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I understand that it means "birthday too". But when used in a sentence as the one below, how does it translate?

내 생일도 잊을 정도로 바쁘다는 사람을…

This is from a manhwa I am reading. I translated this as "someone who is busy to the extent of forgetting my birthday even" or to be more syntactically pleasing in English, "someone who is busy to the extent of even forgetting my birthday".

But I found the English TL of this from another translator and it went "someone who is busy enough to forget my birthday". Note the "even" is missing here, thereby making the sentence a wee bit less severe.

Is the "even" in my TL a correct addition? Or am I making it a bit more severe than it is?

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  • Good Korean-English dictionaries should include the English adverb 'even' as a valid definition for the suffix -도.
    – Michaelyus
    Sep 11, 2023 at 22:02

1 Answer 1

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The sentence provided could have many variations, such as:

내 생일 잊을 정도로 바쁘다는 사람을...

내 생일마저 잊을 정도로 바쁘다는 사람을...

내 생일까지 잊을 정도로 바쁘다는 사람을...

내 생일조차 잊을 정도로 바쁘다는 사람을...

However, the difference in particles does not explicitly provide the "severeness". It would be decided by the context and non-verbal expressions, like stress and intonation, rather than the appearance of sentence itself.

Adding the word "even" should be decided based on your understanding and impression of the sentence in the context of the full situation.

Note that Korean language is mostly implicit which means you would face situations like this very often.

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  • Thank you. Can the "too" substitute for "even" in Korean?
    – Dinu M
    Apr 12, 2023 at 6:33
  • @DinuM In most cases, yes.
    – Bihrang
    Apr 13, 2023 at 4:32
  • Thanks again. Appreciated it.
    – Dinu M
    Apr 13, 2023 at 13:36

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