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I was having trouble the other day with discussing life events in Korean. I was trying to say things like

"In 2010, my daughter was born"

"In 1976, I was born"

I understand that for the first one I could say something like,

"이천십년에 딸은 태어났습니다"

and that's simple enough. But is that how Koreans would say that year, 이천십년? Then, it gets worse, because for the second sentence I could say

"천구백칠십육년에 나는 태어났다"

But is that how Koreans actually say it? I figure there must be a quicker way to say the year, along the lines of how we would say "nineteen seventy six".

Greg

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  • When you think about it, "천구백칠십육년" is seven syllables, not much longer than "nineteen seventy six" (six syllables). – jick Apr 28 '20 at 2:06
  • True, but it's hard for a Korean-challenged person like myself to parse. – Greg Markowsky Apr 28 '20 at 2:31
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    Well, turn it the other way around, and it took me years of practice before my brain could hear "nineteen(19) seventy-six(76)" and construct a single number 1976 in real time. This way of double-digit reading is totally alien to Korean speakers. – jick Apr 28 '20 at 2:47
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    In fact, once you get used to the Korean version it is probably easier. 76 is literally 7-10-6(칠 십 육), 176 is literally 100-7-10-6(백 칠 십 육). No need to remember complex numbering words such as eleven to nineteen either, just count them as 10-1 to 10-9 – user17915 Apr 28 '20 at 9:30
  • There's no question it is more logical than the English numbers. But, that doesn't mean it's easy to do it quickly for a novice. – Greg Markowsky Apr 28 '20 at 20:15
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The most natural way to say "I was born in 1976" would be:

저는 (천 구백)칠십육년생입니다.

N년생 means "born in the year N". You can omit the "천 구백" part since it's obvious.

As slang / colloquialism, some people shorten it as far as:

나 칠육년생이야 / 나 칠육이야

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There is no way to say it in exactly the same way as English, you are correct and natives also say it like that.

But you can say only last 2 letters like "칠십육 년에" or "칠십육 년도에", then natives will understand as 1976.

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    Thanks for your answer. I guess it's like in English maybe we could say "I was born in '76" and people would generally understand it, at least older people. – Greg Markowsky Apr 28 '20 at 1:48
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Hello:) I'm a Korean high school student. There is no answer how to say that, but I give notice more natural expression.

저는 (천 구백)칠십육년생입니다(we use more 이에요 than 입니다 if it is not an uncomfortable seat). We say that 칠육년생이에요 than 칠십육년생입니다. It is because when we say the number that is not express the amount, math, etc..., we say that 0=공, 1=일, 2=이, 3=삼, 4=사, 5=오, 6=육, 7=칠, 8=팔, 9=구. (for example, 010-1234-5678(telephone number, Korean telephone number start 010), we say 공일공 일이삼사에 오육칠팔('에' mean -(bar?))

Actually I born in 2002, and I say that '저는 공이(02)년생이에요'.

Also, when I am told 'How old are you(너 몇살이야?)' , I say more '고3이에요(고 means 고등학생(high school student), 3 means third grade)' than 공이년생이에요, 이천이년생이에요(we don't say 이년생이에요, it is very weird to hear).

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