When you travel to Italy, or any other country where you do not understand the language well you need to make sure you can tell someone if you are having a medical emergency. If you have a known medical condition write that condition on an index card in both Italian and English. You need the English translation so you know what you are saying! Be sure to have a native speaker look at your card so you know that you have written everything correctly.
Most doctors, medical personnel in hospitals and pharmacists know some English. If you are staying in a hotel and have a problem, it is likely they will know of a local doctor who understands English.
I have had to buy all sorts of medicines for minor problems at pharmacies all across Italy and have found that pantomiming works well though depending on your problem you may have to leave your inhibitions at the door.
Here are some key phrases:
I have diabetes, is this sugar free?
Sono diabetico,c’e zucchero nel questo?
I have heart problems. I have chest pain.
Ho un problemma col mio cuore. Ho dolore nel mio cuore (Petto)
I don’t feel well
Non mi sento bene
I can’t breathe
Non posso respirare
I feel dizzy
Mi gira la testa
I hurt here (point)
Mi fa male qui
I have an upset stomach
Ho lo stomaco in disordine
I have a stomach ache
Ho mal di stomaco.
I have a headache
Ho mal di testa
This is an emergency
Questo e’ un emergenza
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Carry this with you and point to phrases to communicate in Italian.
Hope we have helped you get started learning some Italian.