Tonnen

English translation: tons, tonnes or barrels?

12:04 Sep 29, 2013
German to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Petroleum Eng/Sci / Oil transport - Tonnen
German term or phrase: Tonnen
I'm translating a document relating to oil transport in Europe and the German term 'Tonnen' is frequently used. E.g.,

'Die Pipeline hat eine Durchlaufkapazität von 3 Millionen Tonnen.'
'Lieferung von jährlich 4,5 Millionen Tonnen an China und Deutschland.'

I see in dictionaries that Tonnen can mean 'tons' or 'barrels' - both seem application to this situation but maybe the latter more so.

Can anyone clarify how I can be sure which term is correct.

Many thanks!
alexbaker
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:58
English translation:tons, tonnes or barrels?
Explanation:
I have to say I wouldn't dare guess here, because of the neormous figures. If you can ask the customer, do so; if you can't, give the alternatives and point out that the Germna word may mean either.
Selected response from:

David Moore
Local time: 02:58
Grading comment
Thanks - I used the term tonnes and referred the client to the issue
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3(metric) tons
Hans-Jochen Trost
5tons, tonnes or barrels?
David Moore
3 -1barrels
Ramey Rieger
Summary of reference entries provided
barrels
franglish

Discussion entries: 16





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
barrels


Explanation:
based on franglish's references

Ramey Rieger
Germany
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Yorkshireman: it's tonnes (metric) Barrels (bbl) are generally 42 US gallons or 35 imperial gallons
1 day 5 hrs
  -> Yes, I gathered that from the discussion. Now I know, thank you!
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
(metric) tons


Explanation:
Germany has been using metric units thoroughly for a long time. If the American unit were meant, it most likely would have been used untranslated, i.e., "3 Millionen Barrel". The translation of the name of the physical object "barrel" - that cylindrical metal container - is indeed "Tonne". Looking at the overview of pipelines in Germany (see my reference link), a 3 million metric ton capacity appears moderate.


    Reference: http://www.mwv.de/index.php/ueberuns/pipelines
Hans-Jochen Trost
United States
Local time: 19:58
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Wendy Streitparth: Even without the brackets!
9 hrs

agree  jccantrell: My choice, just to make sure the Americans understand.
11 hrs

agree  Yorkshireman
16 hrs
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1 day 1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
tons, tonnes or barrels?


Explanation:
I have to say I wouldn't dare guess here, because of the neormous figures. If you can ask the customer, do so; if you can't, give the alternatives and point out that the Germna word may mean either.

David Moore
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 19
Grading comment
Thanks - I used the term tonnes and referred the client to the issue
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Reference comments


1 hr peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: barrels

Reference information:
http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=CH‎Cached
SimilarSep 4, 2012 - The Chinese government set a target to raise non-fossil fuel energy ... China produced an estimated 4.3 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of total oil ..... Initial capacity for the pipeline is slated to be 240,000 bbl/d, ramping up to ...
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan_pipeline‎Cached
SimilarThe pipeline has a projected lifespan of 40 years, and at normal capacity it transports 1 million barrels per day (160×10^3 m3/d). It needs 10 million barrels ...
http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=AJ‎Cached
SimilarSep 10, 2013 - Sales, revenue and prices, power plants, fuel use, stocks, generation, .... In 2012, Azerbaijan produced approximately 930,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) .... There are proposals to increase the capacity on the pipeline to between ...
oilprice.com › Energy › Crude Oil‎Cached
SimilarJan 10, 2013 - The new one-billion-barrel/day-capacity pipeline will run across ... Protests are about fuel prices on the surface, but deeper down they are ...

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Note added at 4 hrs (2013-09-29 16:35:02 GMT)
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Here is some supplementary info ton versus barrel:
Early producers shipped their oil to market in earthenware vessels aboard slow-moving barges.
Since then, the need to move increasingly large quantities of petroleum* has brought about some
big changes in the industry. As containers evolved, the 42-gallon oil barrel became the current U.S.
standard for measurement, though it is no longer used for shipping. The unit originated in the 1860s,
when there was no standard measure for oil. Producers simply used whisky and molasses barrels
or whatever was handy until customers demanded something more uniform. The most common size
cask — 42 gallons — became the agreed-upon standard. As U.S. oil companies became active in
other countries, many of them also adopted that standard as well. For much of international trade,
however, the common unit is the metric ton, which is approximately 7 U.S. barrels.
http://www.s04.static-shell.com/content/dam/shell/static/usa...‎Cached
Similar

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Note added at 4 hrs (2013-09-29 16:38:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

So it seems that ton would be the correct translation here (see the last sentence above).

franglish
Switzerland
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Ramey Rieger: okay, then, barrels of fun!
33 mins
  -> Having tons of fun researching here, I'm glad we can have a laugh together (it's raining here, my cat has been snoozing under her blanket all day so no-one to share a joke with...)
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