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Going to see a doctor or visiting the hospital can be a stressful event for many of us, and a language barrier can make things even more difficult. Learning some basic body part words and a few simple phrases that will help you describe your symptoms and understand your results, can really make the situation easier.
We don’t go into specific illnesses in this article, but if you want to know how to say a specific illness or disease in Chinese, you can visit our Online Dictionary, or download the Written Chinese Dictionary app, and find the word you’re looking for. Don’t forget to add it to you flashcard list!
Getting to the Hospital
If you have an emergency and need an ambulance call the number ‘120’
救护车 (jiù hù chē) ambulance
紧急 (jǐn jí) emergency
Although having to call for an ambulance maybe an incredibly stressful situation, we have four sentences that may be useful.
我是一个外国人。(wǒ shì yī gè wài guó rén) I’m a foreigner.
我中文不好没办法描述详细的情况。(wǒ zhōng wén bù hǎo méi bàn fǎ miáo shù xiáng xì de qíng kuàng) My Chinese is not good enough to explain the situation to you.
我这里有病人需要救护车。(wǒ zhè lǐ yǒu bìng rén xū yào jiù hù chē) I am with a person who needs an ambulance.
我的地址是…(wǒ de dì zhǐ shì…) My address is…
Here are some hospital-related words you should learn:
医院 (yī yuàn) Hospital
医生 (yī shēng) Doctor
大夫 (dài fu) Doctor
护士 (hù shi) Nurse
妇产医院 (fù chǎn yī yuàn) Maternity Hospital
Once inside the hospital, you may need to go to a specific department:
在哪里挂号？(zài nǎ lǐ guà hào) Where do I register?
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be given a number. When the nurse calls your name and number this is known as 叫号 (jiào hào).
药房在哪里？(yào fáng zài nǎ lǐ) Where is the pharmacy?
产科 (chǎn kē) Maternity ward/Obstetrics
How to Say ‘I’m Sick’
The general way to say you are sick is:
我病了。(wǒ bìng le) I’m sick
However, in Chinese culture, using the word 病 (bìng) suggests weakness, and therefore the phrase
我不舒服。 (wǒ bù shū fu) is more frequently used in spoken Chinese.
Other commonly used phrases to use when you are ill are:
我感冒了。(wǒ gǎn mào le) I have a cold.
我对(青霉素)过敏。(wǒ duì (qīng méi sù) guò mǐn) I am allergic to (penicillin).
If you visit a doctor, they may ask you your symptoms:
你什么地方不舒服？(nǐ shén me dì fang bù shū fu) Where (on your body) are you uncomfortable?
发不发烧？(fā bù fā shāo) Do you have a fever?
发烧吗？(fā shāo ma) Do you have a fever?
(头)疼不疼？((tóu) téng bù téng) Do you have a (headache)?
(头)疼吗？((tóu téng ma?) Do you have a (headache)?
Describing Your Symptoms
Here are some useful phrases that you can use to describe your symptoms to the doctor:
我发烧了。(wǒ fā shāo le) I have a fever.
我发高烧。(wǒ fā gāo shāo) I have a high fever.
我流鼻涕。(wǒ liú bí tì) I have a runny nose.
我打喷嚏。(wǒ dǎ pēn tì) I am sneezing.
我咳嗽。(wǒ ké sou) I have a cough.
我嗓子疼。(wǒ sǎng zi téng) I have a sore throat.
我肚子疼。(wǒ dù zi téng) I have a stomach ache.
我拉肚子。 (wǒ lā dù zi) I have diarrhea.
我耳朵疼。(wǒ ěr duo téng) I have an earache.
我头疼。(wǒ tóu téng) I have a headache.
他骨头断了。(tā gǔ tou duàn le) He has a broken bone.
他腿断了。(tā tuǐ duàn le) His leg is broken.
我想我怀孕了。(wǒ xiǎng wǒ huái yùn le) I think I’m pregnant.
Use the following body parts in order to explain the problem:
身体 (shēn tǐ) Body
头 (tóu) Head
眼睛 (yǎn jing) Eyes
鼻子 (bí zi) Nose
嘴巴 (zuǐ bā) Mouth
耳朵 (ěr duo) Ears
脖子 (bó zi) Neck
嗓子 (sǎng zi) Throat
肩膀 (jiān bǎng) Shoulder
胳膊 (gē bo) Arm
手 (shǒu) Hand
手指 (shǒu zhǐ) Finger
胸部 (xiōng bù) Chest
胃 (wèi) Stomach
腿 (tuǐ) Legs
脚 (jiǎo) Foot
脚趾 (jiǎo zhǐ) Toes
The doctor may need to examine you in order to diagnose your illness. Below are some standard tests you may undergo:
我需要。。。(wǒ xū yào) I need to…
抽血 (chōu xuè) Take blood
量血压 (liáng xuè yā) take blood pressure
听诊 (tīng zhěn) listen to your heart beat
Ｘ光 (x guāng) x-ray
量体温 (liáng tǐ wēn) measure body temperature
Getting Your Results
Once your results are back, or after your examination, the doctor will prescribe you with medicine or other forms of treatment.
你需要。。。(nǐ xū yào) You need…
拐杖 (guǎi zhàng) crutches
轮椅 (lún yǐ) a wheelchair
打针 (dǎ zhēn) an injection
药品 (yào pǐn) medicine
点滴 (diǎn dī) a drip
吊带 (diào dài) a sling
If you’re interested in learning Chinese, you can check out our Written Chinese Dictionary! You can learn more about our Chinese Learning Toolkit here! You can also click on the links below to download it for your iOS and Android devices!