French Vocabulary And Phrases For Hospitals & Emergencies

Written byAmélie Pinon

Hopefully next time you're in France, you won't need this lesson on medical emergencies.

But it's good to be prepared regardless!

If you find yourself in need of medical attention or a hospital, these French vocabulary and expressions will help you get the help you need.

How to say 'hospital' in French

How do you say hospital in French?

The word for hospital in French is hôpital.

How to say doctor in French (médecin vs. docteur vs. toubib)

How do you say doctor in French?

If you want to say doctor in French, there are three ways to do it:

  • le médecin - Use this term when you're not addressing a doctor directly, and you're talking about a doctor without specifically naming them (e.g. Je vais chez le médecin = "I'm going to the doctor").
  • le docteur - Use this word when you're talking about a specific doctor, or directly addressing the doctor (le docteur Pinon = "Doctor Pinon").
  • le/la toubib - This is an informal/slang term that is very common. Derived from the Arabic word tabib (طبيب).

Emergency phrases to use when you need a doctor or hospital

J'ai besoin de l'assistance.

I need help.

J'ai d'un medecin.

I need a doctor.

J'ai besoin d'une ambulance.

I need an ambulance.

Je suis asthmatique.

I have asthma.

J'ai besoin d'un inhalateur.

I need an inhaler.

Je suis diabetique.

I have diabetes.

J'ai besoin de sucre immediatement.

I need sugar now.

J'ai une crise cardiaque.

I'm having a heart attack.

J'ai une attaque.

I'm having a stroke.

Je me noyer.

I am drowning.

Je suis en travail.

I am in labor.

J'ai casse le bras.

I broke my arm.

Essential French hospital vocabulary

French VocabularyEnglish Translation
L'hôpitalThe hospital
Le médecinThe doctor
L'infirmièreThe nurse
Le patientThe patient
La douleurThe pain
La blessureThe injury
Les symptômesThe symptoms
La fièvreThe fever
La tensionThe blood pressure
Les urgencesThe emergency room
La salle d'attenteThe waiting room
L'examen médicalThe medical exam
Le diagnosticThe diagnosis
La prescriptionThe prescription
La radiographieThe X-ray
L'opérationThe operation
Les soinsThe care/treatment
L'anesthésieThe anesthesia
La rééducationThe rehabilitation
La sortieThe discharge

French verbs used in hospital

French VerbEnglish Translation
AdmettreTo admit
ExaminerTo examine
DiagnostiquerTo diagnose
PrescrireTo prescribe
SoignerTo treat
OpérerTo operate
AnesthésierTo anesthetize
GuérirTo heal
RéanimerTo resuscitate
SuivreTo monitor
HospitaliserTo hospitalize
RééduquerTo rehabilitate
DésinfecterTo disinfect
VaccinerTo vaccinate
TransfuserTo transfuse
EnregistrerTo register
SortirTo discharge
RécupérerTo recover
PréleverTo take a sample

Medical conditions in French

If you find yourself in hospital, you might need to tell the nurses or doctors what conditions you have.

Here's a list of all major medical conditions in French:

French TermEnglish Translation
AVC (Accident Vasculaire Cérébral)Stroke
Infarctus du myocardeHeart attack
Maladie d'AlzheimerAlzheimer's disease
Mal de dosBack pain
Mal de gorgeSore throat
Maladie de CrohnCrohn's disease
Maladie de ParkinsonParkinson's disease
OtiteEar infection
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French Vocabulary And Phrases For Hospitals & Emergencies
When visiting France, you may have a medical emergency or need to visit someone in hospital. This lesson will teach you how to communicate in this situation.
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