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Help with South Korean cultural questions...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by .264 magnum, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    Long story short an old friend and person I used to do a lot of business will be in town week after next. He is bringing his wife and two children.

    1. I know the dates his kids were born. But I recall that Koreans don't decipher ages like we do in the west:
    Birth plus 365 day = 1 year old and so on. But more like a child is born 1 year old. Can someone explain this to me properly? And if this is close to correct is it an archaic practice?

    2. At what age would it be appropriate to call a young Korean man, he's either 20 or 21 depending upon question 1, Mr. (insert Korean guy's first name)? Or is it better to refer to him simply by his first name as I'm pushing 30 years older than he?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    1) The traditional age system has babies starting at 1 year old instead of zero. It's not archaic, it's still used today, but Koreans are familiar with the chronological system as well. All legal stuff (drinking age etc) is based on the same system that we use here. So no one is going to be offended if you get their age wrong by a year.

    2) If you're that much older than someone, and are meeting them in a social setting, you can just use the first name.
     

  3. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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  4. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Koreans do it Gangnam style. Thats all I have on the subject. Watch him explain it to America.


    [ame]http://youtu.be/QZmkU5Pg1sw[/ame]


    /
     
  5. PaulR-Tx

    PaulR-Tx CLM

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    Having been married to a Korean woman for several years now this might help.
    1) If someone is younger than you informal is always ok
    2) if they are older than you than always be formal and respectful.
    3) The wife will always be formal with or withouit her husband there.
    4) To him and his wife say! Ahnyoh Hahsayo! ...hello how are you with respect. To his kids you could just say Ahnyoh!
    To your elders you always use "yoh" at the end to show formal respect!

    I hope this helps!
     
  6. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    :rofl:

    Sorry, I'm not laughing at you, and I know there's no good way to try and spell these things in English, but that just cracks me up...
     
  7. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    Wow, this thread reminds me of a S. Korean guy I had in my Platoon back in Germany.

    He was SK Special Forces in Viet Nam. Very formal and respectful towards his Officers and women. He was like the toughest soldier I've ever met.

    He could do 40 one arm pushups, Over 100 regular pushups in 2 minutes, and nothing fazed him. Great NCO E-5

    I remember one time we were all out in the field on a training exercise and he's running around in a T-shirt in 20F weather. WTF?
     
  8. Ragnar

    Ragnar

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    When I was stationed in Korea, it was the norm for those guys to do PT in the snow in their underwear (ok, shorts and t-shirts). They also still get disciplined by the NCOs and officers.

    I worked in my intel unit with one guy, (T)Sgt Park (they all seem to be named Park ;)) who was a ROK Ranger. Guy was five foot nothing and weighed 140lbs. All steel. Had to qual twice a year on LALO jumps. 800 feet, no reserve chute, in the dark. Bad mofo, glad he was on the good side.


    As for the original questions, I wouldn't get overly concerned about the formalities. Be polite and respectful and you'll be fine, although I do agree that as the senior you can be less formal to the kids.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  9. el_jewapo

    el_jewapo

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    Maybe I'm an ******* here. But he's your guest, treat him like any other guest. This isn't really all directed at you, just a general observation on society sparked by your thread.

    You see it all the time in our society, "How can I bend over backwards to show this nationality how cultured I am?" Just do what you do, he's the guest, ever think he wants a taste of American culture? You watch all these shows of Americans going to foreign countries. They don't bend over backwards to act American, they do things they normally do in their culture.

    Call the kid what you'd call any 20 or 21 year old. Be that his name or "young man" or what have you. Be yourself.
     
  10. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    That's just not true.

    Sure, the amount of accommodation varies, but In every single country I have ever traveled to, when people find that someone is an American they attempt to greet them in English.
     
  11. el_jewapo

    el_jewapo

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    Well, I don't have much experience with world travel. Just going by shows I've watched and such. I didn't mean that from a 'MERICAH F-Yeah! standpoint. Just not a fan of being fake and taking on another cultures manorisms is kind of the epitome of fake.
     
  12. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Sure, if you go too far it can come off as fake. But making a minimal effort is just being polite.

    I try to learn how to say "good morning," "please," "thank you," etc. the local language anywhere I go. Not because I'm trying to be fake or trying to fit in or trying to fool anyone, just because it's polite.
     
  13. el_jewapo

    el_jewapo

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    Yeah, I agree with that. Learning greetings, please and thank you is polite. Guest or host. Some people just take it too far, and I can't imagine people visiting from other countries really expect their hosts to do that.
     
  14. RedTop

    RedTop

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    Just don't reach over their heads and you'll do fine.

    :tbo:
     
  15. Crypsis

    Crypsis

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    You mean it looks fake if you host a French exhange student and act like this? Seemed normal to me :)

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhW7rpFhr2k"]Better Off Dead French fries - YouTube[/ame]
     
  16. arclight610

    arclight610

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    don (long O) ju say yo
     
  17. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    If, by chance you have a cat, you might put it in another room during the visit. I believe that they are not well regarded as pets. Evil night creatures.
     
  18. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy Silver Member

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    Just treat them as you would any other folks. Good manners will be noticed. :supergrin:
     
  19. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    Why, I oughtta!
     
  20. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    Thanks to all the the input.

    I'm very interested in other cultures and several years I spent almost two weeks with this man and he family. They treated me like a family member the entire time plus they went WAY out of their ways to be cool to me. I'd like to reciprocate and avoid the "Ugly American" tag if possible.