6

The English noun "unit" has several meanings, one of them (meaning No. 2 on Wiktionary) being the category of "meter", "inch", "volt", "ounces", "milliliters" etc.

unit (plural units)

  1. (mathematics) Oneness, singularity, seen as a component of a whole number; a magnitude of one.
  2. (sciences) A standard measure of a quantity.

    The centimetre is a unit of length.

  3. [...]

In German, while there is also the similarly unspecific "Einheit" with various meanings including that one, a unit of measurement (or "standard measure of a quantity" as Wiktionary puts it) can be expressed explicitly as "Maßeinheit".

What word or phrase should be used in Esperanto to express this concept?

In ReVo I found "unuo", which seems similarly broad in meaning as "unit" or "Einheit", and "mezurunuo" which seems to nicely capture the specific intended meaning.

In PIV, I also found "unuo" (but not "mezurunuo"), and as a synonym — apparently for the meaning I'm after — "unito":

unuo

  1. Abstrakta kvanto, rigardata kiel la elementa nombro, kiu servas por formi la ceterajn: [...]
  2. [Sciencoj] Difinita kvanto, elektita por taksi per komparo la valoron de fizikaj grandoj, kalkulante, kiom da fojoj ili enhavas tiun kvanton aŭ frakcion de ĝi:

    • la metro estas la universala unuo de longo

    • en la mezursistemo SI la unuoj estas la metro, kilogramo, sekundo, ampero, kelvino, molo k kandelo.

    [Sinonimo] unito.

In contexts where "mezurunuo" might already be too long (e.g. in GUIs), is "unito" a good alternative to avoid the ambiguity that "unuo" may carry?

9

I was mildly surprised to see the word unito. I had never encountered it in spoken or written Esperanto, and it does not give any hits in the Tekstaro. According to the (few) Google hits it seems to be a rather technical term, and I think that the average Esperanto speaker would not understand this word (if they don't associate it with Englisch unit).

Mezurunuo is easily understandable (there are 11 attestations in the Tekstaro, BTW), and in the rare cases of a need to save space, unuo should suffice.

(English natives, please correct my post, if necessary)

2

I've always heard mezurunuo. When looking up units in PIV (litro, metro, kilogramo, ktp) the word unuo is usually found in the definition.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.