17 April 2014

Measure distances in Chinese

Distances in Chinese

If you already know how to express numbers in Chinese, you can learn how to express quantities such as distance, weight or volume in Chinese. It is as simple as learning the character representing that unit. However, you will need to know which reference quantities are used in China, because many differ from those used in the Western world.


Chinese distances

Today we begin with the units for measuring distances. Currently in China the people use the metric units, so equivalences are identical for many western people.



Distances

háomǐ
millimeter

límǐ
centimeter

meter
(used as meter classifier)

500 meters
(also known as Chinese mile)

gōnglǐ
kilometer



Old distances

There are still the old Chinese measurement units, but most of them are no longer in use.


chǐ
0.33 meter
(Chinese foot)

zhàng
3.33 meters (10尺)

yǐn
33.3 meters (10丈)



Foreign distances

They also make use of the combination of Chinese characters to express foreign standard measures.


英里
yīnglǐ
British mile (1.609 km)

英尺
yīngchǐ
British foot (0.3048 meters)


The Chinese units have changed over several dynasties. If you want to learn more about the history of the Chinese units, take a look to this wikipedia page about the  unit.