It's no joke, it's just the way English works. One usually has to say what's the measure about: wide, high, long etc. Since there's no context in the Brasilian sentence, any of those will do for the English sentence. But saying just "The gate measures two meters", without previous context, would just be highly unusual in English. Every language has its quirks.... And Portuguese is NO exception!!!!
- O portão mede / tem dois metros de altura = The gate is two meters high.
- O portão mede / tem dois metros de largura = The gate is two meters wide.
- O portão mede / tem dois metros de profundidade. = The gate is two meters deep.