…and how to ask for Vodka, too
The other day I went to the hardware store to get some batteries. I knew some of the battery names, but one that I didn’t know was how to say “9-volt battery”. So, I went in hoping that I would be able to communicate with the shop owners what kind of battery I was looking for.
After a few attempts back and forth he finally brought out the one I was looking for and said, “jiǔ fútè” (九伏特), teaching me how to say the word “nine volt”. Immediately, I heard the similarity of the Chinese word for volt to the English equivalent, and I said, “vole-tuh”, trying to emphasize the sound to make it sound like the Chinese word. The shop owner said, “bu bu bu, fútè“. I laughed and tried to explain that the word must’ve come as an English transliteration. But again, he said, “bu bu bu, fútè“, with special emphasis to help me understand.
Later, when I looked up the characters for this word, I realized that it is very important that you don’t switch the order of the words, because if you say, fútè jiǔ (instead of jiǔ fútè), you’re actually saying, “Vodka”.
Anyway, I did a quick search online for some kind of guide, but wasn’t able to find any, so I thought I would put together a little guide myself.
- D battery: 一号电池 [yī hào diànchí] (literally “#1 battery”)
- C battery: (#2 size) 二号电池 [èr hào diànchí] (literally “#2 battery”)
- AA battery: (#5 size) 五号电池 [wǔ hào diànchí] (literally “#5 battery”)
- AAA battery: (#7 size) 七号电池 [qī hào diànchí] (literally “#7 battery”)
- AAAA battery: (#9 size) 九号电池 [jiǔ hào diànchí] (literally “#9 battery”)
- 9-volt battery: 九伏特电池 [jiǔ fútè diànchí] (literally “9-volt battery”)
- watch battery: 扣式电池 [kòu shì diànchí] (literally “button style battery”)
- rechargeable battery: 充电式电池 [chōngdiàn shì diànchí] (literally “rechargeable battery”)
What am I missing? Comment below.
Founders of havingababyinchina.com, Jeremy and Jacquelyn have four children. The first three were born in three different hospitals in China and the last was born at home in the US. Jeremy and Jacquelyn created havingababyinchina.com in 2009 after they found little information for foreigners having babies in China. They love connecting with other foreigners having babies. Learn more about them on the about page.
I recently ordered a LED headlight onlight/ online. It came without batteries, no name/address/phone number, instructions; only a made in China label. There is a number inside the battery compartment: 18650 with plus and minus symbols for 2 batteries. They look like longer and fatter than AAs but nothing fits. What is this; where do I get them?
18650 is different than AA. I’m not sure where you’re located, but I just found them on Amazon and on Taobao.
It’s also not common here in China. Strange that this would be the battery size they chose for this item.
What is the equivalent of number 1 (D battery) in the UK?
I just checked wikipedia and it seems to be called, “U2 or HP2”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battery_sizes
AAAA battery: (#9 size 九号电池) [jiǔ hào diànchí] (literally “#9 battery”)
(I’ve just added it into the post.)
So how do I put American double a batteries in a device that has Chinese fittings for it
The battery sizes are the same in both countries. American size AA batteries would fit in a Chinese device that take that size. The only difference is what they call them. AA batteries in China are called “number 5” batteries 五号电池 [wǔ hào diànchí].
what is #3 battery size in US? or canada??
What is a Chinese number 5 equivalent to in the US?
五号电池 [wǔ hào diànchí] (literally “#5 battery”)
(Also, I updated the post to be more clear about this.)
Which size battery is equivalent to Chinese #7
#7 = AAA battery: 七号电池 [qī hào diànchí]
Yes, in China, C battery is #3. However, in Taiwan, it’s called #2.
According to Wiki page (https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B9%BE%E9%9B%BB%E6%B1%A0), C battery is called #2 battery in China. Do they really call it #3 there?
I stand corrected. Just went to the hardware store to get C batteries and the guy said “san hao” doesn’t exist in China. It’s actually “er hao”. Good catch. I’ve corrected it above.