consulta-medicaThese last days have been quite disturbing in Spain. A nurse from Madrid has been the first person to contract Ebola outside Africa. This woman was part of the team that treated a priest, who died from the disease on 25th of September.

Even though it’s normal to be afraid of the spread of Ebola, we should be cautious and ask for information before spreading panic.

From, we want to tell you how to explain your symptoms in Spanish.

The first thing we should do is going to la consulta del médico (the examination room).  There, la enfermera (the nurse) or el médico (the doctor) will ask you about what you are feeling. We can express our pains or condition using different verbs:

  • Doler (to hurt): We use this verb like gustar (to like). Ej: Me duele la cabeza (My head hurts), me duelen las piernas (my legs hurt).
  • Tener (to have): this verb is followed by nouns. Ej: Tengo fiebre (I have a fever), tengo escalofríos (I have chills), tengo mareos o vértigo (I have dizziness or vertigo), tengo náuseas (I have nausea), tengo diarrea (I have diarrhea), tengo gripe (I have flu), tengo estreñimiento (I have constipation); Look out! Constipado in Spanish is not constipation in English; it’s “a cold”; tengo un constipado, resfriado o un catarro (they are different ways to say “I have a cold”).
  • Estar (to be); we use this verb to express our current condition and it’s followed by an adjective. Ej: Estoy resfriado, constipado, acatarrado (I have a cold), estoy mareado (I’m dizzy), estoy enfermo (I’m ill).
  • Other verbs: toser (to cough), estornudar (to sneeze), moquear (to have a runny nose), sudar (to sweat), temblar or tiritar (to shiver), vomitar (to vomit), desmayarse (to faint).
  • Dolor de: for some kind of pain, English uses an ending in some nouns -ache. In Spanish we need to express this concept using the construction: dolor de + the part of the body. Ej: tengo dolor de cabeza (I have headache), dolor de muelas (toothache), dolor de estómago (stomachache).

We hope you will need to use these words the least. However, if you need to learn more Spanish medical vocabulary via Skype, you should take our Spanish for Specific Purposes Course (Medical Spanish), Don’t hesitate and reserve a Free Trial Class here.