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Introducing English units of measurement

Reading books and translator app for windows 10 by foreign writers, very often in the book you can find foreign units of measurement, for example: miles, feet, yards, inches. Our person rarely encounters them in everyday life, so he hardly has any idea about them. In order to make a competent interpretation that is understandable to our perception, it is necessary to disassemble in order what each of the quantities is:


A unit of measurement of length that came to us from antiquity. However, it is now more perceived as a British or American unit. One mile is 1609 meters and 34 centimeters, or 1609.34. If you come across a mention of a mile in the text, you can safely multiply by 1.5. But remember that there is also a nautical mile, which is 1852 meters long.


The historical designation for an inch is the width of an adult male’s thumb. Generally, an inch is 2.54 centimeters. This is the height of the girl named “Thumbelina” in the tale of Hans Christian Andersen.


One foot is 12 inches, so if we multiply 1 inch by 12 we get 30.48 centimeters. If you find it easier to navigate in meters, just divide one foot by three. For example, the old sea wish for “a tailwind and seven feet under the keel” meant that 2 meters 10 centimeters should be enough so that the ship would not hit the ground.


A yard is 91.44 centimeters. And you guessed it right, the yard is a little under the meter.


When someone says the word “acre”, a picture of the 19th century somewhere in Britain immediately rises in front of your eyes: a mansion, not far from it, a large dusty field on which harnessed bulls are working. Indeed, the British meant a piece of land by an acre. One acre is equal to 4046.86 square meters.


We have all heard the expression “pound sterling”. It was measured in past centuries with silver coins, and such a bag weighed 453.6 grams. To convert one pound to our usual kilograms, just divide it by two.


One ounce is 28.35 grams. Usually this unit is used in medicine and perfumery. Look at the packaging of your perfume – for sure you will find there a designation of the type 3.3 fl. oz. – this is the designation, in this case, the volume of perfume in ounces.

Now, reading your favorite book by an English writer or just watching a foreign film, you can easily translate all of the above meanings into measures that are convenient for you.

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