May 14, 2018

Allergies in Chinese

It’s Spring and it’s a beautiful season. The long, dark, wintery months are finally gone and we are ready to enjoy the rebirth of nature. The days are getting longer and it starts to feel warmer. Birdsong reaches a peak during this season, hibernating animals comes out of their winter sleep, wildflowers bloom. Everything returns to a state of lush greens and vibrant colors, but, wait…Achoo!

While focusing on all the positive aspects of Spring there’s one small detail we forgot to mention…Allergies!

Starting from Spring allergies, let’s learn how to talk about the most common allergies in Chinese!

The word for “allergic” and also “allergy” in Chinese is 過敏 / 过敏 (guò mǐn) so it can be both a noun or a verb. Of course, if you want to say “I have a skin allergy” you would say “我有皮膚過敏 / 我有皮肤过敏” (Wǒ yǒu pífū guòmǐn), if you want to say “I am allergic to something”, to dust, for example, you would say “我對灰塵過敏 / 我对灰尘过敏” (Wǒ duì huīchén guòmǐn), literally “ I + 對/ to + 灰塵/灰尘 dust + 過敏/过敏 allergic”.

Therefore, if you want to say you are allergic to pollen in Chinese you’d say “我對花粉過敏 / 我对花粉过敏” (Wǒ duì huāfěn guòmǐn); pollen in Chinese is literally flower powder = (huā) flower + (fěn) powder.

Another common allergy typical of Springtime is the “hay fever” (allergic rhinitis) this allergy characterized by a runny nose 鼻涕 (liú bítì) “to flow”+ 鼻涕 “nasal mucus”, sneezing 打噴嚏 / 打喷嚏(dǎ pēntì), and stuffy nose 鼻塞 (bísè). “Hay fever” in Chinese is “花粉症” (huāfěn zhèng). The character (zhèng) is used for any kind of disease or illness.

One last thing you might need to know:

During classes, when foreign students ask, teachers usually say that the Mandarin version of “Bless you” 一百岁 (Yībǎi suì) which literally means “one hundred years”, as to wish to the one who sneezed to live 100 years, cause, as we know sneezing cuts years off your life!

We hope our post was useful for you.

This blog post was brought to you by LTL Mandarin School” with the LTL Mandarin School linked to

By Mariantonietta Fornabaio | A Super Chineasian

Marie is an Italian national currently living in Spain. She has years of experience living in China and enjoys studying Chinese avidly.

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