Communicating with our patients is a huge part of our job and our responsibility as medical professionals. When we’re unable to tell our patients what we need from them, and are unable to find out what they need from us, it puts not only the diagnostic quality of their tests at risk, but could put our patients at risk as well. Knowing how to say a few important things can help facilitate tests with Spanish speaking patients, and put your patients at more ease, in an already uncomfortable situation for them.

Below are a few things we find ourselves saying and asking quite often.

Print out some copies of the below translations and keep them handy in imaging rooms and dosing areas!

(I have written down a pronunciation guide for those who are completely unfamiliar with Spanish pronunciation, or possibly if there is a word or two you are unfamiliar with – it is only a suggestion of appropriate pronunciation and not a formal phonetic representation)

My name is : Me llamo (may ya-mo)

What is your name? : ¿Cómo se llama? (como say ya-ma)

I will be performing the test your doctor ordered : Voy a hacer el test que ha pedido su doctor (Boy ah a-sair el test kay ah pay-dee-do sue doctor)

I need to give you an injection for the pictures : Necesito ponerle una inyección para tomar las imágenes (Ne-say-see-to pon-air-lay un-ah in-yex-ee-on pa-ra toe-mar las im-ah-hay-nays)

It won’t make you feel any different : Esto no va a hacerle sentir diferente (Eh-sto no ba a ah-sair-lay sin-tear dih-fare-in-teh)

Please come back in __ minutes/hours for your pictures : Por favor, vuelva en __ minutos/horas para tomar las imágenes (Por fa-bor, buel-bah en __ mi-new-tos pa-ra las im-ah-hay-nays)

The pictures will take __ minutes : Las imágenes tardarán __ minutos/horas(Las im-ah-hay-nays tar-dar-an __ mi-new-tos/or-as)

Please drink lots of water before the test : Por favor, beba mucha agua antes del test (Por fa-bor, bay-bah moo-cha ah-gu-a an-tace del test)

Please drink lots of water after the test : Por favor, beba mucha agua después del test (Por fabor, bay-bah moo-cha ah-gu-a days-puays del test)

Don’t eat anything for __ hours before the test : No coma nada durante las __ horas antes del test (No co-mah na-tha dur-aunt-ay las __ or-as aunt-es del test)

Are you diabetic? : ¿Es usted diabetico? (Es ew-sted dee-ah-beh-ti-coh)

Are you a smoker? : ¿Es usted fumador? (Es foo-mah-door)

Have you ever had a heart attack? : ¿Alguna vez ha tenido un ataque cardiaco? (Al-goo-nah base ah tay-knee-tho un ah-tah-kay card-ee-ah-coh)

There are __ more minutes remaining of your test : Faltan __ minutos para que termine el test (Fal-tan x me-new-dos pa-ra kay tear-me-neh el test)

Lay down please : Recuéstese (Ray-quey-steh-say)

Take a deep breath in and hold it : Respire profundamente y aguante el aire (Ray-spear-eh pro-foon-dah-men-teh ee ah-gu-an-tey el ay-ray)

Breathe normally : Respire con normalidad (Ray-spear-eh con nor-mall-ee-dahd)

Put your arms above your head : Ponga los brazos encima de su cabeza (Pone-ga los bra-sos en-see-mah day soo kah-be-sa)

I’m going to position you for the pictures : Voy a colocarle para las imágenes (Boy a kohl-oh-car-lay pa-ra las im-ah-hay-nays)

Put your arms down : Baje los brazos (Ba-hay los bra-sos)

Sit up : Siéntese (See-an-teh-say)

Please don’t move : Por favor, no se mueva (Por fa-bor, no say moo-eh-ba)

Your pictures are finished : Las imágenes han terminado (Las im-ah-hay-nays ahn tear-mi-nah-do)

You can move now : Ya se puede mover (Yah say puay-de moh-bear)

Do you need help? : ¿Necesita ayuda? (Neh-say-see-ta ah-you-tha)

Does something hurt? : ¿Le duele algo? (Lay dway-la ahl-go)

Show me where it hurts : Muéstreme donde le duele (Moo-est-ray-may don-day lay doo-eh-lay)

The doctor is going to look at your pictures : El doctor va a mirar sus imágenes (El doc-tor ba a meer-are soos im-ah-hay-nays)

Body Parts

arm/arms : brazo/brazos (bra-so / bra-sos)

leg/legs : pierna/piernas (pee-air-nah / pee-air-nahs)

stomach : estomago (eh-sto-mah-go)

chest : pecho (pay-cho)

heart : corazón (core-ah-son)

lungs : pulmones (pull-moh-nace)

bones : huesos (who-eh-sos)

liver : hígado (ee-ga-tho)

gallbladder : vesícula biliar (bay-see-koo-la bee-lee-ar)

brain : cerebro (say-ray-bro)

head : cabeza (kah-be-sah)

fingers : dedos de las manos (day-dos day las mah-nose)

toes : dedos de los pies (day-dos day las pee-ace)


one : uno (oo-no)

two : dos (dose)

three : tres (trace)

four : cuatro (kwa-tro)

five : cinco (seen-coh)

ten : diez (dee-ace)

fifteen : quince (keen-say)

twenty : veinte (bane-tay)

thirty : treinta (train-tah)

forty : cuarenta (kwar-ane-teh)

fifty : cincuenta (sin-kwain-tah)

For a pdf version that is easy to print, click here

Are we missing some important phrases or words that you think we should share with our technologist audience? Is there a phrase you want to know how to say in Spanish, and want to avoid the pitfalls of an automatic translating program? Add your comments below!

Posted by Jennifer Lilly, CNMT, RT(N)(CT)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *