I'm surprised, how often I get the question "How old are you?" here on Italki. This question is regarded quite impolite in my country, mainly when I meet someone for the first time. I would like to know, if it is really impoliteness or a cultural difference only. Thank you for your answers!
In Germany it's definitely impolite, especially when it's one of the first questions that gets asked. I'm afraid this question mostly comes from people who mistake italki for a dating platform :-(.
As for a way to get out of this situation, I remember what a colleague of mine once said when asked which birthday she just celebrated: "Ladies don't get older than 34." Of course she was older than that, but she didn't want to tell us her exact age.
" "Ladies don't get older than 34." Of course she was older than that, but she didn't want to tell us her exact age. "
I think the roots of cultural differences about age are in our philosophy of life.
In some traditional societies, aging is seen as a perfectly normal process and accepted as such. People don't feel the need to hide their age. Age can even be considered as one's assets because experience and wisdom come with it.
In western societies where youthism is preponderant and there's some discrimination against elderly people, asking about age is therefore considered as impolite.