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숨을 곳도 찾지 못해 나는 피하려고 애써 봐도

거부조차 할 수 없는 네게 갇혀버린 나

These are the opening lines of Shinee's Lucifer.

What would be a natural way to precisely translate this phrase? Something like "I, who can't find even a place to hide'?

Does '숨을 곳도 찾지 못해' become an adjectival phrase? Does it mean the same as '숨을 곳도 찾지 못하는'?

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I'm not able to provide a formal answer, but as a native speaker, I feel that

숨을 곳도 찾지 못해 나...

translates to

Not even being able to find a place to hide, I...

or

Also not being able to find a place to hide, I...

depending on the context behind the 도.

Meanwhile,

숨을 곳도 찾지 못하는 나

translates to a form that puts more dramatic emphasis on the "I," as if the first words were a preamble to the "I":

I, who couldn't even find a place to hide, ...

or

I, who also couldn't find a place to hide, ...

I believe this is what you're referring to as an adjectival phrase. If so, no, the first form isn't an adjectival phrase—it's a separate clause—but the latter is indeed an adjectival phrase.

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  • Note that "Not even being able to find a place to hide, I..." can be made "natural" into "I cannot even find a place to hide" – busukxuan Jun 23 '16 at 9:00
  • @busukxuan not quite - because the "I..." from his translation is the subject of the following clause: 나는 피하려고 애써 봐도 – user12 Jun 23 '16 at 13:23
  • @dotVezz that's what I thought, but according to the OP's and this answer's interpretation putting these two together, it could perhaps be interpreted this way. – busukxuan Jun 23 '16 at 13:41
  • @busukxuan Unfortunately no, translating it that way does significantly change its meaning. – user12 Jun 23 '16 at 14:01

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