A Beginner’s Guide to German Through Football: „A Visit to the Doctor (A1/9)“

After sustaining a minor sports injury, Alex decides to visit a doctor, leading to an exploration of healthcare-related German language. This chapter focuses on basic health terms such as „der Schmerz“ (the pain) and „die Gesundheit“ (the health), as well as body parts like „der Arm“ (the arm) and „das Bein“ (the leg). It’s an essential guide for navigating healthcare scenarios in German-speaking countries, emphasizing the importance of clear communication in medical settings.

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Basic Health Terms:

  • der Schmerz (the pain), die Gesundheit (the health)
  • die Krankheit (the illness), die Verletzung (the injury)

Body Parts:

  • der Arm (the arm), das Bein (the leg)
  • der Kopf (the head), das Herz (the heart), der Rücken (the back)

Making a Doctor’s Appointment

Alex calls to make an appointment, using specific phrases and vocabulary suited for telephone conversations in German. This section introduces appointment-related phrases like „Ich möchte einen Termin machen“ (I would like to make an appointment) and days of the week such as „Montag“ (Monday), „Dienstag“ (Tuesday).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Appointment-related Phrases and Days of the Week:

  • Ich möchte einen Termin machen (I would like to make an appointment)
  • Montag (Monday), Dienstag (Tuesday), Mittwoch (Wednesday), Donnerstag (Thursday), Freitag (Friday), Samstag (Saturday), Sonntag (Sunday)

At the Doctor’s Office

In the doctor’s office, Alex describes his symptoms, using phrases like „Ich habe Kopfschmerzen“ (I have a headache), „Mein Rücken tut weh“ (My back hurts), and understands the doctor’s questions such as „Was fehlt Ihnen?“ (What’s wrong with you?).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Symptoms and Pains:

  • Ich habe Kopfschmerzen (I have a headache), Mein Rücken tut weh (My back hurts)
  • Ich fühle mich übel (I feel nauseous), Mein Bein ist geschwollen (My leg is swollen)

Questions at the Doctor’s Office:

  • Was fehlt Ihnen? (What’s wrong with you?), Wo haben Sie Schmerzen? (Where do you have pain?)

Understanding the Doctor’s Advice

The doctor gives advice and prescribes medication. Alex learns to understand medical advice, expressed with phrases like „Sie sollten…“ (You should…), and familiarizes himself with terms for medications such as „das Medikament“ (the medication), „die Tablette“ (the tablet).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Medical Advice and Medications:

  • Sie sollten… (You should…)
  • das Medikament (the medication), die Tablette (the tablet), das Antibiotikum (the antibiotic)

Picking up Prescription from a Pharmacy

Alex visits a pharmacy to pick up his prescription, practicing pharmacy-related vocabulary. He uses terms like „die Apotheke“ (the pharmacy), „das Rezept“ (the prescription), and polite requests such as „Können Sie mir… geben?“ (Can you give me…?).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Pharmacy Terms and Polite Requests:

  • die Apotheke (the pharmacy), das Rezept (the prescription)
  • Können Sie mir… geben? (Can you give me…?), Brauche ich ein Rezept? (Do I need a prescription?)

Reflecting on the Healthcare Experience

Reflecting on his healthcare experience, Alex recognizes the significance of knowing medical terms in a foreign country. He expresses relief and gratitude with phrases like „Danke für…“ (Thank you for…), „Ich bin erleichtert“ (I am relieved).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Expressing Relief and Gratitude:

  • Danke für… (Thank you for…), Ich bin erleichtert (I am relieved)
  • Vielen Dank für Ihre Hilfe (Thank you very much for your help)

Exercises and Practice

  1. Vocabulary Matching:
    • Match body parts with their German translations, e.g., „arm“ to „der Arm“, „leg“ to „das Bein“.
  2. Dialogue Construction:
    • Create conversations based on a doctor’s visit, including describing symptoms and asking questions.
  3. Comprehension Questions:
    • Answer questions based on a medical scenario, such as „What did Alex tell the doctor about his symptoms?“


Alex’s visit to the doctor underscores the importance of understanding healthcare-related German. This chapter not only boosts medical vocabulary but also provides insights into the German healthcare system, highlighting the role of language in accessing healthcare services effectively.

Detailed Section: At the Doctor’s Office Describing Symptoms

Alex’s conversation with the doctor demonstrates the practical use of body parts vocabulary and describing symptoms. This interaction is crucial for effective communication in healthcare settings.

Grammar Focus: Body Parts, Describing Symptoms, Understanding Questions

Dialogue for Practice:

  • Alex: “Ich habe Schmerzen im linken Arm.” (I have pain in my left arm.)
  • Doctor: “Haben Sie auch Schwellungen oder Rötungen bemerkt?” (Have you also noticed any swelling or redness?)
  • Alex: “Nein, nur Schmerzen.” (No, just pain.)

Understanding the Doctor’s Questions

The doctor’s inquiries provide Alex with an opportunity to explain the circumstances of his injury, using past events and sports-related vocabulary. This exchange is important for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Grammar Focus: Past Events, Sports-related Vocabulary

Dialogue for Practice:

  • Doctor: “Wie ist das passiert? Beim Fußballspielen?” (How did it happen? While playing soccer?)
  • Alex: “Ja, genau, beim Training.” (Yes, exactly, during practice.)
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