tonsillitis, rhinitis, tinnitus
As a ESL learner, I'm trying to get a sense if I should learn these and many other medical terms. Obviously I'm very unfamiliar with these terms. I wonder if high school students or college students in the States would know these words.
High school students in my Country, which is China, would all know the chinese terms for them. Not that we know the medical in-and-outs about it. But we would know what we're talking about.
Let me put it this way, if a doctor tells ten Chinese high-school kids that 'you have rhinitis', about 10 out 10 of them wouldn't ask "what's that?" What would the number be if a doctor tells ten American high-school students? What about college students?
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ruthless filted:
tonsillitis, rhinitis, tinnitus Let me put it this way, if a doctor tells ten Chinese high-school kids that 'you have ... ask "what's that?" What would the number be if a doctor tells ten American high-school students? What about college students?

If a doctor tells ten American high-school students (or ten older Americans) "you have tonsillitis", I'd say eight or nine of them would understand it immediately...the numbers are just about reversed for rhinitis..

And if a doctor tells an American "you have tinnitus", the American will probably answer "Huh?"...r
tonsillitis, rhinitis, tinnitus As a ESL learner, I'm trying to get a sense if I should learn these and many ... ask "what's that?" What would the number be if a doctor tells ten American high-school students? What about college students?

An American would use the term "hay fever" and not "rhinitis". There's no reason to apply a medical term to a common condition for ordinary use.
"Tonsillitis" would be generally known and recognized because it's a specific condition that doesn't have a synonymous common term, and it's a condition that most young people have either had or have been around other people that have had the condition.
"Tinnitus" would probably not be known by young people because it's not a condition normally found in young people. Older people would be more likely to know the word. A young person would use "ringing in the ears" to describe the condition.
If your question is "Are these terms taught in schools?", the answer is "no" unless the student has taken a course in medicine or medical terminology.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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tonsillitis, rhinitis, tinnitus As a ESL learner, I'm trying to get a sense if I should learn these and many ... ask "what's that?" What would the number be if a doctor tells ten American high-school students? What about college students?

I think non-American English-speaking teenagers would certainly know "tonsillitis", probably know "tinnitus", and very likely not know "rhinitis", for which lay people of all ages and levels of education use "a runny nose" or "a stuffy nose".

Mike.
tonsillitis, rhinitis, tinnitus As a ESL learner, I'm trying to ... doctor tells ten American high-school students? What about college students?

I think non-American English-speaking teenagers would certainlyknow "tonsillitis", probably know "tinnitus", and very likely not know "rhinitis", for which lay people of all ages and levels ofeducation use "a runny nose" or "a stuffy nose".

Addition after reading Tony's reply. Non-Americans of all ages would also say "hay fever" for "allergic rhinitis"; and I wouldn't expect many teenagers or many more adults to know the medical term.

Mike.
And if a doctor tells an American "you have tinnitus", the American will probably answer "Huh?"...r

A Brit might know better, but only because the Rt Hon Lord Ashley of Stoke (better known as Jack Ashley, MP) was/is a famous sufferer.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
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And if a doctor tells an American "you have tinnitus", the American will probably answer "Huh?"...r

A Brit might know better, but only because

Dat were a joke, son.

"Throw me that lipstick, darling, I wanna redo my stigmata."

+-Jennifer Saunders, "Absolutely Fabulous"
And if a doctor tells an American "you have tinnitus", the American will probably answer "Huh?"...r

A Brit might know better, but only because the Rt Hon Lord Ashley of Stoke (better known as Jack Ashley, MP) was/is a famous sufferer.

Wasn't the OP asking about college-age familiarity? I doubt if most 18-year-old Brits have heard of Jack Ashley.

Katy Jennison
spamtrap: remove the first two letters after the @
A Brit might know better, but only because the Rt Hon Lord Ashleyof Stoke (better known as Jack Ashley, MP) was/is a famous sufferer.

Wasn't the OP asking about college-age familiarity? I doubt ifmost 18-year-old Brits have heard of Jack Ashley.

More's the pity. The one honest man in Gomorrah, or wherever it was. Tomorrer? Glockamorra? (Yes, I know about the Dublin theatres: Sodom and Begorrah.)

Mike.
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