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Tuesday, July 2nd 2013, 1:31am

Miles conversion to kilometers (Imperial vs. International System of units)

Hi all

very often in English texts are given measurements in miles, gallons and acres.
These units are known as Imperial Units officially adopted in Burma, Liberia, United States, Canada and Uk.
The rest of the world adopt the International System of Units in kilometers, cubic meters and square meters.

When translating from US or UK english: lenght, area and volume are expressed in Imperial Units while the rest of the world is familiar with meters.

Converting with Google 1,000 miles to equivalent kilometers: 1.609,344 two more questions are raised:
  1. the dot exchanges with comma as thousand separator and decimal separator point respectively
  2. exact conversion might be unaesthetic and redundant: if a thousand mile is used in general speaking a conversion to 1.600 km could be acceptable.

Countries that adopt the dot or comma as decimal point are wiki-available here, inlcuding other Arabic, Persian and Braille sperators.

If this makes sense to you I propose to enrich this topic with your suggestions and update the LTI Guidelines as reference.

Thank you :rolleyes:

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  • "Ray" is male

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Tuesday, July 2nd 2013, 2:36am

This makes perfect sense to me and I'm somewhat surprised that it hasn't come up before now. The object of translation is to 'convert' anything that needs conversion to be well understood by the target audience (native speakers of the translation language)

As Ben hinted above, it is important that everyone understand the issue with commas & dots when used within numbers across these systems.
Imperial units (miles, gallons, acres) use commas within the whole numbers (2,058,148) and a dot to separate the whole number from fractional or partial whole numbers (4,803.72)
International units (kilometers, cubic & square meters) use the reverse of those (61.350,25)
The guidelines will need to make this very clear.
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