Most German doctors speak at least enough English to communicate with you about your symptoms, illness, and medicine. Unfortunately, not all receptionists and helpers at doctors’ offices speak English.
But don’t worry—with this post, you’ll be able to tackle this the problem.
Most Common German Medical Terms for When You’re Sick in Germany
Learn these ten German medical terms, and you won’t have to worry about getting sick in Germany. Should it happen, you’ll be able to navigate the doctor (Arzt, or Ärtzin for a female doctor) with aplomb.
das Fieber (fever)
If you’re feeling hot 😛 or feverish, then you’ll need to know this word. Tell the doctor “Ich habe Fieber” (I have a fever) or, when you visit the doctor, they will tell you, “Sie haben Fieber” (You have a fever).
To check the Body temperature in fever, you’ll need…
das Thermometer (thermometer)
Anyone can buy a thermometer at a pharmacy. But Keep in mind that thermometers you encounter in Germany will be in Celsius. You can Concert it via Google Converter.
der Schnupfen/die Erkältung (a cold)
Der Schnupfen and die Erkältung both mean “the cold.” So, perhaps you’ll hear from your doctor that “Sie haben Schnupfen” (You have a cold).
die Praxis (doctor’s office)
Remember that doctors’ offices are called the Praxis. You’ll need to know this word for two reasons: one, because when you’re searching Google to find a doctor’s office, you might need to use this word if you aren’t getting enough results with your English terms.
Schmerz, which means pain, is a word that’s used for lots of different maladies. For example, Kopfschmerz means “headache,” Bauchschmerz means “stomachache” and Ruckenschmerz means “back pain.”
der Termin (appointment)
If you call an Artzpraxis (doctor’s office) and speak to a receptionist who doesn’t speak English, you’ll need to know this word. Tell him or her, “Ich möchte einen Termin machen” (I would like to make an appointment).
The receptionist will likely ask you for die Adresse/Anschrift (address), die Telefonnummer (telephone number), der Vorname (first name) and der Nachname (last name). Give him or her this information, and you’ll be well on your way to health again.
die Verschreibung/das Rezept (prescription)
If the doctor wants to give you medicine to help you recover from your illness, you’ll need eine Verschreibung/das Rezept (a prescription). You can take this to the Apotheke, where, as outlined above, they will fill it for you.
Note that if the pharmacist tells you to leave and come back later, he or she might use the verb abholen, which means “to pick up.”
Here are some more general phrases and words…
Ich habe Schmerzen. = I’m in pain.
When you go to the doctor he or she will ask you about your symptoms…
Was haben Sie für Symptome? = What kind of symptoms do you have?
Maybe you have an idea what’s wrong with you. You could say …
Ich habe eine Erkältung.= I have a cold.
Ich habeeine Grippe = I have the flu.
Maybe you cut yourself and all you need is a bandage, you might need some sleeping pills for a long haul flight or cough syrup. Here is what you have to say…
Ich brauche einen Verband. = I need a bandage.
Ich brauche ein Pflaster. = I need a band-aid.
If you want more on German words then comments Below.