Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nobody says I have a cold

Rhinovirus, the principal cause behind a common cold.

If you check for the word 'cold' in an English-French dictionary, it's translated by 'rhume'. One could imagine that saying 'I have a cold' would be 'Je suis enrhumé', but that is completely wrong. Or, I have at least never heard any Frenchman pronounce that phrase.
Here a cold is called a rhino-pharynges. Or rhino for short. Rhino-bronchitis, that's when you're coughing as well. Angina if your throat is sore. I think you all agree that you feel better just knowing that what you have is not a mere cold but something with a complicated name...

Complicated name means calling a doctor. Just in case. You never leave a French doctor without a long list of medication. Like paracetamol for the fever, spray for the nose, a syrup for the cough and something to thin out the expectoration.

In the good old days you would have gotten antibiotics too, but for that the doctors have gotten very picky. Do you think you will recover from your cold anyway?


  1. I say "je suis enrhumé." (and actually I've been since yesterday, I thought I was gonna through the whole Winter without getting sick this year... nope...)

  2. Maintenant je vais plus rien dire...les gens le verront tout seul et diront : elle a un rhume ou elle est enrhumée!!!
    Je tousse et j'ai le nez qui coûle...C'est QUOI!!!

  3. I'm just teasing you! For both of you, I hope your cold gets better!
    and don't you agree that the word 'rhume' is rare?

  4. It is only the french women who say that, not the men!!!


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