In this sentence, faire une radio means take an x-ray in English.

Il va faire une radio.

He is going to take an X-ray.

Now I wonder then how to express the literal make a radio in French? Does it all depend on the actual context, or is there any other idiom to express it?

  • @Toto Ah, sorry, originally I was going to ask a different question yesterday, but it was solved without asking. Today, I forgot to change the title from the saved one.
    – Blaszard
    Jan 22 '19 at 14:38

There is no idiom for "make a radio" out of medical context, but I don't think it's used a lot in English either, is it?

You can either say "faire une radio" and people will understand it from context, or depending on the context:

Créer une radio

if you start your own online radio, or:

Fabriquer une radio

if you're building a radio in your workshop.

  • Doh, j'avais vraiment pas compris la question...
    – jlliagre
    Jan 22 '19 at 16:58
  • 2
    Faire une radio might also mean passer à la radio.
    – jlliagre
    Jan 22 '19 at 17:53

To translate what the patient undergoes, and in addition to the already suggested:

Il va passer une radio.

Il va faire une radio.

another (albeit rarer and colloquial) expression is:

Il va se faire prendre une radio.

If you look for a potentially humorous alternative, you might also use the ambiguous:

Il va passer à la radio.

Note that faire une radio can equally mean what the doctor does to the patient.

The latter can unambiguously be expressed that way:

Il va prendre une radio.

Il va faire passer une radio.

  • I'm not really sure that "Il va se faire prendre une radio" is a correct expression. Or in a very familiar language maybe. Jan 22 '19 at 15:36
  • @RémiHenry It is rarer and colloquial indeed.
    – jlliagre
    Jan 22 '19 at 15:39
  • 1
    Je pense pas que ce soit la question. Ça m'a plutôt l'air d'un truc du genre "Si (A)[en] se dit dit (B)[fr], comment on dit (B)[en] en français ?" Jan 22 '19 at 16:00

The usual verb is "passer" (passer une radio).


The original sentence in French would be

Il va passer une radiographie

But it is more usual and familiar to say

Il va faire une radio

  • Sorry, the last one is not about the question. Please checking the comment to the post.
    – Blaszard
    Jan 22 '19 at 14:39
  • And so now, the standard is both are "faire une radio" and the meaning should be dependent on the actual context?
    – Blaszard
    Jan 22 '19 at 14:41
  • Ok, i'm editing the 2nd exemple right away. "Il va faire une radio" is more used orally, meanwhile "Il va passer une radiographie" is most likely used in writing, like in medical reports. But they have exactly the same meaning. Jan 22 '19 at 15:00
  • 1
    Too late but anyway : écrire des deux mains is the literary / standard French expression while écrire avec les deux mains is a colloquial spoken French alternative.
    – jlliagre
    Jan 22 '19 at 15:07

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