Learning How to Convert Measurements – Kilometers to Miles
One of the biggest cross-cultural problems that arise between two cultures is measurement systems. Here is a perfect example of how two cultures can be involved in a harsh crash; one that would certainly be avoided by some cultural background. Suppose you go on a vacation to a country where the English distance measure system based on kilometers is used. You arrive in the airport, rent a car and get ready to travel to your destination hotel. All of a sudden, you become aware that you are completely lost when you read a street sign indicating that the maximum speed limit is 80 kilometers and you look at your car’s meter and find out it is marked in miles. At that point, you realize how useful it would be to know that in order to convert kilometers into miles, all you need to do is cross out the last unit on the kilometer cipher and then, multiply the remaining number by six. For instance, to convert 80 kilometers to miles, you need to cross out the zero on the 80 and multiply the remaining number (eight) by six, which comes to forty-eight. You may also round this number to fifty. Now you rest assured that you cannot surpass 50 on your meter when you see a speed limit sign of 80 kilometers. What a relief it is to have this little hint, isn’t it?
By Andreina Ojeda, M.A. Modern Languages and M.A. International Studies.
President and Founder of Lingua Language Center at Broward College.