im learning at the moment and stuck on if 精度 'Seido' is correct for 'precision' when describing a piece of measuring equipment as being precise or accurate? Would be very greatful if somebody could assist, confirm or correct me.


Accuracy vs precision

Since your question is about the precision and/or accuracy of a piece of measuring equipment, I think it's especially important to mention that accuracy and precision have distinct meanings in science, engineering, statistics, etc.

In short, the accuracy of a measurement indicates how close the measured value is to the true value, while the precision of a measurement talks about the uncertainty of your measurement. If you're asked to guess someone's height and also how confident you are of your answer, then accuracy refers to how close your guess is to their actual height, and precision refers to your confidence margin (within meters, centimeters, or feet or inches).

To answer your question

So with the technical distinction in mind, the Japanese version of the article above uses:

Accuracy: 正確度{せいかくど}

Precision: 精度{せいど}

For a lot of technical terms, including accuracy and precision, the 度{ど} at the end means degree or magnitude. Other examples are 温度{おんど} (temperature), 速度{そくど} (velocity) and 湿度{しつど} (humidity). For all of those words, you can use 〇度が高{たか}い and 〇度が低{ひく}い to mean high value and low value respectively.

  • Many thanks for your input. That's helped a great deal. – Nicholas Bird Nov 18 '20 at 9:26

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