German Phrases For Dummies
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Know how to ask for help in German before you have an actual emergency. By learning a few simple German words and phrases for emergencies, you can save valuable time in a crisis. The simplest way to ask for assistance is Hilfe! (Hîl-fê) which means Help! You can also use the phrase Können Sie mir helfen? (Can you 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 Polizei in German and pronounced (pô-lî-tsy). The following phrases might also come in handy.

  • Ich bin gerade bestohlen worden. (I’ve just been robbed.)

  • Bitte rufen Sie die Polizei! (Please call the police.)

  • Wo ist das amerikanische Konsulat? (Where is the American consulate?)

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 assist you.

  • To ask for a doctor say der Arzt (M)/die Ärztin (F).

  • To ask for a hospital say das Krankenhaus.

  • To get medicine as for die Apotheke.

  • To ask for a nurse say Krankenschwester.

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

Notfall (emergency)
unfall (accident)
krank (sick)
die Schmerzen (pain)
die Gesundheit (health)
das Aspirin (aspirin)
das Medikament (medicine)
die Kopfschmerzen (headache)
die Magenschmerzen (stomachache)
die Verletzung (injury)
Schmerz (pain)
die Infektion (infection)

The following phrases might come in handy during an emergency.

  • Bitte helfen Sie! (Please help!)

  • Was ist passiert? (What happened?)

  • Ich weiß nicht. (I don't know.)

  • Ich kann nicht atmen. (I can't breathe.)

  • Sie braucht einen Arzt. (She needs a doctor.)

  • Wo gibt es hier ein Telefon? (Where is a telephone?)

  • Wo gibt es hier ein Krankenhaus? (Where is a hospital?)

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