French Language Blog

Sick As A Dog – Catching A Cold In French Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Vocabulary

I woke up l’autre jour (the other day) feeling sick.

The combination of les maux, le nez bouché et le mal à la gorge (the aches, a stuffy nose, and a sore throat) let me know I had to get myself to une pharmacie or I’d end up calling les urgences.

I took une douche chaude (a hot shower) to try and clear my head and make the day a bit more bearable. Heureusement (fortunately), la douche chaude combined with un café helped keep me up, but then la toux (the coughing) started.

The only thought in my head as I worked up the energy to walk to la pharmacie and buy les médicaments (the medicine):

Je suis malade comme un chien.
I am sick as a dog.

I wasn’t fatigué à cause du décalage horaire (jet lagged) and I didn’t have la gueule de bois (a hangover), j’étais malade. Je toussais et j’éternuais (I was coughing and I was sneezing) as I bought les médicaments and made my way back to mon lit (my bed).

Then mon ami Jean called asking if I could still go out that night:

Salut John ! Ça va ?
Kof Kof  – Ça va…
T’es sûr que ça va ?
Atchoum – En fait, j’ai attrapé un rhume.
Ah ouais, alors tu peux pas sortir ?
Je pense pas.
Tu as du miel ?
Du miel ?
Oui, c’est bon pour un rhume !
Ah ouais, merci ! – Kof kof
Et bien, bon rétablissement John !
Merci !

Hey John! How are you?
Cough Cough – I’m fine…
You’re sure that you’re fine?
Achoo – Actually, I caught a cold.
Ah yeah, then you can’t go out?
I don’t think so.
Do you have any honey?
Yes, it’s good for a cold!
Ah yeah, thanks! – Cough Cough
Well, get well soon John!

I made du thé au miel (some honey tea) then stayed in mon lit and le lendemain (the next day) I woke up feeling much better!

Voici un petit vocabulaire :

La santé Health
La maladie Illness, sickness
Être malade To be sick
Être faible To be weak
La fièvre Fever
Le mal Ache
Le nez bouché Stuffy nose
Le nez qui coule Runny nose
Le mal à la gorge Sore throat
La toux Coughing, cough
Tousser To cough
L’éternuement Sneezing, sneeze
Éternuer To sneeze
La pharmacie Pharmacy
Les médicaments Medicine
La douche chaude Hot shower
La douche froide Cold shower
Être fatigué à cause du décalage horaire Jet lagged
La gueule de bois Hangover
Un rhume A cold
Soigner un rhume To treat a cold

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. sunshine:

    Merci pour les bons rappels. don’t have accent marks, desole’

    etre creve’… to be really tired,, exhausted
    se moucher…blow your nose
    un mouchoir
    des kleenex ou mouchoirs en papier
    suer to sweat… la sueur ou la transpiration

    Merci encore!

  2. Ian Tarrant:

    Thankyou for a great post. I love it when you publish the list of vocabulary, and save it for revision later.

  3. Bill Cunningham:

    Merci beaucoup

  4. Lolo:

    You can’t say “Être fatigué dû au décollage horaire”. It’s “Être fatigué EN RAISON DU décalage horaire”.
    Décalage, not décollage.
    “En raison de”, not “dû à”. (“Dû à” exists, but cannot be used in this case.)

    • John Bauer:

      @Lolo Merci pour votre commentaire !

      I remember looking this up to be sure, but after taking another look it seems “être fatigué à cause du décalage horaire” is even more common than “en raison du”. Est-ce que vous êtes d’accord ?