (na) means “me” or “I,” and “좀” (jom) adds a sense of politeness by roughly translating to “a little.” “기다려 줘” (gidaryeo jwo) means “please wait.”

Another casual option is:

“잠시만 기다려 줄래?” (jamsiman gidaryeo jullae?)

Here, “잠시만” (jamsiman) means “just a moment,” and “기다려 줄래” (gidaryeo jullae) translates to “Would you wait?” The question form adds a friendly tone to the request.

Tips and Examples

Here are some additional tips and examples to help you understand and use the phrase “Please wait for me” in Korean:

1. Tone and Context

Remember that tone of voice and context are crucial when using these phrases. Whether you choose a formal or informal expression, be sure to adjust your speech accordingly to show respect and politeness.

Example: If you’re speaking to an older person, it is better to use the most formal version: “제가 조금만 기다려 주세요.”

2. Non-Verbal Communication

In addition to the phrase itself, non-verbal cues are essential for effective communication. Consider using appropriate hand gestures or body language when asking someone to wait for you.

Example: Extend your hand slightly as if you are requesting the person to hold on.

3. Adding “감사합니다” (Thank you)

To show gratitude for someone’s patience, you can add “감사합니다” (gamsahamnida) which means “thank you” at the end of your phrase.

Example: “나 좀 기다려 줘, 감사합니다.” (na jom gidaryeo jwo, gamsahamnida)

4. Adjusting the Time Frame

If you need more or less time, you can modify the phrase by changing “조금만” (a little while) to “한국어로 문장을 쓰는 데에 시간이 좀 더 걸릴 수 있어요” (It may take a little longer to write a sentence in Korean).

Example: “젠장, 일이 생겨서 좀 시간이 걸릴 수 있어. 좀만 기다려 줘.” (Jinjaeng, ili saenggyeoseo jom sigani geollil su isseo. Jomman gidaryeo jwo)

5. Regional Variations

While we focused on formal and informal ways, it’s important to note that there are no significant regional variations when expressing “Please wait for me” in Korean. The phrases provided can be used all over South Korea.

Now armed with various ways to say “Please wait for me” in Korean, you’ll be better prepared to communicate and engage with Korean speakers. Remember to adjust the level of politeness based on the context and your relationship with the person you’re speaking to. Practice these phrases, observe non-verbal cues, and don’t forget to show gratitude!

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