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so.many.words

Characters in Mathematics

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so.many.words

I suspect I already know the answer but like to get things right ...

In complex math, in particular Engineering math ...are Chinese Characters used.

I would expect to give a final result in both number & character as both courtesy and smarts.

Also is China metric or is it 'silly' emperial like the Yanks (you would think that after kicking the redcoats in the ass ...they would have sent their measurement system packing as well). (Will that get any bites I wonder ..:roll:)

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imron

Chinese use westernised Arabic numerals (0-9) for representing numbers for Engineering and mathematics (and also normal everyday life), the same as we do.

Basically, if you were going to be writing the whole word out in English, then in those situations you would use characters, i.e. the equivalent of writing "one plus one equals two" would be 一加一等于二. However, in situations where you were just writing the numbers i.e "1+1=2" then that's all you'd write in Chinese too.

As for question 2, China is metric with a twist. Things like kilograms and kilometers are often talked about in terms of half-kilograms (斤) and half-kilometers (里).

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roddy

There's also 亩, which is quite often used when talking about land area. Metric measures are, at a guess, still more common though. I can't think of any situation where you'd see actual imperial measures though, can anyone else?

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imron
I can't think of any situation where you'd see actual imperial measures though, can anyone else?
Menus for Subway. Their bread rolls come in either the 6 英寸 or 12 英寸 variety.

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Xiao Kui

9 inch or 12 inch pizzas at Pizza Hut.

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jbradfor

Bet car wheel diameters are still measured in inches.

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skylee
I can't think of any situation where you'd see actual imperial measures though, can anyone else?
In Hong Kong, although the metric system has been in use for a long time, housing property is measured in square feet. A man of medium height is about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall. And people buy vegetables / meat in catty / pound in traditional markets.

I think the unit for gold trading is either ounce or tael.

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imron
And people buy vegetables / meat in catty / pound in traditional markets.
But is the catty (presumably you are talking about 斤?) actually a pound, or is it just half a kilo? Most places on on the mainland also use 斤, and it's half a kilo. Ok, the difference might only be 100g, but it'd be interesting if the same word stood for different measurements.

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skylee
But is the catty (presumably you are talking about 斤?) actually a pound, or is it just half a kilo? Most places on on the mainland also use 斤, and it's half a kilo.

As far as I understand it, the 斤 in HK is not the same as 500 grams.

This information is from the laws of hk ->

1担 =100斤 =60.4790公斤 =133.333磅

1斤 =0.60478982公斤 =21.3333安士

1兩 =1/16斤 =37.7994克 =1.33333安士

1 picul = 100 catties = 60.4790 kilograms = 133.333 pounds

1 catty = 0.60478982 kilogram = 21.3333 ounces

1 tael = 1/16 catty = 37.7994 grams = 1.33333 ounces

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imron

Interesting, so both 斤 and 两 have different measures on HK and the Mainland (not sure about 担 as I never see it used). Over here there are usually only 10 两 per 斤 -- although after just looking it up, it seems technically this should be called 市两 and 市斤, but I've never heard anyone use those terms in daily life.

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roddy

Ah, and TV and computer screens - also measured in inches.

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ajax

Here in Kunming 1斤 = 1公斤 = 1kg and there are 10两 / kg. I've always wondered why Kunming is different and if anywhere else in China uses this system. I know even as nearby as Dali prices are in 市斤.

They way they do things here is convenient, although it sounds like in Hong Kong 半斤八两 makes a lot more sense.

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self-taught-mba

Some renovations items. Like the sliding window panes.

When we were having to ge2duan4 (add separating walls) at the new place some things were in metric and other things were in English terms. The more specialty type imported things (or imported style at least) would follow the English term as this was considered a standard.

So basically we have established that imported goods with an existing standard keep the original standard at least part of the time.

A another one, a yard measuring stick/tape = also stated in English terms. Badaboom Badabang.:mrgreen:

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trien27

Imron,

担 is only used as an approximate, when they don't know that the measurement is actually the same character as 石 "stone/rock" but pronounced "dan" and so used a different character which has an approximate pronounciation. As the noun, "stone" it is pronounced "shi". As a unit of measurement, it's pronounced "dan". 担 dan, means "to carry/ pick up; to worry, etc..." 石 dan is a very ancient unit of measurement, but how the character came to be pronounced "dan" as the unit of measurement is very obscure.

skylee is correct, but 斤 is converted to ounces: if it's converted to pounds, 斤 would be about 1 1/3 lbs = about 21 ounces or more.

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skylee
skylee is correct, but 斤 is converted to ounces: if it's converted to pounds, 斤 would be about 1 1/3 lbs = about 21 ounces or more.

What appears in my post #10 was copied from the 度量衡令/Weights and Measures Order in Hong Kong laws. I would think that most people who understand what a pound is would know that it is made up of 16 ounces.

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skylee
担 is only used as an approximate, when they don't know that the measurement is actually the same character as 石 "stone/rock" but pronounced "dan" and so used a different character which has an approximate pronounciation. As the noun, "stone" it is pronounced "shi". As a unit of measurement, it's pronounced "dan".

石 = dan4 is right. However, Xiandai Hanyu Cidian has this remark - "在古書中讀shi2".

And 担 is not an approximation. You can find 担 being a measurement of weight in dictionaries. In our laws it is also well defined.

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SWWLiu

In scholarly mathematics typesetting for journal article publication, there are excellent free systems (both UNIX based and Windows based) derived from (Stanford University) Donald Knuth's TEX system (from which a simpler variant is LaTex2e). In regard to Chinese "Characters in Mathematics" (as opposed to "Chinese units of measure"), there is a version of Chinese LaTEX widely used also in China among researchers (in various academies). I myself have not used the Chinese version, although I have certainly seen its products. In this system, Chinese characters and latin symbols may be easily juxtaposed.

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