Rarely would you need to visit a doctor when you are in Russia, but when you do, you want to make sure you have the right grammar and vocabulary to make the experience as easy as possible. In this chapter we’ll take a look at body parts and describing when things go wrong.
When you go to the doctor’s, if you don’t learn anything else, you should at least know how to name different parts of your body—particularly what’s inside you, that you can’t easily point to.
As is the case with Russian colour names, the way Russians perceive and name different concepts may differ from the way we do in English. Overall, however, body parts in Russian are fairly straightforward and the vocabulary should be easy to learn & use in daily life.
Download the cheat sheet below, print it out, and try to learn every body part so that you can explain yourself if anything ever happens to you in Russian.
You are free to distribute the reference sheet wherever you want as long as the file remains intact and the work is properly credited.
When arriving to the doctor you might be greeted with a question На что жáлуетесь? which literally means—‘what are your complaints?’ or you might hear Что у вас боли́т? (literally ‘what hurts by you?’). Thereby you are invited to explain the reasons of your visit to the doctor. Here are some of your probable answers:
У меня́ боли́т гóрло. I have a throat ache. У меня́ боли́т живóт. I have a stomach ache. У меня́ боли́т головá. I have a headache. У меня́ температýра и нáсморк. I have temperature and a running nose. У меня́ боли́т рукá/ногá. My hand/leg hurts.
We do hope that these expressions will never have to become a part of your active vocabulary, but please do still consider learning them!