how old are you It's my understanding that it's important in Korea for people to know your age. In my efforts to follow the rules I posted my age but I've noticed that not many Koreans post their age unless they are less than 25 years old. Should I keep my age to myself and not worry about honorifics? Should I ask others how old they are? What are the rules?
Oct 5, 2012 3:13 AM
Answers · 14
Age is so important in Korea that even one year difference between two people means that the younger one will have to address the older person with respect. This is why, one of the first things Koreans ask when they meet somebody is their age and asking people’s age in Korea is not disrespectful at all as it is in the west.
October 5, 2012
Korean society had been very hierarchical accoring to age until 10 years ago . But it is not strict in these day . Depending on each person's character, it is different a little but basic rule is that a citizen who has a public obligation respects a fellow citizen each other regardless of age,social status, richness in public place, on official meeting, in front of audience ,at first see,online. It is a personal choice how to speak each other in private relationship after becoming acqaintance. Moreover, we don't consider foreigner's mistakes in conversation seriously.
October 5, 2012
Hey, It can be general in your country, but in many countries It's rude to ask a woman who is significantly older than you like your elders, because it makes them feel old. and it's depend on you that you wanna to show or hide your age here... lolz.
October 5, 2012
Just remember this simple rule: Use 요 to everyone, regardless of age, untill you have permission to drop it. Some older koreans I talk to is ok with me speaking informally and some just don't like it. Depends on how close you are and how big of a gap it is and of course their personality.
October 5, 2012
You might find it contradictory, but many of Koreans want to know someone else's age and the absolute majority of the older Koreans don't want to reveal their age except when they are forced to. Many of Koreans are more or less curious about another person's age because ①they tend to expect a kind of respect from those who are younger than them. ②so many of Koreans strongly believe that you must do certain things at a certain age and they try to guess whether you are confronting the challenges of a certain life stage successfully or not by knowing your age, even though most westerners might find them nosy. The absolute majority of the older Koreans don't want to make their age known to others unless they can't help it, because there is a strong social atmosphere in which getting old is getting increasingly synonymous with getting useless. In conclusion, I'd like to say that you don't have to let other people know your age unless they provide their age when you interact with Koreans. It's not a rule, rather a double standard. I'm afraid you might want to tell the real culture of Korea from the idealized culture of the country.
October 5, 2012
Show more
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!