The Catty – Quick Vocab Tip

Here’s a quick tip on a weight unit that you’ll need to learn if you plan on buying things at Chinese or Taiwanese markets. It’s particularly important because it differs a lot from the metric equivalent.

First off, a kilogram is known as 公斤 (gōngjīn), so you’d be forgiven for mistaking the 斤 sign seen at Chinese markets for meaning kilogram. Actually, 斤 (jīn), known as a Catty in English, is equivalent to around 500g in China, and 600g in Taiwan. Lots of metric measurements start with 公 in Chinese such as 公里(gōng lǐ)kilometre, 公尺(gōng chǐ)metre, and 公升(gōngshēng)litre, but if you don’t see 公 and only 斤 then remember it’s not a kilogram.


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