The Korea Herald


[Land of Squid Game] Asking people's age before starting conversation


Published : June 28, 2022 - 15:08

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In Korea, people often use honorifics and appellations such as eonni (older sister) and oppa (older brother) when speaking with someone else. 

This is because Koreans generally follow the Confucian tradition of speaking differently with someone who is older versus someone who is younger. This is why Koreans will often ask others their age or the year they were born at the start of a conversation. 

Korea's millennial generation is less likely to ask about age when first meeting someone, but it’s not surprising for Koreans to reveal the year they were born to each other. 

By Min Byoung-chul

Min Byoung-chul is an endowed chair professor at Chung-Ang University who is widely known as a multicultural educator for his practical English teaching. This content is based on his book, “Land of Squid Game,” which can be purchased at major book stores. Scan the QR code for more information. -- Ed.