dekagrams or grams if buying sth

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Encolpius, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    I just noticed in the Czech Republic and in Hungary as well if one is buying cheese, ham.. uses dekagrams. If I am not mistaken people in (all) Western countries use grams. Are there any other countries using dekagrams in that case??? What do YOU use if you are in a shop?? Thanks a lot.
  2. PhilFrEn

    PhilFrEn Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    français - France

    I am not aware of the "story" of the decagram. What I can say however, is that the scientific measurement unit is definitely the "kg" in the Internationl System of Units.

    However, in the shop you use "gram" (here in France: I would like 300 grammes of this cheese" for instance). So far I have never heard somebody using "decagram" to measure or speak about something!
  3. maxiogee Banned

    We in Ireland changed fairly recently to the metric system for almost all weights and measures.
    Weight is either grams or kilograms - no in-between stages are recognised.
    It's not as if it is difficult to figure out what 250 g is in kilograms, or what 0.7 kilos is in grams.
    The changeover - from the old Imperial ounces/pounds/stones/tons etc - was painless and readily accepted by almost all of us.
  4. Lemminkäinen

    Lemminkäinen Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    Kilos and grams is what's used here in Norway too, except for one thing - smågodt. I'm not sure what the English term is, but you can see a oicture of it here. Basically, it's small candies in a lot of varieties that you pick from shelves. And now to my point - the price of this is always given in hectograms (1 hg = 100g), probably because a price in kilos would be too unpractical.
  5. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    In Australia, the prices of goods in shops are so many dollars per kilogram.
    People ask for either grams or kilograms.
    Nothing in between. The next step is tonne [1 000 kg]

    In Italy, I saw meat and cheese priced in "etti".
    Etto = ettogrammo = hectogram = 100 grams. Plural "etti".

    In Germany das Pfund = 500g, and in France la livre = 500g.

    Germans also use der Zentner [hundredweight] = 100 Pfund = 50 kg.
  6. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Also in Sweden they often say "hekto" for 100 grams but it's not used in Finland's Swedish. Neither "dekagram" is used in Finland.
  7. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    In Russia, we only use kilos and grams.
  8. viera Senior Member

    Paris suburb
    I suspect that Slovakia, too, uses dekagrams, because I occasionally come across it in my mother's old recipes; then I have to stop and think. But in a recent Slovak cookbook I have, they only use grams and kilos.

    In France we only use grams and kilos, but for 500 g we would ask for "une livre".
  9. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member


    Exactly, in Slovakia dekagrams are used as well. But how about Poland, the Balkans, etc. ??
  10. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    As far as I know, in Serbia we say: a 100/200/400 grams of jam/salami/cheese, etc. A half of kilo, 600/700/900/ kilo.

    But I also remember that my grandmother used to say in "dekas" i.e. decagrams. She was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
  11. AGATHA2 Senior Member

    Wien, Austria
    german Austria
    Servus Encolpius !

    Of course in eastern Austria we use decagrams and they are absolutely resistent to any reform :D As far as I know the tirolians don´nt
  12. lfeat Member

    USA, English
    The United States is Still working on it's slow conversion to the decimal system, but we use, (for those of us that can translate grams etc. to ounces and pounds), grams as there are 28 of them in an ounce.:) I have only heard decagrams in school. We also use kilograms.

  13. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    In Australia the custom over virtually the whole country is to advertise the price of expensive foods by way of 'per 100 grams' which is a virtual adoption of the dekagram.
    Chocolate and nuts and lollies dried fruit and such are always advertised in 100 gram units.

  14. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Thanks Agatha2, now it all starts me thinking the reason is our past. I wonder if Poland uses dekagrams.
  15. AGATHA2 Senior Member

    Wien, Austria
    german Austria
    Yes, probably it was used in all central european countries and than desapeared in some of them.
  16. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Not around here; 1 decagram is always 10 grams.
  17. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    AS has been mentioned, the US still runs on pounds mostly. If you buy cheese or ham, ask for a pound, half a pound or a quarter pound (the closest to 100 g :) ).
  18. Neever

    Neever Senior Member

    Its called pick 'n' mix - yum!:)
  19. danielfranco

    danielfranco Senior Member

    I'm confused. I thought a decagram was units of ten. And a hectogram
    is 100 grams...
    In Mexico, where I grew up, things were bought and sold in kilograms, quarters of kilograms, and for odd measurements, grams. As in, half a kilo of tortillas, one quarter kilo of ham, or 167 grams of cocaine.
    But here in the States, we still deal in pounds and ounces. Only some specialized items are sold in grams. The medical people are adapted to the decimal system of measurements, but have to carry around charts of conversion from Standard to Metric since most everyone speaks of pounds and feet and gallons. For example, we weigh patients at the hospital in kilograms (3.7 kilogram baby), and many medications' dosages are in milliliters, milligrams and even micrograms.
  20. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    No it is I who was confused.
    Dekagram = 10 grams
    Hektagram = 100 grams.

  21. Here we use grams if we can't use pounds.......Or maybe we just use fractions of a pound, but I do think some things are in grams....

    kg is the International System's base unit for mass....

    In doctors' offices, we use kg's not pounds.

    How smoothly did Ireland change, maxiogee?
    The United States should really change to metric! Converting between metric and whatever our official system is called is annoying.
  22. maxiogee Banned

    It just happened.
    No problem.
    Don't forget that the laws can only state that the metric system is in force - not that everything should be sold in metrically rounded quantities - lots of products are still produced in units of 454 grams - 1 lb in 'old money' as we sometimes say here. :D This is something that some of the opponents of metrication in England seem to miss. They think they will no longer be able to buy a pound jar of jam - of course they will.
    There was a delay between the beginning and the end of the metrication of road signage, but they were visually distinguished so that one knew what the numbers on them meant.
  23. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    When Australia went metric, most products were rounded up or down.

    We don't have 454g pots of jam.
    I had a look at the jam in my cupboard. I've got a 400g pot from Denmark, and a 500g pot and a 600g pot of local product.

    If you find something in Australia in a "funny" size, it generally means it has been imported from UK or US.
  24. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hello, anybody new here to participate? Thanks.
  25. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I've never heard decagramas in stores in Brazil. We normally say 100 (cem) gramas, 200 (duzentas/duzentos) gramas, etc.
  26. Schmizzkazz

    Schmizzkazz Senior Member

    Badischer Schwarzwald
    German - Southern German

    What I wonder:

    Are there any plans to go metric in the US?
  27. Black4blue

    Black4blue Senior Member

    We never use deka and hekto stuff in daily life in Turkey, just gram and kilogram (shorter: kilo).

    By the way:
    Lol! :D
  28. Schmizzkazz

    Schmizzkazz Senior Member

    Badischer Schwarzwald
    German - Southern German
    And why not?
  29. elirlandes

    elirlandes Senior Member

    Dublin & Málaga
    Ireland English
    I see centilitres used in France often - a bottle of coke is usually 33 cl instead of the more international 330 ml.
  30. Piotr_WRF Senior Member

    Polish, German
    In Poland, it's quite common to use dekagrams, at least in speech. I'm not sure if it's a generational thing, it may be. I, being born in the 70s, prefer dekagrams when buying cheese etc. in a shop, but mostly because others do it, too, I don't have any problems using grams. One funny situation I witnessed was when a work colleague of mine, who is over 60, had to think out loud in order to convert grams to dekagrams.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  31. Istriano

    Istriano Senior Member

    In Slovenia and Croatia dekagrams are used informally, in a store: 10/20 deka (10/20 dg)...of cheese or mortadella...
    100g is too long for them to pronounce ;)
  32. Lugubert Senior Member

    Swedish goes from gram to hekto (hg; short for hektogram = 100 g) to kilo (kg). Never ever dekagram. (No dekameter either.)

    Interestingly, volumes go downwards: liter (l) to deciliter (dl; 1/10 l) to centiliter (cl; 1/100 l, most common unit for spirits in bars) to milliliter (ml).

    Distances go both ways from meter: kilometer, meter, decimeter, centimeter, millimeter, mikrometer.

    Also note that we demand a space between all numbers and their corresponding units.
  33. HUMBERT0

    HUMBERT0 Senior Member

    No such usage of decagramos here, most people round things to “kilo(s)”, “medio kilo”, “un cuarto de kilo”, generally you just say “un cuarto de…- quarter of …” or “medio de…- half of…” it’s a given you mean kilos, i.e. “medio/un cuarto de este queso - half/ a querter of this cheese”. Unless you want something in between you would say “cien gramos -100 gr” or “trecientos gramos - 300 gr” for example.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  34. PACOALADROQUE Senior Member

    El Puerto de Santa María (CÁDIZ-ESPAÑA)
    It is the same in Spain.

  35. koniecswiata Senior Member

    Am English
    Poland is very much in the "dekagram" camp. I don't see a problem between saying "10 dekas" vs. "100 grams" since it is the same thing and part of the same system! All the countries that prefer to say "grams" also have "dekagrams"--they have to if they use the metric system. It's just a matter of habit saying it or not saying it. I sometimes still catch myself asking for "30 decas de queso" instead of "300 gramos de queso"--they salesman just laughed--he had no problem understanding.
  36. elitaliano

    elitaliano Senior Member

    Italia - italiano
    In Alto Adige (Südtirol in German), northern bilingual (Italian-German) province in Italy, that belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the First World War, as child (1975-1985?) I usually heared women buying, for instance cheese, using the preferred language:

    in Italian: "un etto di formaggio, per favore" (one hectogram)

    or in German: "zehn Deka Käse, bitte" (ten dekagrams)

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