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When I wanted to use word 'measure' in the past I used 計測 or 測る. But recently I got a message from a Japanese co-worker:

申し訳ありません
18時前にネット障害がおこり最後の計測できませんでした...
まだ復旧してないので明日18時に測定します

I understand what it says, but I am a little confused as to the difference between 計測 and 測定. Would it be correct if I used 計測 in the last sentence too? When do people use one over the other?

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  • It appears to me the reason for choosing 「測定」in the last sentence may very well have been something to do with 「定」. See Goo 辞書: 「物事を決めて変えない。さだめる。さだまる。」This kanji has the meaning of "making certain", "determine", "to firmly establish", "to get fixed".「測定」means to determine the value of something accurately. So when they talk about when it is possible to get an outcome, to establish the value, they picked 「測定」. 「計測」just means to measure with tools.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 1:00

2 Answers 2

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It appears to me the reason for choosing 「測定」in the last sentence may very well have been something to do with 「定」. See goo 辞書:

物事を決めて変えない。さだめる。さだまる。

This kanji has the meaning of "making certain", "determine", "to firmly establish", "to get fixed".「測定」means to determine the value of something accurately. So when they talk about when it is possible to get an outcome, to establish the value, they picked 「測定」. 「計測」just means to measure with tools.

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While they both can translate "to measure", there is a slight difference. Even among dictionaries, there are difference in definition, so I am using the Japan Industrial Standard definition.

測定{そくてい} means to measure against a standard (unit) and obtain data.
計測{けいそく} means to use data from obtained through measurement and process it to obtain a result for a certain purpose.

So 計測 includes 測定 within its definition. You can think of 測定 as the simple measurement, whereas 計測 are more complex measurement that uses data obtained from 測定. An example would be measuring weight (測定) vs measuring BMI (計測).

That being said, most Japanese speakers would not be able to explain the difference off the top of their head (I couldn't), so using one in place of the other isn't going to be the end of the world.

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  • +1. Another example would be 身体計測 vs 体力測定.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 11:07

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