Battery – Pilha or Bateria?

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First Published: 13th of February, 2022 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: February 13, 2022 at 17:09 pm

In the English world, we have one word for all batteries – whether the car battery, the wristwatch battery or the remote control battery. But in Portuguese, they have two words, each word representing a specific type of battery.

In this sense, the English word “battery” has two possible Portuguese translations. The cylindrical shaped batteries that are used in remote controls, toys, etc, is called “pilha.” Here is a picture of what Brazilians would refer to as pilha.

English: Battery. Portuguese: Pilha

On the other hand, those small, silver battery that you place in wristwatches etc are referred to as “bateria.” Below is an example of what Brazilians would call bateria.

English – Battery. Portuguese – Bateria

Brazilians also refer to the battery of the car as “bateria.” Below is an example of the car battery that Brazilians call “bateria.”

So, in summary, we can say that while English uses one sweeping word for all types of batteries, Portuguese has two words for two specific categories of batteries: pilha or bateria.

So, the translation of “battery” can be either pilha or bateria, depending on the type of battery it is.

It is interesting to note that the Portuguese word “bateria” also corresponds to the English “drums”, and the word “pilha” is used to refer to money colloquially in Brazil.

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