Health in Korean
You never know when you might need to talk about health in Korean. Maybe you’re travelling in Korea and need to visit a drugstore. Perhaps you’re travelling elsewhere with a Korean family member. Either way, we hope you never need to use them, but check out this free audio lesson – it doesn’t hurt to be prepared!
Do you know the Korean words for different parts of the body? What’s the Korean word for “pain”? How do you tell someone to call an ambulance, or explain that you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure? After this lesson you’ll be able to describe your symptoms in Korean, and know what to say in an emergency if necessary.
Before you leave, make sure your health insurance covers any illness or accident while abroad. You don’t need any vaccinations to enter South or North Korea, but it’s advisable not to drink tap water and always check if the milk is pasteurized.
Pronunciation help for talking about health in Korean
If you have a medical emergency, go to the eungeupshil (Emergency hospital) and use one of these phrases to get some help immediately…
If the situation is not an emergency, choose a euiwon (doctor’s office).
When you first visit a health professional, be it a doctor, dentist or pharmacist; you’ll need to know how to tell them what the problem is. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms…
To explain your symptoms to the doctor, you’ll need to specify where it hurts. The following table gives the Korean words for parts of the body. Memorize these by pointing at each part as you practice saying each word aloud.
If you forget one of these words, you can always point to where it hurts and say Yugiga apayo. (“It hurts here”).
If you know the Korean word for the part that hurts, say the word, plus –i/-ga apayo. So, muri apayo basically means “my head hurts” – in other words, “I have a headache.”
To get the right diagnosis, you may need to further explain your symptoms to the doctor. What is your symptom?
Maybe you have some health conditions that you need to alert the doctor to. Here are some common conditions…
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…
That’s it for this lesson! I hope that you never need to use any of this vocabulary; however, it’s best to be prepared. Who knows, you may even be able to help a fellow traveler in case they fall ill.
Anyoung hee gaseyo!