Translating Food Allergies

 In Food, Language Learning, Travel Tips

My friend had a major mom scare last week. She handed her toddler son a pistachio nut. Within an hour he was vomiting and breaking out into red splotches. It was a terrifying experience for her and one that could have had tragic consequences. Thankfully he was OK after a dose of children’s allergy medicine but they are now facing a round of tests and a possible Epipen to counter any future attacks.

Food allergies are becoming too common among children. Allergic reactions in babies and toddlers can be terrifying. Having a family member that has to avoid certain foods is hard enough, but even more so if you dream about traveling. Knowing how to clearly tell a restaurant or host what you and your family can safely eat can be crucial. Reading labels even more so.

I’ve asked a few bilingual friends to help me translate the 8 most common food allergies along with two phrases everyone with allergies should learn.

Tip: Wherever you go be sure to have all of your allergies written out in the local language and alphabet. Print it out on flashcards to hand to a waiter if you are worried your pronunciation may be off. 

Kyoto, Japan

English

I am allergic to _____ / My child is allergic to _____

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Soy

Italian

Sono allergica a _____ / Mio figlio/ Mia figlia è allergico/allergica ____

  • al latte
  • all’uova
  • alle arachide
  • alle noce  o alla frutta secca
  • al pesce
  • al crostaceo
  • al grano
  • alla soia

German

Ich bin allergisch auf _____ / Mein Kind ist allergisch auf _____

  • Milch
  • Eier
  • Erdnüsse
  • Nüsse (Paranüsse, Haselnüsse, Mandeln und Walnüsse)
  • Fisch
  • Schalentiere
  • Weizen
  • Soja

French

Je suis allergique à _____ / Mon enfant est allergique à _____

  • (au) lait
  • (aux) œufs
  • (aux) cacahuètes
  • (aux) noix (noix du Brésil, noisettes, amandes et noix)
  • (aux) poissons
  • (aux) crustacés
  • (au) blé
  • (au) soja

Spanish

Soy alérgico(a) a _____ / Mi niño(a) es alérgico(a) a _____

  • la leche
  • los huevos
  • los cacahuates
  • Nueces (castañas, avellanas, almendras y nueces de castilla)
  • pescado
  • mariscos
  • trigo
  • soya

Polish

Jestem uczulony na _____ / Moje dziecko jest uczulone na _____

  • mleko
  • jajka
  • orzeszki ziemne
  • orzechy (orzechy brazylijskie, orzechy laskowe, migdały i orzechy włoskie)
  • rybę
  • skorupiaki
  • pszenicę
  • soja

Romanian

Eu sunt alergic la _____ / Copilul meu este alergic la _____

  • Lapte
  • Oua
  • Arahide
  • alune, migdale, nuci
  • Peşte
  • Crustacee
  • Grâu
  • Soia

Chinese (Mandarin)

我對_______過敏.  /  我的孩子對________過敏.

  • 牛奶
  • 雞蛋
  • 花生
  • 米堅果(巴西堅果,榛子,杏仁 和 胡桃)
  • 貝類
  • 小麥
  • 黃豆 

Japanese

私は以下の食品に対しアレルギーがあります。____

私の子供は以下の食品に対しアレルギーがあります。____

  •  牛乳
  • タマゴ
  • ピーナッツ
  • 木の実(ブラジルナッツ、ヘイゼルナッツ、アーモンド、クルミ)
  • 甲殻類、貝類
  •  小麦
  • 大豆

Other Resources

I am grateful that my boys don’t have a food allergy yet. I have a soy allergy, but it is not a life threatening, just really itchy and annoying. Not every family is so lucky. Hopefully with a little language prep, a talk with your doctor, an EpiPen and allergy meds in tow you will still be able to get out and explore the world and some of the wonderful flavors it has to offer.

Do you have a tip to share? Link up below to spread your travel knowledge with new and seasoned travelers escaping across the globe. 

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Showing 6 comments
  • Mom

    This is super information on two counts. It reminds big people that little people really can’t speak up for themselves about their needs. And, to help the adults in their lives be prepared to care for their needs in several different languages is phenomenal and super helpful!

  • Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with food allergies in our household, but I know other families that do and this is a great resource for them. Severe allergies can be really scary.

    Thanks for hosting Travel Tips Tuesday. Have a great week!

  • This is fantastic, Keryn! My little one has a severe allergy to bananas, so we tote an epipen everywhere we go. I’m going to print out and laminate your translations for use during travel. Thanks so much!

    • © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels

      I’m so glad it was helpful! I’m sorry you have to deal with a banana allergy though. Such a common food people hand to kids. Not fun! But I know it doesn’t stop you 🙂

      • © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels

        PS- I’m working on getting it translated into Arabic and Japanese. I’ll let you know when it is up.

  • elisssssabeth

    How about corn, sesame, mustard, rice, peas…?

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