j'ai mal au ventre et à l'estomac

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by novare, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. novare New Member

    Cape Town
    South Africa/English
    Hi, plse translate, J' ai mal au ventre et a l'estomac, is ventre and l'estomac not the same thing?? :confused:
  2. Helene Member

    Born US with French parents
    In France you seldom hear "j'ai mal à l'estomac" (it happens though) there has to be a difference but in everyday life we generally just say "j'ai mal au ventre"...
    In English it's : I have a stomach ache or My stomach aches
  3. walnut

    walnut Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Hi! If I'm not wrong estomac means stomach while ventre is more indefinite, you can use it for stomach or belly.

    Ciao! Walnut
  4. Helene Member

    Born US with French parents
    I think you're right, but the thing is, in English you say "stomach ache" and never "belly ache" and in French "mal au ventre" and almost never "mal à l'estomac"...

    It's not very logical, but that's the way it is... perhaps in Italian it's more sensible !! :)

  5. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    I don't want to bellyache too much about this, but people certainly do talk about having a bellyache in English -- though "stomach ache" (thought to be less "vulgar") is much more commonly used, even when the pain is not in the stomach. Doctors, though, refer to "bellyache".

  6. beri Senior Member

    I beg to differ!
    "mal a lestomac" is not that rare! just more used by major people, I think.
  7. Lucas Senior Member

    France, français
    I agree. And they also say mal aux reins to mean mal au dos. (back ache :confused: )
  8. Helene Member

    Born US with French parents
    I didn't know that bellyache was that much used... it might be the case in the UK (i only had the opportunity to go there twice... and therefore am more familiar with American-english where I more commonly hear stomach-ache... but then, even there I might be wrong... oh well, if so, someone wil correct me and in the end i'll learn something new)
    Still, I just looked up in the wordreference dictionary and for both mal au ventre and estomac they put stomach ache.
    For the ventre-estomac issue... i agree you can say both... maybe it's just me (and apparently it is...) but as far as i can remember, i never really use : "j'ai mal à l'estomac"... But then, it doesn't really matter since both work.
  9. clavie Member

    Canada - french
    "Mal au ventre" would be used for a more indefinite ache: a woman will use it when she has pain because of her period : j'ai mal au ventre
    A child will say that when he does not feel good, but cannot express what is wrong exactly.
    We use that general sense when we just do not feel well in the "tummy"
    Here in Québec, we use "mal à l'estomac" when we feel that burning sensation in the stomach.

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