Certain systems of measurements, such as metrics versus imperial are fairly well known. However, different countries across different continents tend to adopt different systems, and sometimes have their unique customary systems, coupled with direct romanization of the word’s sound, without any explanation of course it can be confusing. Here is an example of measurement system used in Taiwan:
- 1 píng = (6 chǐ)2 = 3.306 square meters (35.59 sq ft)
- 1 mǔ (畝; bó͘) = 30 píng = 99.2 square meters (1,068 sq ft)
- 1 jiǎ = 2,934 píng = 0.9699 hectares (2.397 acres)
- 1 lí = 5 jiǎ = 4.8496 hectares (11.984 acres)
If a sentence said: “The bungalow has a floor space of 24 ping; therefore all 5 rooms have ample space.”
If no explanation is given, an international audience may have no concept of how big ‘ping’ is and exactly what ‘ample space’ mean. A more ideal way to phrase this sentence may be: “The bungalow has a floor space of 24 ping (79.344 square meter or 853.8 square foot); therefore all 5 rooms have ample space.”
Depending on the target audience, for example, Taiwanese, or readers from various countries, the author can use the country specific measurement only, or should provide additional conversion to more international standard systems, such as the ‘metrics’ or ‘imperial’ system. The author can cite ‘ping’ as that’s the typical measurement used in Taiwan if that information is useful or deemed necessary to cite; however, if not converted accordingly, then a reader from say, US, would be totally confused and disengaged.