Let’s talk vaccinations… in foreign languages

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact across the globe and people from all nationalities are coming to terms with it. Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available and being rolled out in many countries around the world, you may have wondered how to talk about vaccinations in foreign languages. The team at PLS are a multilingual bunch, and we share our knowledge below.


Talking about vaccinations


In the below tables we outline vocabulary necessary for talking about getting a vaccination in some of our most-taught languages. You may notice some similarities between the languages in the latin family tree. We also outline some useful vocabulary used by news outlets and in government guidance about vaccination programme roll-outs. 



to vaccinate impfen vacinar  vacciner   vaccinare
to vaccinate somebody against COVID jemanden impfen gegen COVID vacinar alguém contra a COVID-19

vacciner quelqu’un contre la COVID 

 vaccinare qualcuno contro il COVID
vaccine der Impfstoff  a vacina  le vaccin  il vaccino
vaccination die Impfung  a vacinação  la vaccination  la vaccinazione
injection die Spritze  a injeção  l’injection  l'iniezione
be/get vaccinated sich impfen lassen  ser vacinado/a   se faire vacciner  vaccinarsi



first dose erste Dosis  a primeira dose  la première dose  prima dose
second dose zweite Dosis  a segunda dose  la deuxième dose  seconda dose
research Forschung  a pesquisa  la recherche  la ricerca
studies Forschungen  estudos  les études  gli studi
risks Risiken  os riscos  les risques  i rischi
benefits Vorteile  os benefícios  les bienfaits  i benefici



Talking about side effects


Below you'll find vocabularly required to talk about the side effects which can arise from vaccinations. If you are interested in learning the pronunciation of these words, we recommend online dictionaries such as dict.Leo (German), (all languages), linguee (all languages) or the Collins dictionary series (all languages). If you are an intermediate or advanced speaker, why not try listening to news articles in your target language?


side effects Nebenwirkungen efeitos colaterais les effets secondaires postumi
redness Rötung vermelhidão les rougeurs arrossamento
inflammation Entzündung inflamação l’inflammation infiammazione
swelling Schwellung inchaço gonflement gonfiore
muscle aches Muskelschmerzen dores musculares les douleurs musculaires dolori muscolari
fatigue Ermüdung fatiga / cansaço la fatigue fatica
fever Fieber febre la fièvre febbre
headache Kopfschmerz dor de cabeça le mal de tête mal di testa
nausea Übelkeit náusea la nausée nausea
chills Schüttelfrost calafrios les frissons brividi
joint pain Gelenkschmerz dores nas articulações les douleurs articulaires dolori articolari


And some bonus phrases...


Brazilian Portuguese


to make an appointment to receive the vaccine = fazer agendamento para receber a vacina

herd immunity = a imunidade de rebanho

priority groups = grupos prioritários

risk group = grupo de risco



vaccination against Covid = die Corona-Impfung, die Impfung gegen das Coronavirus

mandatory vaccination = die Impfpflicht (Germans love consonants!)

to develop/test/approve a vaccine = einen Impfstoff entwickeln/testen/zulassen

immune reaction = die Immunabwehrreaktion (pl. -en)

vaccine dose = die Impfdose (pl. -n)

vaccination centre = das Impfzentrum (pl. -zentren)

Have you had your vaccination yet? = Sind Sie schon geimpft? Haben Sie sich schon impfen lassen? Bist du schon geimpft? Hast du dich schon impfen lassen?



If you enjoyed this article have a look at our article on social distancing in foreign languages.


PLS are a language training provider based in London who are currently providing online lessons to a variety of corporate and government clientsGet in touch today to discover how we can help you or your colleagues reach your language learning goals.


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