[Vocab] Lock

The focus today will be on vocabulary associated with the word “lock”.  First let’s look at different types of locks, each of which you should memorize:

  • lock (door)
  • lock (masterlock)
  • lock (for a bike)
  • lock (suitcase, seat buckle, shoe buckle)
  • to lock up the bike
  • to lock up the door

In Portuguese:

  • fechadura
    [pick a lock = forçar a fechadura, keyhole = buraco de fechadura, deadbolt = fechadura de segurança]
  • cadeado
  • (bar-type) tranca; (spiral type) cadeado espiral; (chain) corrente
  • fecho
  • prender a bicicleta
  • trancar a porta / fechar a porta à chave
    [under lock and key = debaixo de chave; fechar a sete chaves]

None of these examples uses another very common verb relating to locking: travar.  The meaning of travar is varied (more than I can cover).  I’ll give some examples to memorize:

  • A well fought battle
  • in the locked position
  • anti-lock braking system
  • combination lock
  • Such movements must not be stopped.
  • should be kept separate.
  • felt stuck/unable to do anything

In Portuguese:

  • Uma batalha muito bem travada
  • na posição travada
  • sistema de travagem antibloqueio
  • combinação ou “trava” [padlock = cadeado/fechadura/trava]
  • Tais movimentações não podem ser travadas.
  • deveriam ser travadas em separado.
  • se sentiu travado

So ‘travar’ (in the sense of locking) usually means something like stuck in certain position or state.

The default word for “lock” (in the traditional sense) is probably trancar.  The meaning of this word is less varied and if you forget everything above, people will most likely understand you.  The only slightly odd example I can think of might be “trancar a matrícula” = “hold off or cancel on registering for courses”.

To memorize these, I would throw all 6 of the lock examples onto a single flashcard in Anki.  For the list of phrase for travar, again, I would put all on a single flashcard, except in this case I would put the Portuguese translations on the front-side.  The idea being to check that you understand the various meanings rather than forcing yourself to translate all of the examples given.


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