People in South Korea become younger – level 3

04-07-2023 07:00

South Korea has changed its system for counting ages, making everyone a year or two younger.

The country has abandoned its traditional method, where people are considered one year old at birth and gain another year every January 1st. So if you were born on the 31st of December, you would be considered two years old the very next day. Complications arising from this system were highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic after people encountered difficulties with their eligibility for vaccines and vaccine passports. The new system aligns with the international standard and will be used for most administrative and civil matters. The change aims to eliminate confusion and bring South Korea in line with the rest of the world. While some individuals may still use the old method informally, 86% of South Koreans have expressed their intention to adopt the international system in their daily lives.

Certain exceptions will remain, such as age calculations for purchasing alcohol, entering compulsory education, and fulfilling national service obligations.

Difficult words: abandon (to give up something), eligibility (having the right to do or obtain something), compulsory (something that must be done).

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How will the new system affect those individuals who are subject to exceptions and will still be required to use the old method?


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