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Encyclopedia > Chinese units of measurement

The Chinese units (Chinese: 市制; Hanyu Pinyin: Shìzhì; literally "market system") are the customary and traditional units of measure used in China. The units were standardized during the twentieth century to make them convert roundly to SI units. Many of the units were formerly 16 based. Hong Kong was outside of the reform, and in present-day the traditional units are used together with the metric units. Pinyin (拼音, Pīnyīn) literally means join (together) sounds (a less literal translation being phoneticize, spell or transcription) in Chinese and usually refers to Hànyǔ Pīnyīn (汉语拼音, literal meaning: Han language pinyin), which is a system of romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration to roman script) for Standard Mandarin used in the... The word unit means any of several things: Unit of measurement or physical unit, a fundamental quantity of measurement in science or engineering. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s The 20th century lasted from 1901 to 2000 in the Gregorian calendar (often from (1900 to 1999 in common usage). ... The International System of Units (abbreviated SI from the French language name Système International dUnités) is the modern form of the metric system. ...


The Chinese name for most SI units is based on that of the closest traditional unit. When it is necessary to emphasize which system is used, the words "market" (市; shì) for traditional units or "common/standard" (公; gōng) for SI units may be added in front of the name.


Note: The names li (厘) and fen (分) for small units are the same for length, area, and mass; however, they refer to different kinds of measurements.

Contents


Length

1 li (市里) 
= 15 yin = 150 zhang = 500 m = ½ km
this li is not the small li below, which has a different character and tone
1 yin (引) 
= 10 zhang = 33.3 m
1 zhang (市丈) 
= 2 bu = 10 chi = 3.3 m
1 bu (步) 
= 5 chi = 1.6 m
1 chi (市尺) 
= 10 cun = 333.3 mm = 1/3 m
1 cun (市寸) 
= 10 fen = 33.3 mm
1 fen (市分) 
= 10 li = 3.3 mm
1 li (市厘) 
= 10 hao = 333.3 µm = 1/3 mm
1 hao (毫) 
= 10 si = 33.3 µm
1 si (丝) 
= 10 hu = 3.3 µm
1 hu (忽) 
= 333.3 nm = 1/3 µm

Li: A Chinese unit of distance, 里 (Lǐ), a li is equal to 500 metres, or about 1/3 mile. ... Tone refers to the use of pitch in language to distinguish words. ...

Hong Kong units

1 chek (尺) 
= exactly 0.371475 metres
1 tsun (寸) 
= 1/10 chek = ~3.715 cm
1 fan (分) 
= 1/10 tsun = ~3.715 mm

Area

1 qing (市顷) 
= 100 mu = 66,666.6
1 mu (市亩 / 畝) 
= 10 fen = 60 zhang² = 666.6
1 fen (市分) 
= 10 li = 66.6
1 li (市厘) 
= 6.6
1 zhang (方丈) 
= 100 chi² = 11.1
1 chi (方尺) 
= 100 cun² = 0.1 m² = 1/9 m²
1 cun (方寸) 
= 1,111.1 mm²
1 ping (坪) 
= 3.305 m²

Volume

These units are used to measure grains.

1 dan (市石) 
= 10 dou
1 dou (市斗) 
= 10 sheng
1 sheng (市升) 
= 10 ge = 1 litre
1 ge (合) 
= 10 shao
1 shao (勺) 
= 10 cuo
1 cuo (撮) 
= 1 ml = 1 cm³

The litre (spelled litre in Commonwealth English and liter in American English) is a unit of capacity. ...

Mass

These units are used to measure mass of objects. They are also famous for measuring monetary objects such as gold and silver.


The decimal system is not wholly adopted among Chinese citizens.

1 dan (市担 / 擔) 
= 100 jin = 50 kg
1 jin (市斤) 
= 10 liang (formerly 16 liang = 1 jin) = 500 g
1 liang (市两) 
= 10 qian = 50 g
1 qian (市钱) 
= 10 fen = 5 g
1 fen (市分) 
= 10 li = 500 mg
1 li (市厘) 
= 10 hao = 50 mg
1 hao (毫) 
= 10 si = 5 mg
1 si (絲) 
= 10 hu = 500 µg
1 hu (忽) 
= 50 µg

Hundred weight or hundredweight is a unit of measurement for mass in both the system of measurement used in the United Kingdom and Ireland (and previously throughout the British Commonwealth), and in the system used in the United States. ... Officially the pound is the name for at least three different units of mass: The pound (avoirdupois). ... The ounce is the name for a number of different units of mass (oz), and also of two units of fluid volume (fl oz) and of one unit of force, the ounce-force (ozf). ...

Hong Kong units

1 picul (tam) (担) 
= 100 catties = exactly 60.478982 kg = ~60.5 kg
1 catty (kan) (斤) 
= exactly 0.60478982 kg = ~605 g
1 tael (leung) (兩) 
= 1/16 catty = exactly 37.79936375 g = ~37.8 g
1 mace (tsin) (錢) 
= 1/10 tael = exactly 3.779936375 g = ~3.78 g
1 candareen (fan) (分) 
= 1/10 mace = exactly 0.3779936375 g = ~378 mg

Hong Kong Troy units

These are used for trading precious metals such as gold and silver.

1 tael troy (金衡兩) 
= exactly 37.429 grams
1 mace troy (金衡錢) 
= 1/10 tael troy = ~3.743 grams
1 candareen troy (金衡分) 
= 1/10 mace troy = ~0.374 grams

Time

1 rì (日) or tiān (天) 
= 12 shíchén = 24 hours = 1 day
1 shíchén (时辰) (obsolete, no longer used) 
= 8 kè = 2 hours
1 xiǎoshí (小时) 
= 60 minutes = 4 kè = 1 hour
1 kè (刻) (rarely used) 
= 60 old fēn = 1/4 hour = 15 minutes
1 old fēn (分) (obsolete, no longer used) 
= 1/60 kè = 15 seconds
1 fēn (分) 
= 60 seconds = one minute
1 miǎo (秒) 
= 1 second
Since 1645 (except for 1665–1669), the above equivalents have been true.
Except for several short periods of a few years each, before 1645 (before the Qing dynasty) the following were true:
1 rì 
= 12 shíchén = 100 kè, and
1 shíchén 
= 8 1/3 kè = 8 kè 20 fēn.

A day (symbol: d) is a unit of time equal to 24 hours. ... The hour (symbol: h) is a unit of time. ... This article contains information that has not been verified. ... Look up second in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Qing Dynasty (Manchu: daicing gurun; Chinese: 清朝; pinyin: qīng cháo; Wade-Giles: ching chao), sometimes known as the Manchu Dynasty, was founded by the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro, in what is today northeast China, expanded into China proper and the surrounding territories of Inner Asia, establishing...

Reference

Hong Kong government definitions for Chinese units


See also


 
 

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