I wanted to translate the following sentence:

  • Let's make a website for remote sensing and photogrammetry real.

A native Korean sent me the following information:

Korean has two informal forms, because Korean use the forms depends on how old they are.

Therefore for the strangers, an online promotion and intimacy, the second one would be good.

• Informal (반말 | to friends): 우리 원격감지와 사진측량을 위한 웹사이트를 실제로 만들어 보자.

• Informal but respectful (존댓말 | to stranger/older people): 우리 원격감지와 사진측량을 위한 웹사이트를 실제로 만들어 봐요.

• Formal (격체 | at the news show): 우리 원격감지와 사진측량을 위한 웹사이트를 실제로 만들어 봅시다.

And I chose the following suggestion based on her explanation?

우리 원격탐사와 사진측량을 위한 웹사이트를 실제로 만들어 봐요.

Which has the following order of words:

(we) (remote sensing and) (photogrammetry the) (for) (website(a)) (real(in)) (make) (see)

We = 우리, Remote Sensing = 원격탐사, with = 와, Photogrammetry = 사진측량, of = 을, for = 위한, website = 웹사이트, the =를, real = 실제, in =로, make = 만들어, see = 봐요

The another native Korean suggested the following translation:

우리 모두 "commit" 버튼을 누르자
Let's all press "commit" button!
Which has the following order:
(we) (all) (“commit”) (button the) (press)

We = 우리, all = 모두, button = 버튼, of = 을, press = 누르자

  1. I first thought that the usage of 봐요 after 만들어 is because of let's. Then why the second native didn't add anything after 누르자 and just used the subject+object+verb structure?
  2. If the second translation is true, the shouldn't be the first translation as 우리 원격탐사와 사진측량을 위한 웹사이트를 실제로 만들어 (shouldn't we omit 봐요?)

  3. Generally speaking, Do we have any structure similar to let's in Korean? (a structure used to encourage and invite others do the same action you're going to do?)

  4. I'm also wondering if both of the translations are written in the same style of informality but respectfulness (존댓말) that's explained in the quoted part?

Also as you see in the first link, I've told:

The explanation for meaning of the sentence is let's make a website for remote sensing and photogrammetry come into existence. Or let's create a website for remote sensing and photogrammetry. Let's have a site for remote sensing and photogrammetry among others in the SE network.

I mean making website real not making photogrammetry real.

Has the person done the correct translation? (some native people though that I'm telling let's make photogrammetry real! which was wrong. I'm telling let's make a website real and some explanation about the website for remote sensing and photogrammetry is contained.)

  • In your "order of words" bit, (make) (see) is actually (make) (try). It's idiomatic Korean that "to try to do something" is something like "to do and see" or in English you could say "to see (if) we (can) do". Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 13:49
  • There are two concerns that don't translate from English to Korean well, or, rather, from English-speaking culture to Korean culture. 1. is friendly/polite/etc., 2. is if you have authority over your recipient. In U.S. you could be someone's direct supervisor and be friendly, polite; or be an underling and yet demand something from your boss. In Korea, speech is subordinate to hierarchy, or failing that, age. Please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_speech_levels ; If you have good communication with that native speaker, follow their advice :) Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


"Let's" in Korean is expressed by two endings:

  1. Adding 자 after verb stem.

Example: 같이 가자!

  1. Adding ㅂ/읍시다 after verb stem, which is a bit more respectful than the first one.

Example: 그 거 봅시다.

This one is respectful enough between friends, or your inferior, but never to a one deserving high respect. However, this one is a bit formal, and is nit recommended to be used in usual conversation.

자 is NOT 존댓말, so you cannot use it if you need to respect to the listener, but the only way will be to use subject+object+verb, the basic structure(and of course, since you want to express in 존댓말, 요 should be used). In this case "let's" meaning is already expressed.

Addressing the omission of 봐요:

ㄱ. It is not natural to omit 요 here, as you are expressing the meaning "let's". You should use 만들어 보자 or 만들어 봅시다 for 반말.

ㄴ. 봐요 here is not the verb meaning "to see", it is a grammatical ending 아/어 보다, meaning "to try to ...". That's why 만들어 봐요 should mean "try to make".

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