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I want to say in a prayer to God "It's worth it, right? I want to see you."

Based on some YouTube videos I have pieced this together:

"힘들었지만 값진 일이었어, 지요? 보고싶습니다."

The context of 보고싶습니다 is a longing for God's presence, so I'm not sure if it works or not in Korean. I used the formal version since it addresses God, even though my understanding is that this is a rare form.

Since the person saying the prayer has undergone a lot of hardship but is saying it is worth it for a higher purpose, 힘들었지만 값진 일이었어 was the closest I could find to that, but I have not found the same translation of "it's worth it" twice, so do I even have this one correct?

Lastly, could I use 지요 at the end of a line addressing God? I'm not sure if it would give the impression of rudely telling God hat you are the one who is correct or if it would be taken like English as an admission that you are unsure and looking for an answer.

Thanks in advance!

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    The first sentence, If I were you I would say "힘들었지만 값진 일이었습니다." Because' "힘들었지만 값진 일이었어" is rude expression. That can be used in a situation talking with your friends. And next, It is quite better use expression "당신을 뵙고 싶습니다." than "당신을 보고싶습니다." at the point of the formal version. Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 7:47
  • Thank you so much for a very detailed and thoughtful answer. Would it be ok with you if I incorporated this translation into a song? It sounds very nice in Korean.
    – user8130
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 0:02

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If you're praying on your own, it is probably the most private setting one can think of, and there is really no rule or convention for such very private things. If you're praying with other people, the formal -ㅂ니다 ending seems more appropriate. For a personal prayer, the less formal -아/어요 ending (e.g. 보고 싶어요) sounds better to me, but it is really up to the person.

As for 힘들었지만 값진 일이었어요, yes it can mean what you said. Another way, which more specifically expresses "is worth it", would be 그럴 만한 가치가 있는 일이었어요. 가치 is "value" or "worth" and 그럴 (만한) 가치가 있는 means "which is worth it ("it" being "doing that" = 그럴 (short for 그렇게 할)). 값진 일이었어요 is more like "was a valuable/worthwhile thing", which is slightly less specific.

So you might say:

  • 힘들었지만 그럴 만한 가치가 있는 일이었어요.
  • 힘들었지만 그럴 가치가 있는 일이었어요.
  • 힘들었지만 값진 일이었어요.

보고 싶습니다 is literally "I want to see you" but it is more often used for "I miss you" between people who have already met each other. 만나고 싶어요 (I want to meet you) or 만나 보고 싶습니다 (I want to actually meet you - 보고 here has a different sense, "doing something for trial") might work better for the first time encounter. And for the case of wanting to know God's presence, you might say 당신의 존재를 알고[or 확인하고] 싶어요 (I want to know [confirm] your existence) or something along those lines. Simple 보고 싶습니다 doesn't seem to convey the idea as effectively.

The -지요 ending is a little difficult for a new learner to master the nuance because it has a bit varied usages. -지요? in a question can be wanting to confirm something (or suggesting an action which is another major usage), ranging from a simple fact (오늘 토요일이지요?) to a case where the other person is well involved in the matter (한국에는 처음 오신 거지요?). So you can use it, but there are likely better choices as you get to know the language better.

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The answer from Tony is a quality one.

Some of this has been touched on, but I will address two points.

Use of -지요

Context matter greatly here. In a public or formal religious setting, using the -지요 form may sound a bit odd or even unpolite. Some of this would depend on your religious tradition and how God or deity is normally addressed in that religion. Personally, I come from a religious tradition where I would not use -지요 even in a private, personal prayer.

The use of 값

While 값 can be used to mean "cost" or "value," this meaning is often pretty literal. One would use 값 when speaking about the price of chicken in the store or the monetary value of a work of art. A "값진 일" almost refers more to a work that is of actual material monetary value. As in "While living is hard, if I am good, then God will reward me materially with valuable possessions." I would suggest 가치가 있는 일 instead. Using 가치가 있다 is a less literal and more figurative expression when it comes to value and worth.

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