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Health Vocabulary in French with Worksheets

written by: SaraWalker • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 9/11/2012

Learning about health vocabulary in French is always a popular – and potentially useful – area. This article looks at vocabulary lists, useful phrases and activities to help learn the vocabulary. You can download and print a health vocabulary in French worksheet to help with the role-playing games.

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    Health Vocabulary In French – In The Pharmacy

    It's always worth learning about vocabulary for health and medicines, as you never know when disaster will strike! These exercises are suitable for older children, and adult learners who want to expand their business vocabulary. The students should already know some descriptive vocabulary.

    French pharmacies are always very well stocked, and most sell some medicines for animals as well as humans. The French love to visit the pharmacy, which can often turn into a social event on market day!

    This role-playing exercise will help students learn the vocabulary. Divide the class into pairs, and ask one student to play a customer, and the other the pharmacist. The customer wants help with an ailment, and the pharmacist needs to ask some questions to determine the problem. The teacher should move round the room and offer help as required.

    Pre-lesson preparation – prepare some additional phrases in case students need help with the role-play.

    Vocabulary and Phrases

    For the customer:

    J'ai mal.....à la tête/à la jambe/au bras/à la main/au dos/au cou/à la gorge.

    My head/leg/arm/hand/back/neck/throat hurts.

    Je suis enrhumé/malade.Pharmacy 

    I have a cold/I'm ill.

    J'ai le vertige/la fièvre.

    I'm feeling dizzy/feverish.

    J'ai chaud/froid.

    I'm hot/cold.

    For the pharmacist:

    Où avez-vous mal?

    Where does it hurt?

    Qu'est-ce qui c'est passé?

    What happened?

    Vous êtes comme ça depuis longtemps?

    Have you been like this long?

    The pharmacist can also ask for some personal particulars such as age and name. They can then prescribe some pills (des comprimés) or ointment (un onguent), or, if the malady is too serious, refer the customer to a doctor or the hospital (je vous conseille de vous adresser à un docteur/à l'hôpital). The two students should then reverse roles.

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    Health Vocabulary in French – In the Hospital

    Now we are going to look at hospital vocabulary, again with the aid of a role-playing activity.


    Un bandage – bandage

    Un pensement small dress inWheelchair g

    Un thermomètre – thermometer

    Une seringue – a syringe

    Un fauteuil roulant – a wheelchair

    Une canne – a walking stick

    Une béquille a crutch

    Une masque – facemask

    Un stéthoscope – stethoscope

    Un scalpel – scalpel

    Les ciseaux (m pl) – scissorsStethoscope

    Un forceps – forceps

    Une transfusion sanguine blood transfusion

    Un analgésique – painkiller

    Un calmant – tranquilizer

    Une écharpe – sling

    Une éclisse – splint

    Une aiguille – needle

    Un plâtre – plaster (cast)

    Une perfusion de sérum isotonique – saline drip

    Pre-lesson preparation – print enough copies of the attached health vocabulary in French worksheet for half the class, and cut the vocabulary into squares.

    Divide the students into pairs once more. One student is now to be the doctor, and the other in charge of hospital supplies. The doctor must request three items of equipment from the Supply Manager to treat a specific patient, trying to re-use as much of the vocabulary from the previous exercise as possible.

    For example – "J'ai un patient qui a mal à la jambe. Je voudrais un fauteuil roulant, des bandages et un analgésique, s'il vous plaît." The Supply Manager can't hand over the equipment unless the doctor can justify its use, and should challenge by asking further questions if necessary. If the doctor asks correctly, the Supply Manager should hand over the relevant squares of paper, which can't be used again. Once the doctor has requested and received nine pieces of equipment, the students should reverse roles.

    These simple exercises should help your students to learn health vocabulary in French, and be prepared!

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    References and Image Credits

    Written from the author's own experience of working as an assistante d'anglais in a large college.

    Pharmacy Image Courtesy of: / GNU Free Documentation License / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License / by: Nina Aldin Thune,

    Wheelchair Image Courtesy of: / GNU Free Documentation License / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License / by: Memasa,

    Stethoscope Image Courtesy of: / GNU Free Documentation License / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License / by: Harmid,