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    #1

    Cool Indiscretion?

    Hi,

    Is the following term used in English?

    'How old are you? Without indiscretion....

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Indiscretion?

    Quote Originally Posted by bieasy View Post
    Hi,

    Is the following term used in English?

    'How old are you? Without indiscretion....
    No. If we do ask this question, and are aware that it may be considered tactless, we may ask rather formally something like:

    "May I be so indiscreet as to ask how old you are?" or:

    "If it's not too indiscreet a question, how old are you?"

    I suspect that young people might laugh if they heard the enquiry phrased in this way.

    Generally speaking, once people reach a certain age (somewhere between 18 and 25) it is not considered polite to ask them how old they are, in Britain at least. Even officials entitled to know will ask for the date of birth rather than the age. This is a matter of culture rather than language.

  2. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Indiscretion?

    Yes, the question is used and, yes, in some cases it can make people feel as if you've asked them a highly personal question. Three-year-olds, for example, wouldn't mind the question, if, that is, they can answer it.

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    #4

    Cool Re: Indiscretion?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    No. If we do ask this question, and are aware that it may be considered tactless, we may ask rather formally something like:

    "May I be so indiscreet as to ask how old you are?" or:

    "If it's not too indiscreet a question, how old are you?"

    I suspect that young people might laugh if they heard the enquiry phrased in this way.

    Generally speaking, once people reach a certain age (somewhere between 18 and 25) it is not considered polite to ask them how old they are, in Britain at least. Even officials entitled to know will ask for the date of birth rather than the age. This is a matter of culture rather than language.
    It's translated from French. 'Quel âge avez-vous? Sans indiscretion'

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Indiscretion?

    Quote Originally Posted by bieasy View Post
    It's translated from French. 'Quel âge avez-vous? Sans indiscretion'
    The exact translation does not work in English. my two original suggestions seem to be appropriate:

    "May I be so indiscreet as to ask how old you are?" or:

    "If it's not too indiscreet a question, how old are you?"

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