Not quite le gripe?
September 15, 2011 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Potential medical emergency filter - I need help translating the symptoms for dyssentery into French ASAP. (gross Medical TMI warning)

Currently in a remote location of a francophile west African 3rd world country and for various reasons separated from my colleague / translator. I have classic symptoms for dysentery, which I have contacted before. Stomach pain, frequent urge to defecate, loose stool, stomach gas, vomiting, high fever and can't keep fluids down. I need to know how to translate the previous sentence to French, preferably with an "I have..." at the start.

I don't need admonishing on getting into this situation or logistical advice on getting out of it, although any tips for dealing with the symptoms far afield in the absence of drugs or medical treatment will be appreciated. Most of all I need to know how to write the symptoms in French. TIA (the thanks one not the blood diamond one).
posted by allkindsoftime to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
I'm on the road or I would through it thru a translation app. Try plugging it into Google Translate.

What I do know...
You can say "j'ai malade du" and then point. And fever is "fièvre."
posted by DoubleLune at 1:25 PM on September 15, 2011

Best answer: J'ai des symptômes classiques de la dysenterie, que j'ai contacté un fois. Douleurs à l'estomac, besoin fréquent de déféquer, la diarrhée, gaz d'estomac, des vomissements, une fièvre élevée et ne peut pas garder les liquides vers le bas.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:27 PM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: This is Babelfish, but you're in a hurry:

Je suis malade. J'ai la douleur d'estomac, J'ai la diarrhée avec les tabourets lâches, j'ai gaz d'estomac, je vomis frequent, et j'ai une fièvre élevée.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on September 15, 2011

Best answer: Here's the description from french wikipedia:

Elle est caractérisée par des selles fréquentes et aqueuses (diarrhée), souvent mêlées de sang (rectorragie), de mucus ou de glaires et accompagnées de fortes crampes abdominales.

(It is characterized by frequent and watery stools ( diarrhea ), often mixed with blood ( rectal ) of mucus or phlegm, and accompanied by severe abdominal cramps.)
posted by empath at 1:34 PM on September 15, 2011

"et ne peut pas garder les liquides vers le bas" -- really? Is this a machine translation, or an idiom that is surprisingly similar to the English one? (Serious question.) I don't know what a better version would be ... maybe "quand je bois des liquides je vomis tout de suite" ("when I drink liquid I vomit right away") or something.

Otherwise I think the other suggestions will get your point across. Also starting with "des symptômes classiques de la dysenterie" (taking 317's word for it on the noun) will probably help people contextualize what you are saying, and give them some idea of what you are going for in case some of your phrases aren't exactly correct.
posted by librarina at 1:37 PM on September 15, 2011

Best answer: Here's the "Where There Is No Doctor" section on diarrhea, vomiting, etc. You can find the rest of the book here.
posted by mynameisluka at 2:05 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the quick responses. Made it to a doc and have meds, am in contact with international doc as well. Hopefully mark resolved in a day or two...
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:07 PM on September 15, 2011

I skyped my docs back home when my daughter (age 4) spent a week in Paris vomiting. Just an additional suggestion, may not be relevant to the OP but to someone trolling.
posted by Capri at 4:37 PM on September 15, 2011

Good luck! Remember that many stomach issues (eg giardia) can be tricky to diagnose even with modern laboratory access, and treatment can take a long time and repeated doses. Ideally whatever you have gets taken care of easily, but be prepared to deal with a few recurrences along the way. (And this is one of those things that is usually easier to deal with overseas; in the US and Europe many doctors aren't familiar with the wide variety of stomach maladies that one can acquire around the world. Also, you may want to do a general deworming once in a while on general principles, rather than waiting for specific symptoms; if you are getting other stomach issues, you are probably being exposed to helminths and other worms along the way...)
posted by Forktine at 10:20 PM on September 15, 2011

Oh ouch yikes the translation errors here. (FYI: I have dual French-American nationality and am a professional translator, though usually from French to English. That said, I've lived in France for 13 years.)

contacter = to contact
contracter = to contract
ne peut pas garder les liquides vers le bas = does not make sense in French, though you can kind of figure out what it means (which is the essential, of course). Better translation would be "dès que je bois, je vomis, alors je n'arrive pas à me réhydrater."

I have stomach pains/a stomach ache = j'ai mal au ventre ; j'ai très mal au ventre (depending).
I have stomach cramps = j'ai des crampes abdominales
I have painful stomach cramps = j'ai des crampes abdominales douloureuses
I have diarrhea = j'ai de la diarhée
I've been throwing up [very] often = je vomis [très] souvent
I have gas = j'ai des ballonnements (this is the correct medical term, please no one go talking about balloons, my French doctors all say this)
I have a fever = j'ai de la fièvre

tabourets lâches made me ROFL. It literally means you have weak (not strong) stools (the kind you sit on). Just say "j'ai de la diarrhée".
posted by fraula at 2:27 AM on September 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

fraula's point about "mal au ventre" is particularly salient; unless you're talking to someone pretty well educated, they're going to have trouble parsing "douleurs a l'estomac," but even people with practically no french understand "mal au ventre." At least that's my experience in this particular developing West African nation.
posted by solotoro at 3:20 AM on September 16, 2011

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