Chinese units

From Academic Kids

The Chinese units (Template:Zh-cpl) 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.

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

Measures of length

  • 1 li (市里) = 15 yin = 150 zhang
    • this li is not the small li below, which has a different character and tone
  • 1 yin (引) = 10 zhang
  • 1 zhang (市丈) = 2 bu = 10 chi
  • 1 bu (步) = 5 chi
  • 1 chi (市尺) = 10 cun
  • 1 cun (市寸) = 10 fen
  • 1 fen (市分) = 10 li
  • 1 li (市厘) = 10 hao
  • 1 hao (毫) = 10 si
  • 1 si (丝)= 10 hu
  • 1 hu (忽)

SI equivalents:

  • 1 li = 500 m
  • 1 zhang = 3.3333 m
  • 1 chi = 333.333 mm
  • 1 cun = 33.333 mm

Measures of area

  • 1 qing (市顷) = 100 mu
  • 1 mu (市亩 / 畝) = 10 fen = 60 zhang²
  • 1 fen (市分) = 10 li
  • 1 li (市厘)
  • 1 zhang² (方丈) = 100 chi²
  • 1 chi² (方尺) = 100 cun²
  • 1 cun² (方寸)

SI equivalents:

  • 1 qing = 66,667 m²
  • 1 mu = 666.67 m²
  • 1 li = 0.6667 m²

Measures of 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
  • 1 jin (市斤) = 10 liang (formerly 16 liang = 1 jin)
  • 1 liang (市两) = 10 qian
  • 1 qian (市钱) = 10 fen
  • 1 fen (市分) = 10 li
  • 1 li (市厘) = 10 hao
  • 1 hao (毫) = 10 si
  • 1 si (絲) = 10 hu
  • 1 hu (忽)

SI equivalents:

  • 1 dan = 50 kg
  • 1 jin = 500 g
  • 1 li = 50 mg

Measures of 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 ge (合) = 10 shao
  • 1 shao (勺)= 10 cuo
  • 1 cuo (撮)

Metric equivalents:

Measures of time

  • 1 ri (日) = 12 shichen
  • 1 shichen (时辰) = 8 ke
  • 1 ke (刻) = 60 fen
  • 1 fen (分)

Western equivalences:

Except for several short periods of a few years each, before 1645 (before the Qing dynasty) 1 ri = 12 shichen = 100 ke and 1 shichen = 8 1/3 ke = 8 ke 20 fen. Since 1645 (except for 1665–1669), the above equivalents have been true.

See also

ja:尺貫法 zh:市制

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