"Docteur, j'ai mal au ventre."

Translation:Doctor, I have a stomach ache.

April 5, 2013

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/PeanutShell

Doctor, I have a bad stomach - is perfectly acceptable. I have reported it.

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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The UK EN "bad stomach" is now accepted.

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lukyuri
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Should 'tummy ache' have been accepted?

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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The word "ventre" seems to confuse some people. The most reliable dictionaries (Larousse, Wordreference, and Oxford) define it as "stomach". However we must consider that the English "stomach" can mean different things:

  • stomach (the organ) : This is not what "ventre" means.
  • stomach (the front portion of the trunk of one's body), e.g., I have a flat stomach (or) I have a big stomach.
  • stomach (the underpart of an animal or the front of a person, sometimes "belly"), e.g. I stretched out flat on my stomach. My dog loves it when you scratch his belly.
  • stomach (general reference to one's gastrointestinal tract). One may say J'ai mal au ventre (I have a stomach ache). The discomfort may be in the literal stomach (l'estomac) or it may be elsewhere.

So the French "ventre" does mean stomach but not in the sense of the stomach organ (l'estomac). If you want to refer to the stomach organ in French, you must say "l'estomac". If you want to say stomach in one of the other meanings shown above, you must use "ventre".

A few sources include the meaning of "abdomen" for "ventre", but be aware there is a separate French word for that: l'abdomen.

Note that in English, stomach is the standard word used. Informal terms include: belly, gut and tummy (which is considered child-speak).

October 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/pippinstar22

Thanks, that clears it up...the confusion not the, er, tummy ache.

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stevendereknoble

Does anyone always say "stomach ache" rather than "a stomach ache"?

August 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcSteven4

I reckon "I have stomach ache" could be an accepted answer, as it's common usage where I come from in the UK. Reported 17 Nov 2018.

December 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/WilliamKer4

I'm confused about the word "docteur" in this sentence. I thought the French word for a medical doctor is , <<un médecin>>. How does one address a physician in France?

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Docteur" is used as a term of address, "médecin" is the profession.

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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Duo's translation is "Doctor, I have a sick belly". Who says that? I might say: "Doctor, I have a sore tummy". The translation on this page is much better: "Doctor, I have a stomachache".

November 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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Your answer is accepted, of course, and preferred by US English-speaking adults; our Brit friends may say "a bad stomach" (also accepted). Sadly, there are times when natural English is thrown under the bus so that the back-translation of tummy (that vague area in one's abdomen, also child-speak for "stomach") will return you to "ventre".

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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That's funny! I'm Australian and I thought that "tummy" was more British than American!

November 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aussie3931
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Yes, I agree. Further, I just learned that Duo expects 'tummy' in a sentence involving a child, but not when an adult is the one with the pain. We use the word 'tummy' and 'stomach' interchangeably. 'Tummy' , to me, is more conversational, 'stomach' more clinical.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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We are constantly learning the "real" expressions that people use but they range from standard to quite informal. The underlying issue has been resolved on Duolingo's side by coming to an understanding that "avoir mal au ventre" is expressed (generally) in English as "to have a stomach ache". Of course, there are going to be variations, but the point is that the French does not have to say "l'estomac" in order to be translated as "stomach" in English when using "avoir mal au ventre". Based on actual usage, "mal d'estomac" may be heard, but by far the most common expression in French is "mal au ventre" and that's where our focus should be.

November 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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I agree, except that now the English sentence on this page has changed to "Doctor, I have a sick belly" which sounds really weird to me. Can we get it changed back to "Doctor, I have a stomach-ache" which seems to work in all variants of English?

November 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aussie3931
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I have never heard the expression ' a sick belly'. 'Stomach-ache', yes, very often used along with 'tummy-ache'.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/kanielc
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Stomach ache is not one word in English, it's two.

April 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/fitzpat3

Why not "Doctor, I have a sick stomach?"

August 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/rafeekr

We wouldn't say that in english, but we would say "I'm sick to my stomach" or "I have an upset stomach"

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

"I'm sick to my stomach" is a very normal thing to hear in US English. However, it can have two meanings. One, more literal, that I'm nauseous. The other, more metaphorical, that I'm very upset, disgusted by something. "I'm sick to my stomach over the situation in the Middle East."

And by the way, what I learned in French (in Québec) for being nauseous is "J'ai mal au cœur." Sounds weird when I translate it (I'm heartsick?).

May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/buffalump21
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Actually, I've never heard this in British English. It's an Americanism (I mean "sick to my stomach". Though we would definitely say "an upset stomach, or even "an upset tummy".

September 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/just.so

I would understand "sick to my stomach" more figuratively: to describe extreme worry or shock. I don't think it's an Americanism though: I grew up in SA - on a variant of "the Queen's English". :)

April 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/buffalump21
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I just meant that it's something I've only ever heard on American TV (we don't get to see much South African TV over here. lol). But it's not a British expression.

April 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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I thought SA was South Australia!

November 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/appolo1

I'm with you CJ Dennis. I thought he meant South Australia as well

June 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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Because your stomach can't be sick. It's you who are sick, and one of the symptoms is a stomachache.

Same in French : "Docteur, j'ai un ventre malade" is not correct.

August 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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The idea is that in French, j'ai mal au ventre, but in English it is: I have a stomach ache (or) I have a sick/bad stomach (or) I am sick to my stomach (or) My stomach/belly hurts. These various expressions are all idiomatically correct in different parts of the English-speaking world.

November 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Tirina61

Can mal be translated as pain? That was one of the correct answers.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/angomb

I have a bad stomache is still not accepted yet

October 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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There is no "stomache", but "stomach" and "bad stomach" is accepted.

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cjames1979

pourquoi pas "mal d'estomac" ?

November 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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You could say "J'ai (un) mal d'estomac" or "J'ai mal de l'estomac" as well as "J'ai mal au ventre".

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JoGriffin
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In the UK you only really say "belly" in a medical context if you're under 5 years old.

May 6, 2016
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