From: "John Cowan"

> Chinese seems to tolerate a lot of this kind of ambiguity, though.
> IIRC the terms for "gram" and "kilometer" are reassigned Chinese terms
> for traditional measures of roughly similar size.

Argh! I forgot to include this in my previous post.

"kilometer" is "gong1li3"

"li3" is a traditional Chinese measure of about 1/3 mile.

"kilo" is "gong1jin"

"jin", "a catty", (though in the expat community, we just said "jin") is a
little over a pound (so a "gongjin" was actually closer to two pounds).

"gong1", "public, common" tips you off to the metric measure, though I was
surprised that several of the traditional Chinese measures actually come
close to the traditional English counterparts (and has some of the old,
non-base-10 indiosyncracies [e.g. 16 liang to 1 catty]) <rant> though why
Americans cling to the "English" system when even the *English* have
supposedly, at least internationally,  adopted the metric system still
boggles my mind.</rant>

Some are downright weird, at least to this Westerner's eyes. The "ping",
roughly 3 or 4 square ft. is used in real estate deals, including the space
of the house *and* the property.  Tough to calculate acrage of land and
square footage (kilometrage?) of a house together.