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SI Guide

SI is SImple! Even in other languages!

The International System of Units not only defines base and derived units along with prefixes to scale them, it also provides international symbols to indicate them. This allows quantities to be given in Arabic numerals and SI symbols which are universally understood, regardless of cultural differences in language or alphabet. No other system of measurements offers this! The image below points out why it is important to refer to quantities symbolically than in spelled out words. Few people understand all the names shown below for meter, kilogram, and second, but they all understand the unit symbols m, kg, and s.

Notice that even the two Chinese languages shown above differ in the words used for meter and kilogram. And although the Japanese kanji for "second" looks the same as the Chinese, the pronunciation is entirely different. Foreign language students and those traveling abroad will want to be sure to look at the appropriate "SI in ...." pages linked below to learn more about pronunciations and spellings. This will also help them in learning more about the languages and cultures being studied. In the meantime, one is always safe writing out the numbers and unit symbols.

SI in Chinese This provides the Chinese names of the SI units and prefixes as used in the People's Republic of China and in Taiwan, which use two different but related dialects. PinYin transliterations are provided as well. This page is encoded in Unicode (UTF-8) and requires the use of Chinese fonts. The SimSun and PMingLiU fonts are recommended. 
SI in French This provides the French names of the SI units and prefixes.
SI in German This provides the German names of the SI units and prefixes.
SI in Greek This provides the Greek names of the SI units and prefixes. Proper viewing of this page, which is written in ISO-8859-7, requires the use of Greek fonts. Most newer computers have those available.
SI in Italian This provides the Italian names of the SI units and prefixes; some voice clips are included.
SI in Japanese This provides the Japanese names of the SI units and prefixes as used in Japan. The page is encoded in Shift_JIS and may be properly viewed with MS Mincho font in Windows or Osaka font in MacOS.
SI in Russian This provides the SI unit and prefix names in Russian. The informal Russian unit and prefix symbols are also provided since they may be seen in non-technical works, however they have no official standing outside of Russia. The page is coded in Unicode (UTF-8).
SI in Spanish This provides the Spanish names of the SI units and prefixes.

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