The Complexity of the South Korean Age System


"How old are you?" In a country with a deeply-rooted set of honorifics based on age, this question not only acts as a basic formality or curious inquiry, but as a method to create a foundation of a relationship. Age will determine various levels of respect and how one person will address the other. This is South Korea's situation surrounding age. For me, as an American studying abroad in South Korea, answering this seemingly simple question became a challenge. That is because South Korea has its own unique way of calculating age that differs from most western countries. In South [...]