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A group of expats living in San Ramón, Costa Rica is polishing their Spanish skills with a new program to help non-Spanish speakers learn what to do during a medical emergency.  Since many ambulance drivers and medics in Costa Rica don’t speak English, a few important Spanish phrases can go a long way to saving a life.  A recent Tico Times article illustrates.

KEY PHRASES

It’s an emergency: “Es una emergencia”.
I need an ambulance: “Necesito una ambulancia”.
I don’t know what’s wrong: “No se cuál es el problema”.
Pain or ache: “dolor”

Heart attack: “ataque cardiaco”
Injury: “una herida”
Headache: “dolor de cabeza”
Bleeding: “sangrando”
Fever: “fiebre”
Swelling: “hinchazón”
Throbbing pain: “un dolor constante”.