English translation: manhour

Polish term or phrase:roboczogodzina
English translation:manhour
Entered by: Jakub Prachowski

08:27 Nov 25, 2006
Polish to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Construction / Civil Engineering
Polish term or phrase: roboczogodzina
What is the English translation of "robotogodzina" which basically denotes one hour of labourer's work, and is a unit of measure?
What is the short for the term (r-g in Polish), please.
Jakub Prachowski
Local time: 19:38
[mh] w skrócie
Selected response from:

Paweł Goździewicz
Local time: 19:38
Grading comment
2 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Summary of answers provided
4 +7manhour
Paweł Goździewicz
3 +4person hours
Caryl Swift

Discussion entries: 15



8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7

[mh] w skrócie

Paweł Goździewicz
Local time: 19:38
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PolishPolish
PRO pts in category: 65
Notes to answerer
Asker: thanks!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Piotr Rypalski: more often: "roboczogodzina"
2 mins

neutral  Caryl Swift: Women also work
3 mins

agree  Tomasz Ratajczak: man-hour albo working hour, skrót po polsku RBH albo RBG
4 mins

agree  PanPeter
4 hrs

agree  Vanda Nissen
4 hrs

agree  Monika Darron
6 hrs

agree  Michał Wiśniewski: Polish term: neutral. Man-hour: neutral to most people. Person-hour: tells people "I really really want to be PC, I want to patronise women by changing language", therefore not neutral at all.
12 hrs

agree  cquest: Man-hours in my technical text. There are no women employed in the relevant capacity and changing this to person-hours because a women might work there one day is downright ridiculous. Nothing against person-hours used elsewhere though.
2208 days
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
person hours


There also exists the acronym DPPH (direct, prodcutive person hours)

Note added at 14 mins (2006-11-25 08:41:58 GMT)

'prodUCtive' - sorry about the typo

Note added at 50 mins (2006-11-25 09:17:27 GMT)

Please may I suggest that you be very careful with which terms you use:

1. Man hour:

"A note on language
Obviously the term 'man-hour' was introduced before the use of 'man' as a generic term for a person fell out of favour. More recent alternatives include 'person-hour', 'staff-hour' and 'employee-hour'. Similar terms can be substituted for 'man-month' and 'man-year'."
(This quotation comes from the same link as that given at 2).

2. Person hours:

"the amount of work performed by an average worker in one hour. It is used in written "estimates" for estimation of the total amount of uninterrupted labour required to perform a task. For example, researching and writing a college paper might require twenty man-hours. Preparing a family banquet from scratch might require ten man-hours."

The quotation comes from here: and it's worth having a look at the entire article, which explains the entire concept very clearly.

3. Working hours:

"Working time refers to the period of time that an individual spends at paid occupational labor."

At work, that is, but not only working. This takes into account breaks, lunch hours and so forth - in other words, interrupted labour. The quotation comes from

The point is that person-hours and working hours are two different terms referring to two different concepts.

And the term 'man hour' is outmoded and is being superceded by 'person-hour/staff-hour/employee hour'.

The reason I gave 'person hour' as a suggested answer to your question is that you used the term 'labourer':
'Staff' is very often used to denote white-collar workers. Employees are employed by a company, but 'labourer' often refers to people such as workers on building-sites, road-building and so forth - and such jobs are often done by contract workers.

Note added at 51 mins (2006-11-25 09:19:11 GMT)

Your context doesn't make it clear what kind of work is uder discussion. Therefore, 'person hour' seemes to me to be the most appropriate as it is a general term which covers all jobs, all professions and all types of employment.

Note added at 56 mins (2006-11-25 09:23:53 GMT)

'superSeded', 'uNder' and 'seems' - sorry about the typos

Note added at 5 hrs (2006-11-25 13:43:27 GMT)

As far as your question regarding the abbreviation is concerned, please see the following link:

You could use it in the chart, possibly with a translator's note giving the full version since it's an acronym with more than one meaning. Or you could use PH and do the same. I'm not sure that there is one, common accepted abbreviation for this.

With regard to the second comment added by pidzej below, I would like to clarify something. What I have tried to do here is simply give a suggested translation which reflects contemporary usage. As you will have seen if you've checked the first reference I gave, 'person hours' is used in government documents and professional publications as well as by industry.

The use of the word 'person', rather than 'man' in this answer is therefore based on the general shift in terminology that SzIwonka has pointed out. It is neither an indication of an emotional attitude towards the word 'man' nor of an emotional attitude to those who may be described as such.

Caryl Swift
Local time: 19:38
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 40
Notes to answerer
Asker: I meant plasterers and other workers on building-sites. Thank you very much for your help

Asker: But what is the short for "person hour" - I need that for a chart (investment estimate) to peplace r-g (roboczogodziny)?

Asker: Would 'DPPH' be mormally used in such a chart or rather 'mh'?

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  bartek: Yeo, We, women, also work which can be seen in the documents we translate
7 mins
  -> And the many thousands of other jobs we do. Thank you :-)

neutral  pidzej: then go call yourself a woperson ;-)//sorry, no offence mean, delete "go" if it's better - spoken English is not my forte - just thought you should be consistent in eradicating the hated "man" string also in "woman"
1 hr
  -> Please elucidate.And I also wonder if the rather insulting phrase'go call yourself'is an appropriate use of language here?/Sadly,deleting"go"barely softens the blow at all.Please see the note added above re.what you are pleased to call"my"consistency

agree  IwonaASzymaniak: Yes, yes, yes! As the ex-PM Marcinkiewicz would say! This shift in teminology is very appropriate and follows the realities of the present workforce compostition. There are millions of working women who work their hrs and not necessarily manhours !
2 hrs
  -> I've added another note to my answer now that 'woperson' has been explained. Thank you :-)

agree  SlawekW: I am a declared male chauvinist pig, but still! You are RIGHT!;)///After all, this is PROz, is it not?
15 hrs
  -> That is high-minded indeed!Thank you:-)/It's not that I want to be'right'.But I'm shocked by the veiled and overt hostility I seem to have drawn for having suggested that there EXISTS in common usage an alternative to'man'.It's not as if I invented it.

agree  Polangmar:
432 days
  -> Thank you :-)
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