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Taiwanese units of measurement (Chinese: 臺制, Taiwanese Hokkien: Tâi-chè, Hakka: Thòi-chṳ, Mandarin: Táizhì) are the customary and traditional units of measure used in Taiwan. The Taiwanese units formed in the 1900s when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. The system mainly refers to Japanese system. The measurement refers to the traditional size of a Japanese flooring mat called a Tatami mat (made of woven dried grass) which were positioned to completely cover the floor of traditional Japanese homes, therefore it became a convenient measurement tool as mat area was standardised hundreds of years ago. In Taiwan the measurement units are pronounced in Taiwanese Hokkien and Hakka before the World War II and adopted by the Mandarin speaking immigrants from China in 1949. Today, the Taiwanese units are used exclusively, in some cases alongside official SI units, and in other cases they have been replaced by SI.

Although the Taiwanese units have similar names to those in Chinese units of measurement and Hong Kong units of measurement, the standards are different from those used in China and Hong Kong due to them being Japanese in origin.

Length

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

Table of Lengths
Unit Taiwanese
feet
Metric US & Imperial Notes
Taiwanese Hokkien Hakka Mandarin Character Exact Approx. Exact Approx.
Hun Fûn Fēn 1100  1/330 m 3.030 mm 125/37,719 yd 0.1193 in Same as Japanese Bu
Chhùn Chhun Cùn 110  1/33 m 3.030 cm 1250/37,719 yd 1.193 in Taiwanese inch; Same as Japanese Sun
Chhioh Chhak Chǐ 10/33 m 30.30 cm 12,500/37,719 yd 11.93 in Taiwanese foot; Same as Japanese Shaku
Tn̄g Chhong Zhàng 10  100/33 m 3.030 m 125,000/37,719 yd 9 ft 11.3 in Taiwanese fathom; Same as Japanese

Taiwanese length units and the translation of length units in Metric system (SI) shares the same character. The adjective Taiwanese () can be added to address the Taiwanese unis system. For example, 台尺 means Taiwanese foot and 公尺 means meter.

Area

An advertisement from IKEA for a 10-pêⁿ apartment
An advertisement from IKEA for a 10-pêⁿ apartment

Unlike with other measures, area continues to be almost commonly measured with traditional units. Taiwanese units of area are derived from both traditional Dutch and Japanese measurements. The principal unit for measuring the floor space of an office or apartment is (Taiwanese Hokkien: pêⁿ,[1] Hakka: phiàng, Mandarin: píng). The unit is derives from the Japanese tsubo, the base unit of the Japanese area. The principal unit of land measure is (Taiwanese Hokkien: kah, Hakka: kap, Mandarin: jiǎ). The unit is derived from the obsolete Dutch morgen, which was introduced during Taiwan's Dutch era. In the later era Kingdom of Tungning, (Taiwanese Hokkien: lê, Hakka: lài, Mandarin: lí) is defined to represent the area that could be farmed by one man with one ox and one plow in one day. Today, the rule for converting the two major units from two different sources is

1 (Taiwanese Hokkien: kah, Hakka: kap, Mandarin: jiǎ, Dutch morgen) = 2,934 (Taiwanese Hokkien: pêⁿ, Hakka: phiàng, Mandarin: píng, Japanese tsubo)

Table of area units
Unit Pêⁿ Kah Metric US & Imperial Notes
Taiwanese Hokkien Hakka Mandarin Character Exact Approx. Exact Approx.
Pêⁿ[2] Phiàng Píng 1 400/121 m2 3.306 m2 625,000,000/158,080,329 sq yd 35.58 sq ft Same as Japanese Tsubo
Bó͘ Méu 30  12,000/121 m2 99.17 m2 6,250,000,000/52,693,443 sq yd 1,067 sq ft Same as Japanese Se
Hun Fûn Fēn 293.4 110 117360/121 m2 969.92 m2 10,440 sq ft
Kah Kap Jiǎ 2,934 1 1173600/121 m2 0.9699 ha 2.3967 acres Derived from Dutch Morgen
Lài 14,670 5 5868000/121 m2 4.8496 ha 11.984 acres Used from Kingdom of Tungning

Officially, land area is measured in square metres.[3]

Volume

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

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

Mass

Fruit sold in catties in a Taiwanese market
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. Imported goods from the US also retains its weight in ounces, although most such packages also lists the weight in grams.

Table of units of mass
Unit Niú Metric US & Imperial Notes
Taiwanese Hokkien Hakka Mandarin Character Legal Decimal Exact Approx.
11000  3/80,000 kg 37.5 mg 3750/45,359,237 lb 0.5787 gr Cash; Same as Japanese Rin
Hun Fûn Fēn 1100  3/8000 kg 375 mg 37,500/45,359,237 lb 5.787 gr Candareen; Same as Japanese Fun
Chîⁿ Chhièn Qián 110  3/800 kg 3.75 g 375,000/45,359,237 lb 2.116 dr Mace; Same as Japanese Momme ()
Niú Liông Liǎng 3/80 kg 37.5 g 3,750,000/45,359,237 lb 21.16 dr Tael
Kin/Kun Kîn Jīn 16  3/5 kg 600 g 60,000,000/45,359,237 lb 1.323 lb Catty; Same as Japanese Kin
Tàⁿ Tâm Dàn 1600  60 kg 6,000,000,000/45,359,237 lb 132.3 lb Picul; Same as Japanese Tan

Note the tael and catty are widely used.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In Taiwanese Hokkien, is also pronounced pîⁿ, phêⁿ, phîⁿ, phiâⁿ, phêng depends on the accents.
  2. ^ In Taiwanese Hokkien, is also pronounced pîⁿ, phêⁿ, phîⁿ, phiâⁿ, phêng depends on the accents.
  3. ^ 《中華民國統計資訊網》縣市重要統計指標查詢系統網 (in Chinese). Retrieved 25 July 2016.

References