Drained, flat, used up, empty, spent, run down, dead, etc. Maybe we should ask the battery how she feels.
Yes, in general. But we usually describe batteries as "dead"--not "empty."
Yep, that's British. As an American, I've never heard "flat" used that way.
As an Australian, I have heard and used 'flat', 'dead' and 'empty' to describe batteries. :P
So in US anyway we typically misuse battery to mean a battery of 'cells' even if there is only one cell. Sounds like they do in Germany too, but what does akku translate to litterally?
Yes, "eine Batterie" is what most people call a single cell as well. (I don't think I've ever heard just "Zelle", though, but instead specify the size, e.g. "Mignonzelle" for an AA cell, "Monozelle" for C, etc.)
der Akku < der Akkumulator is used for rechargeable ones, accumulators.
Indians call a large torch "Battery", lol. But cells are called cells.
Would "leer" be used in other contexts to say something or someone is dead?
Der Mann ist leer. Mein Gerät ist leer. Meine Liebe ist leer.
No, "leer" doesn't literally translate to "dead." This sentence is a bit idiomatic in both languages: in German, you say your battery is empty, and in English you say it is dead.
If I'm not wrong, what you're looking for is "Tot" as in, "Du bist tot! Tot." or "Er ist tot.", as far as I'm concerned you should basically just use "Leer" as "Empty" since that's a bit more fitting.
If there's any native Germans or generally anyone more experienced with German let me know if I'm wrong on that.
It depends. Akkus are rechargable, Batterien aren't (unless they're in cars or something). But this sounds like the speaker is talking about their mobile phone, in which case it would of course be Akku. Both should definitely be acceptable.
To be exact - an element is a single charged unit and a battery is a combined charged unit consisting of several elements. A battery can be rechargeable as well and non-rechargeable. But you are right that Akku is a rechargeable battery.
Are there any native Germans or somebody who currently lives/has lived in Germany who can tell me if this is the most common way of saying a dead battery?
"Leer" generally does mean "empty." But the standard way to say that a battery is used up is "leer." It's not a word-for-word translation; English and German use different words to express this idea. (Though "battery is empty" is actually fine in English, too, just less common.)
"Kaputt" (note spelling) would mean "broken," and it would mean that the battery was physically cracked or damaged somehow.