"저는 동료가 많다고 말했습니다."
Translation:I said I have many colleagues.
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In English, tense backshifting in reported speech/indirect quotes is applied most of the times, but not always.
• optional if the situation is still true
• not applicable for general truth.
Avoid backshifting if the original verb (tense used in the direct quote) is
• in past perfect
Backshifting is optional in the given example. Neither you nor DLG is wrong. Just a matter of DLG accepting your suggestion as an alternative answer.