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I don't really have a great understanding of Japanese internet culture, but as a Korean, I'm guessing it would be quite similar to ours in terms of "formality," as both Korean and Japanese have "formal" version of the language.

ex) する -> します / 하다 -> 합니다.

Suppose I want to ask for something, and I want it to go somewhere along the line of

"I know this might bother you, so it's okay if you decline."

"難しい頼みであることをわかっています. 困難であれば拒絶しても大丈夫です."

and I would continue on with whatever I need him to do.

(Now that I write this, I don't even know if this is even grammatically correct. lol.)

But the general question is: is it okay for me to presume that he will be bothered, and also give him an option to decline beforehand?

  • 1
    I don't have a full answer for you, but 拒絶 is a very strong way of saying "decline". You probably want something "softer" like 断る【ことわる】 instead. – senshin Dec 25 '14 at 16:14
  • As per senshin, 拒絶 is pretty strong, and you should use 断る。And yes, you should generally use formal speak as much as possible if it's someone you don't know. Even for buying something cheap online, the selling side uses keigo most of the time. – kiss-o-matic Dec 25 '14 at 16:28
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(Even though I will be correcting many parts because that is how I make my living, I could guarantee you that every native speaker will understand your sentences as are. So, what is the point of making only this part of your whole letter sound like it was written by a native speaker?)

「[難]{むずか}しい[頼]{たの}みであることわかっています. [困難]{こんなん}であれば[拒絶]{きょぜつ}しても[大丈夫]{だいじょうぶ}です.」

Your grammar is actually fairly good. It would be much more natural if you used 「は」 instead of 「を」 in the first sentence, though.

It is actually some of your word choices, rather than your grammar, that are making your writing sound less than natural.

難しい: A little too conversational but not terribly "wrong", either.

頼み: Too informal. Not the best word for a formal request.

拒絶: Way too serious, negative, pessimistic, etc. Should be avoided.

しても: Too casual. Lacks respect. Use an honorific form instead. (Hiragana words are often more important than many learners seem to realize. )

大丈夫: Too conversational. You are not chatting with a friend about SNSD.

Suggested sentences (without getting rediculously polite and formal):

「[勝手]{かって}な(or [大変]{たいへん}わがままな)お[願]{ねが}いであることは[重々承知]{じゅうじゅうしょうち}しております。ご[無理]{むり}であれば [遠慮]{えんりょ}なく[仰]{おっしゃ}っていただくようお[願]{ねが}いいたします。」

「勝手な(or 大変わがままな)お願いであることは重々承知しております。ご無理であれば 遠慮なくお[断]{ことわ}りいただいて[結構]{けっこう}です。」

A lighter and non-business-like version:

「勝手なお願いであることは分かっています。ご無理であれば遠慮なくおっしゃってください。」

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