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…

도와주세요!

Dowa jooseyo!

Help!

구급차 불러 주세요!

Googeupcha booluh jooseyo!

Call an ambulance!

의사 불러 주세요!

Euisa booluh jooseyo!

Call a doctor!

응급상황이에요!

Eungeup sanghwang iyeyo!

It’s an emergency

사고가 났어요!

Sagoga natsuyo!

There’s been an accident

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…

증세가 어떻세요?

Jeungse ga utduseyo?

What kind of symptoms do you have?

통증이 있으세요?

Tongzeung ee itseuseyo?

Do you have pain?

어디가 아프세요?

Udiga apeuseyo?

Where do you have pain?

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.

pal

arm

다리

dari

leg

ip

mouth

근육

geunyook

muscle

mok

neck

ko

nose

어깨

ukge

shoulder

wee

stomach

목구멍

mokgoomung

throat

엄지 손가락

umji son-garak

thumb

무릎

mooreup

knee

심장

shimjang

heart

허리

huri

back

유방

yoobang

breast

가슴

gaseum

chest

gwee

ear

noon

eye

얼굴

ulgool

face

손가락

son-garak

finger

son

hand

머리

muhri

head

발가락

balgarak

toe

If you forget one of these words, you can always point to where it hurts and say Yugiga apayo. (“It hurts here”).

여기가 아파요.

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.”

팔 아파요.

Pal apayo.

My arm hurts.

다리가 아파요.

Dariga apayo.

My leg hurts.

머리가 아파요.

Muhriga apayo.

My head hurts.

손가락이 아파요.

Son-garak ee apayo.

My finger hurts.

눈이 아파요.

Noon ee apayo.

My eye hurts.

어깨 아파요.

Ukge apayo.

My shoulder hurts.

허리가 아파요.

Huri ga apayo.

My back hurts.

To get the right diagnosis, you may need to further explain your symptoms to the doctor. What is your symptom?

저는 [...] 이 있어요.

Juneun […] ee itsuyo.

I have (a/an) […].

설사를 해요.

Sulsareul haeyo.

I have diarrhea.

감기 걸렸어요.

gamgi gulyutsuyo

I have (caught) a cold.

목이 아파요.

mok ee apayo

I have a sore throat.

일사병

eelsabyoung

sunstroke

위통

weetong

stomach ache

두통

dootong

headache

귀 통증

gwee tongzeung

earache

허리가 아파요.

Huriga apayo.

I have backache.

열이 있어요.

Yul ee itsuyo.

I feel feverish.

Maybe you have some health conditions that you need to alert the doctor to. Here are some common conditions…

전 관절염이 있어요.

Jun gwanjulyum ee itsuyo.

I have arthritis.

전 천식이 있어요.

Jun chunshik ee itsuyo.

I have asthma.

전 당뇨병이 있어요.

Jun dangnyobyung ee itsuyo.

I am diabetic.

전 임신중입니다.

Jun eemshinjoong imnida.

I am (…months) pregnant.

전 귀가 안들립니다.

Jun gwee ga andeulimnida.

I am deaf.

전 심장병이 있어요.

Jun shimjangbyung ee itsuyo.

I have a heart condition.

전 고혈압이에요.

Jun gohyulap iyeyo.

I have high blood pressure.

Doctor in Korean

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…

붕대가 필요해요.

Boongdaega piryohaeyo.

I need a bandage.

일회용 밴드가 필요해요.

Eel hwe yong baendeu ga piryohaeyo.

I need a band-aid.

진통제가 필요해요.

Jintongje ga piryohaeyo.

I need some pain-killers.

수면제가 필요해요.

Soomyunjega piryohaeyo.

I need some sleeping pills.

기침약이 필요해요.

Gichimyak ee piryohaeyo.

I need some cough syrup.

처방전이 필요해요.

Chubangjun ee piryohaeyo.

I need a prescription.

피임약이 필요해요.

Peemyak ee piryohaeyo.

I need some contraception.

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.

Here are a few recommended Korean lessons to try next!

Anyoung hee gaseyo!

Sujung Lee
Sujung Lee
Rocket Korean


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