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[VIDEO NEWS] Does the Confusing Korean Age System Need to Be Gone?

Jan 26,2018
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1) The Korean public’s interest in abolishing the concept of “Korean age” and introducing the “full age” is rising.

2) According to a recent survey, 68.1 percent said that they would most prefer to use “the full age system,” which is the system the rest of the world uses to determine age.

3) The demand that Korea use “full age” even shows up on the Blue House’s online platform for submitting petitions.

4) In the “Korean age” system, a person’s age increases with every New Year’s Day. In the “full age” system, however, a person becomes older on each of their birthdays.

5) “Korean age is so messed up,” one netizen wrote. “If you’re born on Dec. 31, you’re one year old that day, and the next day on Jan. 1, you’re already two years old. How can you become a two-year-old in just a day? The ‘full age’ is your real age.”

6) “They want me to write my full age in parentheses sometimes. Why go through the hassle when we can just stick to one system?”

7) “China, Japan and even North Korea switched to the ‘full age’. We’re the only country on Earth that uses this system. In the global age, it’s got to go.”

8) Even the few Confucian countries that have been using the “year age” already switched to the full age system decades ago, making South Korea the only country in which the system is valid.

9) North Korea also began to use the full age in the ’80s.

10) “The Korean age is used in all other occasions, but in law, it’s mixed up with the full age. It’s so inconvenient.”

11) Civil Code Chapter 6, Article 158 reads, “Date of birth is used in age calculation,” indicating full age.

12) In fact, South Korea also stated legally that it would use the full age since 1962.

13) However, in real life, not many people use it.

14) There are plenty who wish to use the full age as written in law, but with the Korean age system still a part of our society after all this time, finding a way to introduce a new system to the entire society is not easy.

15) Isn’t it strange that all South Koreans — and only South Koreans — simultaneously become a year older on Jan. 1?

Video sourced from JoongAng Ilbo
Directed by Lee Jeong-bong
Produced by An Ji-hye
Translated by Kim Hyo-jung
Edited by Matthew Silberman