Taiwanese units of measurement

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Taiwanese units of measurement (Chinese: 臺制; pinyin: Táizhì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-chè) are the customary and traditional units of measure used in Taiwan. Many of the units derive from Japanese units of measurement and have similar names as Chinese units of measurement but different conversions than in mainland China or Hong Kong. In some cases these units are used exclusively, in some cases alongside official metric (SI) units, and in other cases they have been supplanted by metric units. Linguistically, practically all Taiwanese units of measure are Chinese classifiers used to classify nouns.

Length[edit]

Linear measure in Taiwan is largely metric but some units derived from traditional Japanese units of measurement remain in use.

Unit pinyin pe̍h-ōe-jī Chinese characters in metric units Basis
1 Taiwanese inch cùn chhùn 3.030 cm Japanese

sun

1 Taiwanese foot chǐ chhioh 30.30 cm Japanese

shaku

Area[edit]

An advertisement from IKEA for a 10-píng apartment

Unlike with other measures, area continues to be almost commonly measured with traditional units. Taiwanese units of land measurement derive from both traditional Dutch and Japanese measurements. The principal unit of land measure, the jiǎ (Chinese: ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: kah), derives from the obsolete Dutch unit morgen which was introduced during Taiwan's Dutch era; or from the Dutch word for "field", akker. The (; ) represented the area that could be farmed by one man with one ox and one plow in one day. The principal unit for measuring the floorspace of an office or apartment, the píng (; pêⁿ / pîⁿ / phêⁿ / phîⁿ / phiâⁿ / phêng) derives from the tsubo (Japanese: ?), and is the size of two sleeping (tatami) mats.

  • píng = (6 chǐ)2 = 3.306 square metres (35.59 sq ft)
  • (; bó͘) = 30 píng = 99.2 square metres (1,068 sq ft)
  • jiǎ = 2,934 píng = 0.9699 hectares (2.397 acres)[1]
  • = 5 jiǎ = 4.8496 hectares (11.984 acres)

However, land area is officially measured in hectares and square kilometers.[2]

Volume[edit]

Volume measure in Taiwan is largely metric, with common units such as liter and milliliter.

Mass[edit]

Fruit sold in catties in a Taiwanese market

Packaged goods in Taiwan largely use metric measurements but bulk foodstuffs sold in wet markets and supermarkets are typically measured with units derived from traditional Japanese units of mass, which are similar but not equivalent to corresponding Chinese units of mass.

  • cash (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ) = 37.5 mg
  • candareen (; fēn; hun) = 10 cash = 375 mg
  • mace (; qián; chîⁿ) = 10 candareens = 3.75 g
  • tael (; liǎng; niú) = 10 mace = 37.5 g
  • catty (; jīn; kin/kun) = 16 taels = 0.6 kg
  • picul (; dān; tàⁿ) = 100 catties = 60 kg

Note the tael and catty are widely used.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]