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How to Ask For Help in Italian

10 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Italian Words and Phrases for Traveling

Know how to ask for help in Italian before you have an actual emergency. By learning a few simple Italian words and phrases for emergencies, you can save valuable time in a crisis.

The simplest way to ask for assistance is Aiuti!, (ah-yoo-tee) which means Help! You can also use the phrase Per favore aiutatemi! (Please help me!) Of course, you might need different kinds of help depending on the situation.

If you are experiencing a legal emergency of some kind, you want to ask for the police, which is polizia in Italian and pronounced (poh-lee-tsee-ah). The following phrases might also come in handy.

  • Per favore chiamate la polizia. (Please call the police.)

  • Dov'è l'ambasciata più vicina? (Where is the nearest embassy?)

  • Dov'è il consolato più vicino? (Where is the nearest consulate?)

  • Abbiamo una gomma a terra. (We have a flat tire.)

Most emergencies that happen in foreign countries, however, are medical. The most efficient way to get the help you need is to know how to ask for the right kind of help and to be able to explain what's wrong.

The following vocabulary words can help you get to the right person.

  • To ask for a doctor say dottore (doht-toh-reh) [m]; medico (meh-dee-coh) [m].

  • To ask for a hospital say ospedale (ohs-peh-dah-leh) [m].

  • To get medicine as for farmacia (fahr-mah-cee-ah).

  • To ask for a nurse say infermiera (een-fehr-mye-rah) [f].

Once you are able to talk to the right person, you can use the following words to explain what's wrong.

emergenza (eh-mehr-gehn-tzah) [f] (emergency)
incidente (een-chee-dehn-teh) (accident)
malata/o (mah-lah-tah/oh) [f/m] (illness)
medicina (meh-dee-chee-nah) [f] (medication)
danno (dahn-noh) (injury)
dolore (doh-loh-reh) (pain)

The following phrases might come in handy during an emergency.

  • Come posso aiutarti (Informal)/ aiutarla (Formal)? (How can I help you?)

  • Mi serve qualcosa per un mal di testa. (I need something for a headache.)

  • Avete dell'aspirina? (Do you have any aspirin?)

  • Avete il liquido per lenti a contatto? (Do you have solution for contact lenses?)

  • Io credo lei abbia mal d'orecchi. (I think that she has an earache.)

  • Vorremmo dei cerotti per favore. (We'd like some band-aids, please.)

  • Per favore è un'emergenza! (Please, it's an emergency!)

  • Dov'è l'ospedale? (Where is the hospital?)

  • Chiamate il pronto soccorso, per favore. (Call for first aid, please.)

The following words can help you to describe what part of your body is injured.

spalla (spahl-lah) [f] (shoulder)
faccia (fahch-chah) [f] (face)
orecchio (oh-rehk-kee-oh) [m] ear
mano (mah-noh) [f] (hand)
naso (nah-zoh) [m] (nose)
occhio (ohk-kee-oh) [m] (eye)
braccio (brahch-choh) [m] (arm)
collo (kohl-loh) [m] neck
ginocchio (jee-nohk-kee-oh) [m] knee
dito (dee-toh) [m] (finger)
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The Essentials of Italian Words and Phrases for Traveling

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