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These six words are all pronounced はかる, and many are listed under the same definitions in dictionaries.

What are the difference between these words?

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Oooh, did a post on this at renshuu.org a few months back. I'll go ahead and bring it over. –  Kaji Jun 14 at 16:22

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

From http://dict.hjenglish.com/jp/jc/はかる

計る - to measure (quantities and in general)

“計る”指计数物品的数量。转义为计划。如“计划时间”、“量体温”、“计算数量”、“筹划组织的将来”等。 (「計る」は、物の数を数えること。転じて、計画すること。「時間を計る」「体温を計る」「数量を計る」「組織の将来を計る」など。)

計る is used for counting/measuring the number of something. It can also mean "to plan". (General word for measuring things)

  • 時間を計る - Plan a time
  • 体温を計る - Measure body temperature
  • 数量を計る - Count the quantity
  • 組織の将来を計る - Plan the organisation's future

量る - to measure (a three dimensional amount)

“量る”指确定重量及体积。如“称重量”、“量体重”、“测量容积”、“称分量”等。 (「量る」は、重さやかさを調べること。「目方(めかた)を量る」「体重を量る」「容積を量る」「分量を量る」など。)

量る is used to measure weight and volume.

  • 目方を量る - Measure weight
  • 体重を量る - Measure body weight
  • 容積を量る - Measure volume/capacity
  • 分量を量る - Measure an amount/quantity

測る - to measure (lengths and areas)

“測る”指测定长度及高度等。如“测量距离”、“测标高”、“测水深”、“测量面积”等。 (「測る」は、長さや高さなどを調べること。「距離を測る」「標高を測る」「水深を測る」「面積を測る」など。)

測る is used to measure length, height, etc.

  • 距離を測る - Measure distance
  • 標高を測る - Measure elevation/altitude
  • 水深を測る - Measure depth of water
  • 面積を測る - Measure area

図る - to plan

“図る”指对事物作出估计。如“谋求问题的解决”、“谋求经营的合理化”、“谋求促进”等。 (「図る」は、物事の見積(みつ)もりをたてること。「問題の解決図る」「経営の合理化を図る」「促進を図る」など。)

図る is used to plan or aim towards things.

  • 問題の解決図る - Seek the problem's resolution
  • 経営の合理化を図る - Attempt to streamline running the business
  • 促進を図る - Attempt to promote (an idea)

謀る - to plot

“謀る”指计划不好的事情。如“图谋暗杀”、“企图秘密入境”、“被巧妙地骗了”等。 (「謀る」は、よくないことを計画すること。「暗殺を謀る」「密入国を謀る」「まんまと謀られた」など。)

謀る is used to plot or aim towards bad things. (Same as 図る but for bad things)

  • 暗殺を謀る - Plot an assassination
  • 密入国を謀る - Plot to illegally immigrate
  • まんまと謀られた - I was skillfully deceived

諮る - to discuss

“諮る”指与人交换意见。如“向审议会征求意见”、“与委员会磋商”等。 (「諮る」は、人と意見を出し合うこと。「審議会に諮る」「委員会に諮る」など。)

諮る is used to indicate the exchange of opinions.

  • 審議会に諮る - Petition the working group
  • 委員会に諮る - Negotiate with the commitee
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Information comes from the disambiguation notes in 大辞林 for はかる.

はかる

General meaning: To plan out; to measure

計る

measure, take; weigh; sound; time; gauge

Use 計る when examining the time or extent of something

諮る

consult (with); submit

諮る means “to get the opinion of another person” or “to consult for advice”.

図る

plan; conspire, plot; try, attempt; seek; aim for; work for

図る means “to form a plan, with the intent to make it real.” If it’s something you’re setting a goal to do [e.g. 目指す], then use 図る

測る

測る means “to measure length and/or breadth.”

謀る

謀る means “to deceive”.

Similar to 図る above, 謀る also means to consider from a variety of angles, take measurements, and execute a plan so that an existing objective can become a reality.

If you’re planning something evil, 謀る is commonly used for this purpose

量る

量る means “to measure weight or capacity” or “to estimate”.

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