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To me, a doctor's scale has eye-level weights that can be adjusted for maximum accuracy. Do such scales exist in France? What are they called?

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    I went ahead and edited your question to remove the part about where one can buy such a scale since that bit is off-topic. Otherwise your question is good to go :) – Kareen Jun 5 '16 at 16:10
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    @GeorgesDupéron Done. Mais bon, j'ai toujours du mal à faire des réponses évidentes et qui ne demande aucun effort de recherche, je ne vois pas trop en quoi ça peut bénéficier à la réputation du site. – Laure Jun 6 '16 at 12:13
  • Really!!! Thanks for being so open-minded. – B. Scholl Jun 6 '16 at 17:19
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If that's you call a doctor's scale I haven't seen any of those in France for ages. I've had a look around and they can still be bought, they're called Pèse-personne à colonne mécanique. Pèse-personne being the word for "scales", à colonne for the vertical rod and mécanique as "mechanical".

  • The OP is asking for a pèse-personne, but for completeness I think it is important to note that the general translation for scales is balance. When scales are used for measuring the weight of a human, one mostly uses pèse-personne instead. – Law29 Jun 8 '16 at 4:50
  • @Law29 OP was asking for a specific object (not about scales in general, a word he most certainly knew) with the intend to buy one ("and where can one buy them") so I gave him the commercial name so that he could find one easily... – Laure Jun 8 '16 at 5:38
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They are called pèse-personne à colonne as indicated by Laure.

The colonne signifies that there's a vertical rod or column, at the end of which the weight measurement can be read. Some "pèse-personne à colonne" are mechanical, some are electronic (based on how the weight is displayed).

The mechanism with the counterweights that slide on a horizontal bar is called "contrepoids coulissants" (sliding counterweights). There are other ways of mechanically indicating a weight, e.g. with a round display.

The full description of what you're looking for is a "pèse-personne mécanique à colonne à contrepoids coulissants".

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