The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea 29(3), 115~138.
The objective of this study is to analyze and interpret the features of Koreans’ perception of retirement and their retirement greeting expressions by age and gender through a survey based on the field research at the retirement ceremonies. A study on the perception was conducted, and the result is as follows: 33.10% of the respondents consider retirement a matter of congratulation, 30.50% consolation and encouragement, and 36.4% a way of congratulation, consolation and encouragement. In particular, those who think that retirement is a matter of congratulation preferred to say, “You have worked hard and I appreciate it(39~39%)”, “Thank you for your hard work(34~36%)”, and “other messages(25~26%)” regardless of age and gender. Also, those who consider that retirement is a matter of consolation and encouragement said, “Thank you for your hard work(48~57%)”, nothing(32~38%)”, or other messages(2~16%) regardless of age and gender. In addition, those who think the retirement is a matter of congratulation, consolation and encouragement, they showed similar patterns with the other two cases although there were some differences in terms of frequency. However, the retirement greeting expressions proposed by the Chosun Ilbo, the National Academy of the Korean Language (1991: 363), and the National Institute of the Korean Language (2011: 209) were based on the case that retirement were a matter of congratulation only. Hence, this study suggests that messages for retirement need their revision and supplementation and related institutions should take it seriously and publish a new ‘standard language etiquette’