The devil is in the detail

My recent project was a translation from English into German. It was a watch manual. I encountered many specific, technical terms.

One term was ‘secondary battery’. A secondary battery does not mean a ‘second battery’.

A second battery or in German ‘Zweitbatterie‘ is a battery that functions as a spare or reserve battery. It is often in use in camper vans, when the main battery is flat. It is a kind of back up battery.


A ‘primary battery’ is in contrast to the secondary battery a battery, that serves as the primary source of power. The most common one for watches is a button cell.

Photo by fotografierende on

However, this is different for a secondary battery. A secondary battery is collecting energy from another source. The most common source of power is solar energy.

Some watches can use solar energy as a power source. That means that this watch has to be sufficiently exposed to light in order to function properly.

These watches are very innovative.

But they need careful handling. You have to make sure, that they are not exposed to too much or to too little light. You should be careful at the beach. But on the other hand a watch powered with solar energy should not sit in a dark drawer all the time.

Not only did I have to look at different types of batteries I also had to do intensive research on clocks in general.

I had to look at various watch displays and clock faces to get the translation right.

As I know now:

The devil is in the detail.

It is important to get it right.


Published by Maria

I am a German expat and I have been working in England for more than 30 years. Ich bin eine Auslandsdeutsche und arbeite schon seit 30 Jahren in England.

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