반영하다 -- meaning "to apply"

Flooooooooor

Senior Member
English - USA
Hi all,

A manager (M) emails an employee (E) that E must confirm his use of the company lunch card. (Employees may spend up to a monthly limit on food and must send M information confirming where they ate and how much they spent there.) After E provides the necessary information, M replies:

주신 메일 내용 반영하였습니다. 즐거운 주말 보내세요~​

I am aware of two uses of 반영하다 -- both correspond to usages of the world reflect in English.

1. 햇빛이 호수에 반영하여 눈이 부시다. (Literal usage of light reflecting off a surface)​
2-1. 그 드라마는 80년대의 시대상을 반영하고 있다. (Identical to the figurative use of reflect in English)​
2-2. 여론은 선거 결과에 그대로 반영되었다. (I thought it noteworthy that we can use 되다 in the same kind of situation where we can use the passive form in English -- "was reflected in ...")​

In the email, I first read that M is telling E: "I have successfully recorded the information that you provided, for now our company records reflect this new info." But I am curious about the usage. It sounds like the author is using himself as the subject of the verb: [제가] 주신 메일 내용[을] 반영하였습니다. But a direct translation into English using reflect sounds very awkward!

*I have reflected the information you sent. Enjoy your weekend!​

In Korean, can we use 반영하다 as a transitive verb something along the lines of 기록하다? Looking for similar usage examples of 반영하다, I found the following:

양로원 지원금을 내년 예산에 반영하기로 하였다.​
결정된 사항을 실무에 반영하도록 하겠습니다.​

In these examples, there is a stronger sense of the meaning being closer to 적용하다 -- that is, the subject of the verb is causing things to apply in future situations, which is a nice extension from the original sense of reflect. (Saying "Make these things reflect in our future activities/spending" itself works decently well in English.) But in M's email, the sense of apply doesn't seem to work as well as a word like record, unless M is explicitly communicating that he has applied the information about E's lunches to E's lunch account (such as by subtracting from a remaining total). Native speakers, what sense do you get when you read that email?

Thank you for any help!
 
  • pcy0308

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hello Flooooooooor,
    Your interpretation of the verb, "반영하다" is accurate. Though the word itself literally means "to reflect" or "to reflect upon" depending on different subjects, it could definitely be understood and translated as "to take into account/consideration (for the record/documentation)", "to apply ~ (so that it is taken into account for a bigger whole).

    However, it does not in a direct sense connote that the subject will "record" or specficially jot whichever information in question down. "(제가) 반영하겠습니다 or 반영하였습니다" means "I will take (the information given) into consideration/I will reflect (the information given) so that such information will be taken into account when actually reporting or documenting a report, for example". The person is making sure that whichever information given is counted toward the report and does not go unnoticed. Just a subtle difference between actually recording it and making sure the information is counted, considered and taken into account as a part of a bigger whole.

    Here, M. is simply saying that he or she has made sure that the information (that E. has provided) is reflected, manifested in the final report. Hope this helps.
     

    Flooooooooor

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Thanks so much, pcy0308. Your answer gets at exactly what I was hoping to learn about this word -- and now I have learned it!
     
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