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how does korean age really work ?

Anhyong haseyo. Post Korean related stuff here.
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missxbebe
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how does korean age really work ?

Post by missxbebe » Oct 9th, '06, 19:35

god im so confused;;
im 14 right now .. so then am i 15 in korean age? =T

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Psygnius
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Post by Psygnius » Oct 9th, '06, 19:57

In a few Asian countries, you are considered 1 years old when you are born.

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missxbebe
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Post by missxbebe » Oct 9th, '06, 20:01

oh thanks

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Post by snowbird » Oct 9th, '06, 21:42

you also gain 1 year on the new year' s day (lunar calendar)

so if you are 15 (in western age) you could already be 17 in korean age.
depends on which month you were born.

(not completely sure if this is right) :)

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Post by missxbebe » Oct 9th, '06, 21:43

snowbird wrote:you also gain 1 year on the new year' s day (lunar calendar)

so if you are 15 (in western age) you could already be 17 in korean age.
depends on which month you were born.

(not completely sure if this is right) :)
haha ohh shyt man im old.
i was born in october

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Post by AngelicLayer » Oct 10th, '06, 18:48

SO THIS IS WHY MOST ASIANS LOOK LIKE THEY WERE ONLY 18 ALSO THEY ARE ABOUT 29!!! LOL

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Post by mrbogangles » Oct 11th, '06, 00:21

haha wow i never new that carzy lol

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Post by groink » Oct 11th, '06, 00:34

Although this different age counting system stil exist and is in use, does a typical Korean resident use it for everyday use? For example, in a drama, it says a character is XX years old. Are the writers actually using this system to determine that age? And, when a Korean references age, is there some sort of an indicator in the speech which system is being used?

EDIT - Okay, answered my own question, via Wikipedia:
Wikipedia wrote:Koreans generally refer to their age in units called sal (살), using Korean numerals in ordinal form. Thus, a person is one sal during the first calendar year of life, and ten sal during the tenth calendar year. Although not quite accurate, the common explanation is that the gestation period is counted as a person's first year of life.

In modern Korea, the Western age system is widely known and referred to as man na-ee (만, meaning "full", 나이 meaning "age"), although the traditional system is most often used. For example, man yeol sal means "full ten years", or "ten years old" in English. The Korean word dol (돌, originally 돐) means years elapsed, identical to the English "years old," but is only used to refer to the first few birthdays. Cheot-dol or simply dol refers to the first Western-equivalent birthday, du-dol refers to the second, and so on.

The first 100 days and the first dol call for large celebrations, and Koreans celebrate their birthdays, even though every Korean gains one sal on New Year's Day. Additionally, some Koreans, especially of the generation before 1980s, reckon their age and birthday by the lunar calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar.
--- groink

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Post by snowbird » Oct 11th, '06, 00:59

in a normal conversation among koreans, the korean system is used without any need to
indicate which system one is referring to.

in a conversion between koreans with foreigners they usually say which age system they are referring to.

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Post by YuInSoo » Nov 25th, '06, 23:03

groink wrote:Although this different age counting system stil exist and is in use, does a typical Korean resident use it for everyday use? For example, in a drama, it says a character is XX years old. Are the writers actually using this system to determine that age? And, when a Korean references age, is there some sort of an indicator in the speech which system is being used?

EDIT - Okay, answered my own question, via Wikipedia:
Wikipedia wrote: ............

The first 100 days and the first dol call for large celebrations, and Koreans celebrate their birthdays, even though every Korean gains one sal on New Year's Day. Additionally, some Koreans, especially of the generation before 1980s, reckon their age and birthday by the lunar calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar.
--- groink

the reason for the DOL large celebration after 100 days of birth
is that at that time.. you are supposudly 1 year...
9 months inside your mom.. plus 3 months (roughly 90 something days) outside...

and koreans usually refer to their age in korean system (western age +1)
while talking to other koreans...
that is, they dont explain to each other... im 26 in korean age and 25 in western age..
they just use korean system regularly when talking to each other..

they specify otherwise usually when talking to non-koreans.

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Post by jj4now » Nov 25th, '06, 23:32

Not only Korean , Chinese also have the same +1 age thingy.
actually I prefer it like that. and maybe one day (perhaps ) people around the world will use it.. for examp[le right now. when a baby is born, they sing him a happy birthday song. that's means the baby is 1 years old (when he was just born.) so the next year when he celebrate his 1 st birthday ,is actually his 2 nd happy birthday. right?

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Post by groink » Nov 26th, '06, 00:53

jj4now wrote:Not only Korean , Chinese also have the same +1 age thingy.
actually I prefer it like that. and maybe one day (perhaps ) people around the world will use it.. for example right now. when a baby is born, they sing him a happy birthday song. that's means the baby is 1 years old (when he was just born.) so the next year when he celebrate his 1 st birthday ,is actually his 2 nd happy birthday. right?
The reason why the West counts a person's age starting from Day Zero is the idea of how time is counted. In the West, time starts at zero because astronomers back then believed that the value "zero" exists and can be counted (think about it in computer numbers - 0, 1, 10, 11, 110.....) So a baby's life starts at birth, which starts at zero hours, zero minutes, zero seconds. And the clock starts to tick from that point. Western astronomers even believe that Jesus Christ was born on Year Zero, versus the ordinal method of using 1 BC which many calendars and faiths use.

I may be wrong, but I believe in many Asian cultures there is no symbol in their written languages to symbolize zero regarding time measurements such as a object or living creater's age. Even in the West, the Romans never had the numerical value of zero in their numbering system (roman numerals.) Hindus and buddist lunar calendars also consider Year Zero to be non-existent.

I also believe that many Asian cultures, as well as many cultures in the West, use ordinals when indicating time (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.) So when describing a person's age, an exaggerated translation is probably something like "I'm in my 21st year of being alive", which more likely explains why many Asian cultures add 1 to a Western age. Ordinals in dating indicate that a person is living in the time period specified at a certain day (00:00:00 to 23:59:59), while cardinals indicates a specific point in time, rounded back to the nearest day. For example, January 1st indicates the person was born within the first day of January, while January 1 indicates the person was born ON that date. Both may mean exactly the same thing for most of us, but when heavily pulled apart using the definitions of ordinal and cardinal they have completely different meanings.

--- groink

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Post by ParisAsta » Nov 26th, '06, 01:16

Wow.. that was filled with some really good information.. I never knew that.. so.. I can choose between 22 or 23 on the 5th of Dec... eh.. I'll stick with the lower number.. I have hard enough time, trying to get people to believe them when I tell them my real age.. most think I am 15 :(

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Post by happy3nding » Nov 26th, '06, 01:39

I'm 14 now, so In China I'm 15~
:thumright:
:-( but i dun wanna consider myself so old!!~! ugh!~ :x
..-sniff- i wanna be younggg~~!! :cry:

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Post by megatokyo23 » Nov 26th, '06, 01:45

wow... i didn't know there was so much rationalization behind the counting systems.
:lol
and here i thought it was just two different counting conventions, like the difference between:
"ONE one-thousand, TWO one-thousand..." and
"one-thousand ONE, one-thousand TWO..."
--mt23--

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Post by kichi_konkon » Nov 26th, '06, 01:57

well I'm Vietnamese and when my mom told me all about this whole age thing it hurted my head XD Though it's easier to understand now....I think, Vietnamese people would only count age by Lunar New Year, so your birthday doesn't matter that much. So everybody's birthday is on Lunar New Year XD

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Post by jess7ca » Nov 26th, '06, 02:00

Many people consider the "right" way is when you are considered to be 1 when you are born. Because in a way.. it does seem a bit right.. doesn't it? o.o;; but its just my own opinion. I just heard that from my parents lol.

But yeah, i dont think you can skip 2 years though.. its only 1. Like, if youre 15, youre 16 in korea. I dont think you can go from 15 to 17.

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Post by supermann » Nov 26th, '06, 02:14

I may be wrong, but I believe in many Asian cultures there is no symbol in their written languages to symbolize zero regarding time measurements such as a object or living creater's age. Even in the West, the Romans never had the numerical value of zero in their numbering system (roman numerals.) Hindus and buddist lunar calendars also consider Year Zero to be non-existent
The Chinese had the symbol 0 a long long long time ago. It was introduced to them by a Buddhist astronomer from India in 718. And naturally, Korea would also have the symbol zero.

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Post by groink » Nov 26th, '06, 02:19

supermann wrote:
I may be wrong, but I believe in many Asian cultures there is no symbol in their written languages to symbolize zero regarding time measurements such as a object or living creater's age. Even in the West, the Romans never had the numerical value of zero in their numbering system (roman numerals.) Hindus and buddist lunar calendars also consider Year Zero to be non-existent
The Chinese had the symbol 0 a long long long time ago. It was introduced to them by a Buddhist astronomer from India in 718. And naturally, Korea would also have the symbol zero.
Addressing its use contextually, is that Chinese character used when calculating a living being's age? That's why in that quoted paragraph I carefully indicated this use. When using the zero for counting, a Chinese or Korean person could easy say, for example, there are zero apples in the basket, assuming the idea that there is a difference between having none versus having a zero amount. One person's philosophy could argue that attaching a numerical value to something that does not even exist is illogical (I would expect Mr. Spock to say something like this.)

--- groink

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Post by aussie_guy » Nov 26th, '06, 07:10

Because of China ruling Vietnam for over 1000 years, our customs and tradition are if not exactly the same. We both have the same celebrations and religion beliefs (Buddhism, Christianity/Catholic)

Back to the subject: if your born in Vietnam, and your current age is say 20 in countries like USA, +1 to your age. You are 1 when your born. Not 0 like others.

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Post by aussie_guy » Nov 26th, '06, 07:20

kichi_konkon wrote:well I'm Vietnamese and when my mom told me all about this whole age thing it hurted my head XD Though it's easier to understand now....I think, Vietnamese people would only count age by Lunar New Year, so your birthday doesn't matter that much. So everybody's birthday is on Lunar New Year XD
Nope. Vietnamese people have their birthdays like any others.

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 28th, '06, 18:56

I really hate this Korean age system. I was born in December, which means I'm a full 2 years older in Korea than I am at home. People born in January, though technically only anywhere from 10-40 days younger than me, are considered younger than me by a whole year! I wouldn't really mind this system that much if everybody aged equally, but considering this huge unfairness towards December babies, I just can't help but reject this system.

It sucks, it really does. Being December-born turns you into an old nanny. :glare: I always refer to myself with Western age when in Korea with complete disregard to their system. I'm 19 years old, not 21. They just have to deal with it.

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Post by nijokeem » Nov 28th, '06, 20:48

Ahh so confusing, so I'm 17, born in September, I would be 18 still in korea?
yes?

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 28th, '06, 21:03

Yes, you'd be 18. You are 18 in all of 2006. On January 1st, you'll turn 19.

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Post by Ueharaa » Nov 28th, '06, 21:19

This is so confusing :lol
I can understand you're 1 year old when you're born but why will she/he turn 19 on January 1st whereas she/he was born in September ?????
My birthday is on December 29th and I'm gonna be 17 years old .. so does this mean i'll be 19 years old in Korea??? ....I don't really understand .. :scratch:

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 28th, '06, 21:23

Yes, you are 19 in Korea.

In Korea, everybody gains a year when the new year rolls around, not on the day they were born. At least, this is how all of my Korean friends and my boyfriend's family do it. When I was involved with officials in Korea, I was also referred to as 20, even though I was only 18 then.

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Post by Ueharaa » Nov 28th, '06, 21:44

oh okay .. but still.. I'd rather be 17 . :D

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Post by YuInSoo » Nov 29th, '06, 03:27

Néa Vanille wrote:Yes, you'd be 18. You are 18 in all of 2006. On January 1st, you'll turn 19.
that is weird..
im korean and i've never done it that way...

Lets say that you are born in January or February of a year.. let's say 1983 (an example.. it could be any year... its just that im from 1983)

Then you are mostly considered from 1982... because of the lunar year thing... (since you were born in Jan or Feb of 1983 you were still inside the last month of the chinese calendar)
and if you add the 9 months inside mommies belly... THEN you are 2 years older... under korean system...

Unless you are born in the months before the lunar year (or chinese new year's day) of the year you were born... (keep in mind that chinese new year changes every year)
you dont get to add 2 full years...
even more so.. if you are from december...
Up to where i know... people born between March and December never get to add 2 full years..

Also keep in mind that chinese new year lands between January and February but it never lands in other months...

Since I was born Feb 10th of 1983... (and chinese new year's that year was on Feb 12)
i should be considered 2 years older....
but i usually try to hide the fact.. ^^ so im just 1 year older... heheh

Oh.. and BTW... its not that important if im 2 days away from chinese new year of 1983..
Koreans dont get that technical...
if you were born Jan or Feb its good enough reason to consider you 2 years older..

When you are born in Jan or Feb.. of a year
Koreans often call that person an Early '(last 2 digits of the year you were born,in my case it would be an 83)
My case would be an Early 83
in korean it is called a 빠른 83 (the exact translation is fast 83)


i know its a complicated system...
but dont worry...
u will prolly not need it... ^_^



oh.. and btw... because of the complications that this system has...
people in korea ask "what year were you born?" as often (if not more) as "how old are you?"
because when you answer the 2nd question you could answer 2 or even 3 different answers... eg: im 21, or 22 or maybe even 23...
and that is misleading...
But if you are asked what year you were born.. the answer is obviously only one..
1983 in my case.. or early 1983.. which doesnt make taht much of a difference...

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 29th, '06, 19:17

I was born on December 19th and I was 18 (it was summer then), but the police officially took me as 20. I even had to write in my testimonies that I was 20. Gah, I hated that. :lol

Thanks for the notion toward the Chinese culture, though, I always just assumed they meant January 1 when Koreans told me that all Koreans gained a year with the new year.

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Post by a10203040 » Nov 30th, '06, 20:01

Hmm, I think you'll always be either one or two years behind your lunar age unless you're born in that period in January and Feburary just after the Lunar New Year.

When you're born, you're at western age 0, lunar age 1. Now unless you're lucky enough to be born in that period just after the lunar new year and the next lunar new year lands after your next birthday, the next lunar new year will always strike before your next birthday, making you western age x, lunar age x+2.

The only difference between each person is the amount of time you spend being either one or two years older than your western age. Say if your birthday falls around march, your western age catches up earlier. So yea, I guess December and some early Jan, Feb(next year) babies spend a lot more time being 2 years older than their western age.

I guess by looking at some of the above posters' replys, this system of counting is still used by the Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese. Do the Japanese still use this system when counting ages?

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 30th, '06, 20:57

The Japanese are reasonable and don't use this unfair system. :lol

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Post by YuInSoo » Nov 30th, '06, 22:57

Néa Vanille wrote:I was born on December 19th and I was 18 (it was summer then), but the police officially took me as 20. I even had to write in my testimonies that I was 20. Gah, I hated that. :lol

Thanks for the notion toward the Chinese culture, though, I always just assumed they meant January 1 when Koreans told me that all Koreans gained a year with the new year.
lolz~ do you mind if i ask why u were involved with the korean police again??
^_^;;;;;

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 30th, '06, 22:59

I didn't do anything... :lol I'm not that dangerous...

A guy stole my cell phone in Korea, though, so I sued him. 8) Yupp, dangerous me.

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Post by kawaiineemei » Nov 30th, '06, 23:20

woah! u serious? this is amazing. i thought about the age thing before but i didnt know it was really practiced in most asian countries! wow! i was definitely asian too in my past life.. definitely! lol.. im not making fun. im really amazed. so... im 20 now.. if the same practice was used in the U.S..... :idea: that'd mean i'm already old enough to go bar-hopping! oooooo!!! if only! :scratchchin:

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Post by PJB » Dec 2nd, '06, 09:15

I was born in December of 84 (4th!), so this makes me what, almost 24 now? :P

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Post by YuInSoo » Dec 3rd, '06, 00:11

well i think that this korean age system thing has its own advantages...
its very subjective you know... :scratchchin:

you can manipulate your age and stuff..
if you are happier by saying you are a couple of years older.. then go ahead~~:dance:

if you have reached a certain age and you wish you didnt grow older..:sweat:
(meaning that you want to be younger...)
then you manipulate the age thing again... lolz...
it doesnt make that much of a difference..

but some people... (specially girls i think.. no offense)
lie about their age.. saying they are 3 or 4 or even more years younger...
under the korean system...
you are "technically" not lying if you say you are 2 years younger or 2 years older..
depending on your particular choice...

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Post by doink-chan » Dec 3rd, '06, 04:21

Néa Vanille wrote:The Japanese are reasonable and don't use this unfair system. :lol
doinkies read that they did use it once, back in ye olden days when they used the old lunar calendar...nowadays they don't though.

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Post by ackirom » Aug 10th, '08, 11:53

Wow! A very interesting... yet confusing topic :unsure:

Ok... :scratch: I was born on Feb. 4, 1984. As of right now, Aug. 10, 2008 (4:35am to be exact :lol ) I'm 24 years old. Since I'm a February baby, I would be considered an Early 84? or a Fast 84? So... I'm really 26 y.o. over there now, right?

But then somebody mentioned the +1 or +2 full years addition depends on which side of the I'm assuming Chinese New Year's Day you're birth date falls on? In 1984, the Chinese New Year's Day, according to ChineseTools.eufell on Feb. 2nd, 2 days before mine, so... I should only add 1 year??

:goggle: :pale: :sweat: :faint: :nuts:

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