# Hong Kong units of measurement

Hong Kong units of measurement

Hong Kong units of measurement is based on the measurement units of Chinese of Qing Empire, British Imperial and metric. Both British Imperial and Chinese units were used until recently. In 1976 Hong Kong started the conversion to the metric system. This has now been almost completed with almost all Hong Kong Government business and legal requirements being in metric units. Customary Chinese and Imperial units are still widely used in all walks of life.

There is a chapter of Metrication Ordinance in the Law of Hong Kong for conversion between systems of measurement.

Some Chinese units are gradually being replaced by Metric units as the sole custom and trade because of new developments in technology and Hong Kong becoming a much more urban city.

## Length

In the old days, in the Chinese system, the most commonly used units are 里 (li), 丈 (tseung/cheung), 尺 (tsek/chek), 寸 (tsun/chun), 分 (fen/fan) in descending scale order.

These units are now rarely used in daily life as the preferred system is the Metric system.

The unit character for Imperial is the same as the Chinese system. In order to distinguish between units in both systems, it is sometimes written with a prefix of 英 (Ying) for the British Imperial system and 華 (Wa) for the Chinese system. Sometimes special crafted characters are used; with radical 口(mouth), that denote it is colloquial, for writing Imperial units.

The most commonly used units are the mile (哩, li, 英里), yard (碼, ma), foot (呎, chek, 英尺), and inch (吋, tsun 英寸).

## Weight

Both Chinese and Metric weight units are used in Hong Kong. The choice of system depends on the type of goods and their origins. Metric is used for all official purposes, for example the Post Office and Road signs.[1][2] All packaged foods must have labels giving metric weights.[3]

There is still some use of traditional weights, for example, vegetables, meats, Chinese medicines are usually measured in Chinese system while fruits are sometimes measured in the Imperial system.

The trading of gold, silver and platinum are in the Chinese system though there is little discrepancy from other goods.

## Area

The traditional measure of flat area is in square feet (方呎,fong-chek,平方呎, ping-fong-chek) of the Imperial system. Apartment or office size is generally still given in square feet. Traditionally, the measurement of agricultural plots and fields are conducted in 畝(mau) of the Chinese system.

## Volume

In Chinese system, the measurement of volume of rice is 斗 (tau) but it is replaced by packaged rice in weight. The volume of water and fuel is the litre. The gallon (加侖, ka-lun) of the Imperial system is still occasionally used.

## Time

Time measurement follows the International system. The Date is written in the western way according to the Gregorian calendar but the Chinese method is also very important in everyday life.

English name Chinese name Cantonese pronunciation Equivalent Note
Year (Gregorian) nin 365 or 336 Days Roughly follows a solar cycle. Historically, the Chinese refer to the return of the Sun in the winter solstice as 歲 (Sui).
Year (Chinese) nin 12 or 13 Chinese month In the Chinese year with 13 months, the 13th month is known as the intercalary month.
Month (Gregoiran) yeut 28, 29, 30 or 31 days. The Gregorian month lost the meaning of the moon cycle.
Month (Chinese) yeut 29 or 30 days. Roughly in sync of the moon cycle
Day yat 24 hours
Hour 鐘/小時 chung/siu si 4 quarters or 60 minutes 鐘 also means Clock or Bell. The Bell or Clock chimes every hour.
Quarter kwat 15 minutes 骨 (kwat) is the Cantonese word for "quarter".
Minute fen 60 seconds
Second miu

## Energy

The Joule or Calorie is the unit used for the measurement of energy in food.

## Power

Horsepower (馬力) is still the dominant measurement for the power of Cars and Air Conditioning Systems. The Chinese counting word 匹 (pat) is the unit to describe it in the Cantonese language.

## References

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

### Look at other dictionaries:

• Units of measurement — Weights and measures redirects here. For other uses, see Weights and measures (disambiguation). The former Weights and Measures office in Seven Sisters, London A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a physical quantity, defined and… …   Wikipedia

• Obsolete Polish units of measurement — The traditional Polish units of measurement included two uniform yet distinct systems of weights and measures, as well as a number of related systems borrowed from neighbouring states. The first attempt at standardisation came with the… …   Wikipedia

• Obsolete Scottish units of measurement — Scotland had a distinct system of measures and weights until at least the late 18th century, based on the ell as a unit of length, the stone as a unit of mass and the boll and the firlot as units of dry measure. This official system coexisted… …   Wikipedia

• Ancient Roman units of measurement — The ancient Roman units of measurement were built on the Hellenic system with Egyptian, Hebrew, and Mesopotamian influences. The Roman units were comparatively consistent and well documented. Contents 1 Length 2 Area 3 Volume …   Wikipedia

• Traditional Turkish units of measurement — The list of traditional Turkish units of measurement, aka Ottoman units of measurement, is given below. Contents 1 History 2 List of units 3 Time 4 See also …   Wikipedia

• Obsolete Russian units of measurement — For the Indian spinning wheel known as a charkha, see spinning wheel. A native system of weights and measures was used in Imperial Russia and after the Russian Revolution, but it was abandoned in 1924 when the Soviet Union adopted the metric… …   Wikipedia

• Old Irish units of measurement — In old Irish law, a wide variety of measurements were used. Contents 1 Length 2 Area 3 Capacity 4 Mass 5 Time …   Wikipedia

• Obsolete Tatar units of measurement — A native system of weights and measures was used by Tatars until 1924, but became obsolete when the Soviet Union adopted the metric system. The Tatar system shares many units with the Russian system (e.g. sajın and disätinä), which is close to… …   Wikipedia

• Old Cornish units of measurement — Measurements formerly in use in Cornwall Contents 1 Area 2 Length 3 Capacity/mass 4 Fish 5 Sources …   Wikipedia

• Chinese units of measurement — A Traditional Chinese scale Chinese units of measurement (Chinese: 市制; pinyin: Shìzhì; literally market system ) are the customary and traditional units of measure used in China. In the People s Republic of China, the units were re standardised… …   Wikipedia