Health in Chinese 👩‍⚕️ Beginner’s Guide to Symptoms in Chinese

How to Describe One’s Symptoms in Chinese?

Health in Chinese

This is probably one thing foreigners dread the most whilst in China, or in any country for that matter: having health issues and having to describe their symptoms in Chinese.

Not only are we already sick and not in our right mind, but we have to use some medical vocabulary to describe what’s wrong with our health in Chinese!

It’s the same issue if we are accompanying a friend to see the doctor and they cannot speak, you are in charge of describing what’s wrong.

No time or energy to check Pleco for your symptoms in Chinese?

Fear no more, we made a list of the most common diseases and symptoms for you to learn and avoid some very stressing situations.

You’ll also learn some words about injuries and the first aid kit 👇

Health in Chinese – General Medical Terms

Health in Chinese – Illnesses & Symptoms

Health in Chinese – Common Injuries

Health in Chinese – First Aid Kit

Health in Chinese – Inside the hospital

Health in Chinese – Hospital Departments

Health in Chinese – FAQ’s

How to Talk about Allergies in Chinese 🌻 Your Complete Guide Thumbnail

How to Talk about Allergies in Chinese 🌻 Your Complete Guide

Guide to Allergies in Chinese Spring is a wonderful season. The long, dark, winter months are behind us. We are ready to enjoy the rebirth of nature. The days are starting to get longer and it starts to feel warmer….

Health in Chinese – General Medical Terms

Let’s dive right in!

If you are unwell or experiencing symptoms 症状 zhèngzhuàng of a potential illness, you become a 病人 bìng rén, a sick person.

If your condition requires you to go to the hospital 医院 yī yuàn or clinic 诊所 zhěn suǒ, you become a 患者 huàn zhě (patient).

Doctors 医生 yī shēng and nurses 护士 hù shi will take care of you so you can get back to your usual self in no time, and you’ll probably go out of your appointment with a medical prescription 处方 chǔ fāng for some medicine 药 yào.

  • Sick person – 病人 bìng rén
  • Patient, sufferer – 患者 huàn zhě
  • Hospital – 医院 yī yuàn
  • Clinic – 诊所 zhěn suǒ
  • Doctor – 医生 yī shēng
  • Nurse – 护士 hù shi
  • Medical prescription – 处方 chǔ fāng
  • Medicine – 药 yào

Have you ever been to the dentist in China? Katie and Campbell from LTL Beijing did! See for yourself how it went:

Health in Chinese – Illnesses & Symptoms

First of all health in Chinese, or being healthy is 健康 jiànkāng.

You become a 病人 when you develop a 疾病 jíbìng, a disease or sickness, and start to get various symptoms 症状 zhèngzhuàng.

You probably heard a lot about viruses 病毒 bìngdú, and how contagious 传染 chuánrǎn they are.

To avoid people catching them, doctors can inoculate 接种 jiēzhòng a vaccine 疫苗 yìmiáo.

  • Disease, sickness – 疾病 jí bìng
  • Symptoms – 症状 zhèngzhuàng
  • Virus – 病毒 bìng dú
  • Contagious, infect – 传染 chuán rǎn
  • Inoculate, vaccinate – 接种 jiē zhòng
  • Vaccine – 疫苗 yìmiáo
  • Allergy 过敏 guò mǐn
  • Asthma – 哮喘 xiào chuǎn
  • Common cold – 感冒 gǎn mào
  • Diarrhoea – 腹泻 fù xiè
  • Flu – 流感 liú gǎn
  • Varicella – 水痘 shuǐ dòu

Mental health in Chinese is 精神健康 jīngshén jiànkāng

Unless we know our body very well or have experienced it before, it is always best to consult a doctor to get the appropriate treatment.

If you ever find yourself in China, having to explain your symptoms or your friend’s, here’s a list of the most common symptoms in Chinese:

EnglishHanziPinyin
Allergy过敏 guò mǐn
Asthma哮喘 xiào chuǎn
Blurred vision视力模糊shìlì móhu
Burping, burp打饱嗝dǎ bǎogé
Common cold, catch a cold感冒 gǎn mào
Constipation, be constipated便秘biànmì
Cough, to cough咳嗽 ké sou
Cramp, have a cramp抽筋chōujīn
Cyst, have a cyst囊肿nángzhǒng
Dehydration, be dehydrated脱水tuōshuǐ
Diabetes糖尿病 táng niào bìng
Diarrhoea 腹泻fù xiè
Dizzy, feel dizzy, to faint 昏厥 hūn jué
Fatigue疲惫 píbèi
Fast heartbeat心跳过速xīntiào guòsù
Feel bloated胃胀wèi zhàng
Fever发烧fāshāo
Hair loss, lose hair脱发tuōfà
Hallucination, to hallucinate幻觉huànjué
Headache头痛tóu tòng
Hearing difficulties听觉障碍tīngjué zhàng’ài
Heartburn烧心shāoxīn
Hiccup打嗝dǎgé
Hypertension高血压 gāo xuèyā
Indigestion消化不良xiāohuà bùliáng
Inflammation, inflamed发炎fā yán
Insomnia, have trouble sleeping失眠shīmián
Itch, itchyyǎng
Loss of appetite食欲不振shíyù búzhèn
Migraine偏头痛piān tóu tòng
Nauseated, to feel nauseated恶心 ě xīn
Nosebleed流鼻血liú bíxiě
Numbness, feel num麻木mámù
Rash, have a rash出疹子 chū zhěnzi
Shiver, to shiver寒战 hán zhàn
Shortness of breath气短qì duǎn
Sneeze, to sneeze打喷嚏dǎ pēntì
Snore, to snore打鼾dǎ hān
Sore throat喉咙痛 hóulóng tòng
Spasm, convulsion痉挛 jìng luán
Stomach ache, have an upset stomach胃痛wèitòng
Suffocate窒息 zhì xī
Sweat出汗chū hàn
Swell, to be swollenzhǒng
Vomit, to vomit呕吐 ǒu tù
Unconsciousness, to be unconscious/in a coma不省人事bù xǐng rén shì
Weight loss体重减少tǐzhòng jiǎn shǎo
Weight gain体重增加tǐzhòng zēngjiā
Health in Chinese

Health in Chinese – Common Injuries

This is something we obviously do not wish to anyone, but it’s always good to put this vocabulary out there, in case it’s needed.

If you ever find yourself in an accident 事故 shìgù, you’ll probably suffer injuries 受伤 shòushāng.

Your injuries will hurt 疼 téng, and the pain 痛 tòng might be too much to handle, so better go to the 医院 see a 医生 and get some 药。

  • Accident – 事故 shì gù
  • Ache, pain – 痛 tòng
  • To hurt – 疼 téng
  • Suffer injuries – 受伤 shòu shāng
  • To be poisoned – 中毒 zhòng dú
  • Stab, puncture – 刺伤 cì shāng
  • Blister – 水泡 shuǐ pào
  • Bone fracture – 骨折 gǔ zhé
  • Bug bite – 虫咬 chóngyǎo
  • Burn – 烧伤 shāoshāng
  • Cut, wound – 伤口 shāng kǒu
  • Electric shock – 电击 diàn jī

Health in Chinese – First Aid Kit, 急救箱 jíjiù xiāng

Helping someone in distress is already very stressful, so doing it in a foreign language is even more!

Let’s say you find someone 不省人事 bù xǐng rénshì unconscious. You first need to check their breath 呼吸 hūxī and pulse 脉搏 màibó to verify this person is still breathing and the heart still pumping.

Depending on the situation, you can go find a first aid kit 急救箱 jíjiù xiāng in the nearby shops or houses. If the situation seems serious, always ask for help.

TOP TIP – Check the emergency numbers of the country you are travelling to before your arrival. If something happens, you’ll immediately know how to ask for help.

  • Bandages – 包扎 bāo zhā
  • Band Aid – OK绷 O.K bēng
  • Cleansing wipes – 清洁湿巾 qīngjié shī jīn
  • Disposable sterile gloves – 一次性无菌手套 yícì xìng wú jūn shǒutào
  • First aid – 急救 jí jiù
  • Gauze – 纱布 shā bù
  • Ointment – 药膏 yào ɡāo
  • Painkillers – 止痛药 zhǐtòng yào
  • Safety pins – 安全别针 ānquán biézhēn
  • Scissors – 剪刀 jiǎn dāo
  • Sticky tape – 胶带 jiāodài
  • Thermometer – 温度计 wēndùjì
  • Tweezers – 镊子夹子 nièzi jiázi
  • To wrap up – 绷带 bēng dài

BONUS – Stethoscope in Chinese is 听诊器 tīng zhěn qì.

Health in Chinese

Health in Chinese – The Hospital

Sometimes accidents happen, we eat something bad, catch fever, break a bone or our appendix suddenly hurts.

No matter the country you are in, you need to be hospitalised 住院 zhùyuàn and maybe even need a surgical intervention 手术 shǒushù.

Whilst you are comfortably set up in a sickroom 病房 bìngfáng, the doctor and nurses will come to examine you 检查 jiǎnchá and maybe even run some blood tests 验血 yànxiě to find out what’s wrong.

  • To be hospitalised – 住院 zhù yuàn
  • Surgery – 手术 shǒu shù
  • Sickroom, ward – 病房 bìng fáng
  • To examine – 检查 jiǎn chá
  • To leave the hospital – 出院 chū yuàn
  • Outpatient service – 门诊 mén zhěn
  • To anaesthetise – 麻醉 má zuì
  • To inject, injection – 注射 zhù shè
  • Results – 结果 jié guǒ
  • Wheelchair – 轮椅 lún yǐ
  • Surgeon – 外科医生 wài kē yī shēng

Here’s a list of tests the doctor might prescribe:

EnglishHanziPinyin
Blood pressure血压 xuè yā
Blood test验血 yàn xiě
Heart rate心率 xīn lǜ
MRI磁共振成像 cí gòng zhèn chéng xiàng
Ultrasound超声 chāo shēng
Vision test视力检查 shì lì jiǎn chá
X-RayX光X guāng

Health in Chinese – Hospital’s Departments

Unlike many countries, China doesn’t have private practices and every health issue must be checked at the hospital.

Depending on your health issue or the specialist you’d like to consult, you need to find the right department.

Chinese hospitals are generally large you can easily get lost!

In case you are going to a regular Chinese hospital and there is no English translation, here’s a list of hospital’s departments to help you navigate the place:

DepartmentHanziPinyin
Cardiology心脏病科xīnzàng bìng kē
Dentistry牙科yákē
Dermatology皮肤科pífū kē
Emergency Room急诊室jí zhěn shì
Endocrinology内分泌科nèifēnmì kē
Gastroenterology胃肠病科wèi cháng bìng kē
Gynecology and obstetrics妇产科fù chǎnkē
Hematology血液科xiěyè kē
Immunology免疫科miǎnyì kē
Maternity department产科chǎn kē
Medical department内科nèi kē
Neurology神经病科shénjīngbìng kē
Ophthalmology眼科yǎnkē
Orthopedics骨科gǔkē
Pediatrics儿科érkē
Pneumology肺病科fèibìng kē
Radiology放射科fàngshè kē
Surgical department外科wàikē
Traumatology创伤科chuàngshāng kē
Urology泌尿外科mìniào wàikē

There we are, we hope you learned a little bit more vocabulary related to health in Chinese, especially the symptoms in Chinese, so even if you get unlucky you’ll be more relaxed explaining your situation with doctors in China.

If we missed anything, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How to say Symptoms in Chinese?

Symptoms in Chinese is 症状 zhèngzhuàng.

How to say Headache in Chinese?

Headache in Chinese is 头痛 tóu tòng.

How to say Fever in Chinese?

Fever in Chinese is 发烧 fāshāo.

How to say Vaccine in Chinese?

Vaccine in Chinese is vaccine 疫苗 yìmiáo.

How to say Doctor in Chinese?

Doctor in Chinese is 医生 yī shēng.

What if I’m sick in China?

If you get sick in China, don’t worry, there’s plenty of hospitals and pharmacies.

If you are in a one-tier city, you’ll even be able to go to an international hospital and find doctors that speak English.

Before departure, we suggest you check with your health insurance if they cover the costs of a hospitalisation.

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    Alexander Krasnov , Student Advisor

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