English, 日本語

How and why “Korean Age” makes you older than you actually are. 韓国年齢(数え年)について。

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When you meet someone for the first time in Korea, the usual mandatory questions are asked such as your name, occupation, hobbies etc. Then there’s age. Especially for foreigners, after asking a Korean their age you usually have to follow up with the question “Is that your Korean age or your International age?”. This seems like a strange question to ask someone you just met so here’s how it works.

  • In Korea, you are born one (1) years old. The time between conception and birth is counted which means you’re ‘zero’ at conception and ‘one’ at birth.
  • In Korea, you increase your age on January 1st of every year, not on your birthday

This doesn’t mean they don’t celebrate on the day of their birth day.  Celebrations are common on their birthdays, but they don’t add another year to their age until the 1st of January. Some Koreans still count their age according to the Lunar calendar. So they won’t use the 1st of January as the day when they get older, but the first day of the lunar new year (which is usually in early February).

This may all sound a bit confusing (and make you feel old) so use the method below from Seoulistic.com to work out your “Korean age”

(This year – Your Birth year) + 1 = Your Korean age

Example:
(2012 – 1990) + 1 = 23
(2012 – 1982) + 1 = 31

http://seoulistic.com/korean-culture/korean-age-system-youre-older-in-korea/

初対面の方と話す時、名前・職業・出身地などを伺うのは普通ですが韓国と日本では歳の数え方が違います。

韓国では年齢を「数え年」で計算しています。

  • 「満年齢」なら、生まれた時が0歳で、誕生日ごとに年をとります。(日本)
  • 「数え年」では、生まれた時が1歳、元旦が来るたびに年をとるという数え方になります。

日本では生まれたばかりの赤ん坊は0歳ですが、韓国ではこれを1歳と数えます。

また、日本では誕生日を迎えるとひとつ歳をとりますが、韓国では1月1日を迎えるとひとつ歳をとります。

なので、韓国人が「20歳です」という場合には、日本の18歳である可能性も19歳である可能性もあります。

誕生日は最近では西洋暦で答えることが多くなりましたが、伝統的な占いをする際や、法事などをする際には今でも旧暦の誕生日が用いられています。

韓国年齢を簡単に計算する為には↓の方法を使ってみてください。

(現在の西暦 – 誕生年)+ 1 = 韓国年齢

例)
(2013 – 1990) + 1 = 24
(2013 – 1982) + 1 = 32

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