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  • Source Language Term

    Rollator noun med. noun


    walker noun Brit. coll.

    Examples/ definitions with source references

    Bei der englischen Pflege von meiner Mutter in Spanien heißt Rollator einfach nur "walker". Quelle hier:


    Da kann man mal sehen, wie weit leo entfernt ist vom Umgangssprachlichen. Auch bei "walker" auf leo gab's keine passende Übersetzung.

    Authorfelix48 (523299)  08 Mar 22, 14:13
    Ergebnisse aus dem Wörterbuch
    wheeled walking frameder Rollator  pl.: die Rollatoren
    rollator (Amer.) [MED.]der Rollator  pl.: die Rollatoren
    rollator walker (Amer.) [MED.]der Rollator  pl.: die Rollatoren
    4-wheeled walker [MED.]der Rollator  pl.: die Rollatoren
    walker [coll.] [MED.]der Rollator  pl.: die Rollatoren
    wheeled walker [MED.]der Rollator  pl.: die Rollatoren

    My mother used a walker for many years, both on her own and in a medical (long-term care) setting. It had 4 wheels, brakes, a seat, and a detachable basket for her stuff. There are many types of walkers, but it is the only term I ever heard used for it.

    Several English sites (e.g., Walmart) also use rollator, but I have never heard it used in speech.

    #1AuthorRES-can (330291) 08 Mar 22, 14:24
    There should be several threads in the archive on this. And yes, if all the options aren't in the dictionary, they should be.


    Rollator (de) = walker (AE) = Zimmer frame (BE)

    I agree that the existing entries are misleading. 'Rollator' is not used at all in English in my experience, and 'frame' is not used at all in AE.
    #2Authorhm -- us (236141)  08 Mar 22, 14:31
    Context/ examples

    From the link in the OP

    "A walker or walking frame is a tool for disabled or frail people, who need additional support to maintain balance or stability while walking, most commonly due to age-related physical restrictions. In the United Kingdom, a common equivalent term for a walker is Zimmer frame, a genericised trademark from Zimmer Biomet, a major manufacturer of such devices and joint replacement parts."


    "The basic design consists of a lightweight frame that is about waist high, approximately 12 inches (30 cm) deep and slightly wider than the user. [...] The front two legs of the walker may or may not have wheels attached, depending on the strength and abilities of the person using it."


    "Traditionally, a walker is picked up and placed a short distance ahead of the user. The user then walks to it and repeats the process. With the use of wheels and glides, the user may push the walker ahead as opposed to picking it up. This makes for easier use of the walker, as it does not require the user to use their arms to lift the walker. This is beneficial for those with little arm strength."


    "A different approach to the walker is the rollator, also called wheeled walker, invented by the Swede Aina Wifalk in 1978, herself a polio sufferer.[7][8] Although originally a brand name, "rollator" has become a genericized trademark for wheeled walkers in many countries, and is also the most common type of walker in several European countries.

    The rollator consists of a frame with three or four large wheels, handlebars and a built-in seat, which allows the user to stop and rest when needed. Rollators are also often equipped with a shopping basket. Rollators are typically more sophisticated than conventional walkers with wheels."

    And again, from a US source:

    What’s the Difference Between a Walker and a Rollator?


    The main difference between a walker and a rollator is that a walker is a frame with handles and legs that needs to be lifted for movement, whereas a rollator has wheels and is pushed. A walker allows a slower pace while a rollator, with three or four wheels, features hand-operated brakes and may have a seat to use when resting.:

    "A standard walker is a simple, lightweight device without wheels. A user must have enough arm strength to pick up the walker and move it forward one step at a time. Most therapists consider a standard walker the most stable solution for those needing a little extra help.

    Two-wheel walkers, which provider easier mobility, are also available for use by a person who doesn’t need quite as much support but is not stable enough to use a four-wheel rollator."


    Hi hm--us, there are indeed several threads in the archive but a Zimmer frame is not a Rollator.

    All Rollators (term sometimes also used in BE) may be called "walkers" but not all walkers are Rollators. The difference being that a Zimmer frame/walker does not usually have wheels or has two front wheels only and has to be lifted or slid into position. Rollators/(3- or 4-)wheeled walkers have wheels and can be pushed.

    "walker" is used as a short form in English for all types of walking aid but a Rollator in German is always a wheeled walker.

    Dictionary: wheeled walker

    #3AuthorMarianne (BE) (237471)  08 Mar 22, 14:55

    Slightly OT: Zimmer frames werden in Deutschland m.W. nicht so viel benutzt, aber es gibt sie: Sie heißen Gehgestell, Gehbock oder Gehrahmen (letzteres noch nicht im WöBu) , allgemein Gehhilfe (ohne Rollen/Räder) oder: Rollator ohne Rollen (-:

    #4AuthorNirak (264416)  08 Mar 22, 19:56
    All of that may be technically true, and the word 'rollator' may even sometimes be used by some AE doctors or physical therapists in their written notes or among themselves, I don't know.

    But the point RES makes in #1, in support of felix's point in the original post, is definitely true, which is why I wanted to support it, and why several of us evidently agree that the LEO entries as they stand are misleading when it comes to actual usage, at least in AE and in felix's experience with English speakers in Spain.

    Yes, those fancy four-wheeled walkers (with the hand brakes, basket, and seat) are very popular -- my dad also had one for a couple of years, as did many other people at the nursing home. But in my experience too, as RES said, they are simply also called walkers, just like the low-tech lightweight ones with only two wheels (and, often, two tennis balls). There's not a different or special word for them in normal everyday usage.

    That's the point that LEO seems to be missing: that 'frame' and 'rollator' just aren't used in (normal) English, in our experience in AE and perhaps elsewhere.

    #5Authorhm -- us (236141)  08 Mar 22, 21:05

    As I said in #3: "walker" is used as a short form in English for all types of walking aidso by all means add the entry to cover Rollator as well, even if not always strictly accurate in the EN>DE direction.

    #6AuthorMarianne (BE) (237471)  08 Mar 22, 21:46

    Ich hab' hier related discussion: walker - der Rollator mal einen Neuvorschlag gemacht; mal sehen, was daraus wird.

    #7AuthorMr Chekov (DE) (522758) 09 Mar 22, 10:08

    Den Inhalt des Pschyrembel zweifle ich für gewöhnlich ja nicht an ... aber :


       Maskulinum, Singular

       Synonym: Rollator, Rollgehhilfe

       Englisch: glider cane

    Fahrbare Gehhilfe aus Stahlrohr zur Geh- und Stehübung (zum verbesserten Halt auch mit Bauchring und Hose) sowie zur selbstständigen Fortbewegung bei Gleichgewichtsstörung und leichter Gangunsicherheit. ...

    ...die hier genannt englischsprachige Bezeichnung "glider cane" ist mir unbekannt ... eine G-Bildersuche zeigt da insbesondere ... Schaukelstühle ... dazu ein paar Hörnchen (sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps), Sciuridae, Nagetiere) ... aber keinerlei Gehhilfen ...

    #8Authorno me bré (700807)  09 Mar 22, 10:18

    I have mentioned several times previously that the English offerings in Pschyrembel leave a great deal to be desired and should not be accepted without question.

    #9AuthorMarianne (BE) (237471) 09 Mar 22, 10:57

    a walker is a frame with handles and legs that needs to be lifted for movement

    Ich würde fast behaupten, so ein Teil hätte ich (in Deutschland) noch nie gesehen. Ich kenne nur Rollatoren, meistens mit vier Rädern, manchmal auch drei.

    Das Wort "Gehhilfe" kennen ich nur als Fachausdruck für Krücke.

    #10Authorzacki (1263445) 10 Mar 22, 13:02


    From your comment in a previous thread, I take it you don’t have a background in the healthcare professions.

    Of course wheeled walkers are popular, easier and more convenient to use whenever possible – and that’s why people who are out and about almost exclusively have such models these days. Which is why they are all you and most other people will ever see and why they are simply called “walkers” colloquially.


    However, walkers without wheels are still used for patients who need to bear a significant amount of weight on the device (postoperative or post-traumatic recovery in hospital or at home) and in older people who are very unstable with a stick/crutch and who don’t have the ability to control a rolling walker (at home or in care homes). Speaking also from personal experience, my husband had Lewy body disease and was lethal with a wheeled model – a danger to both himself and anyone in the vicinity – so I was more than grateful for the old-fashioned Zimmer frame.

    IMHO therefore, and as initially proposed in the OP, the [coll.] flag needs to be added to the generic term “walker” when paired with Rollator.

    #11AuthorMarianne (BE) (237471)  11 Mar 22, 09:42

    Marianne, für welches Land gilt das denn? Ich kann nur für Deutschland sprechen. Ich bin auch nicht so oft in Krankenhäusern und Altenheimen unterwegs, vielleicht habe ich da solche frames with handles and legs that needs to be lifted for movement bisher übersehen, ich kenne da nur die mit Rädern. Vielleicht sind die auch nur sichtbarer und in die Räume wo zu Therapiezwecken geübt wird, kommt man als Besucher ja nicht rein.

    Ich hatte mal einen Mittelfußknochen gebrochen, da wurde mir eine "Gehhilfe" verschrieben. Das war eine ganz normale Krücke, nur eben fachmännisch benannt.

    #12Authorzacki (1263445) 11 Mar 22, 09:49


    If you look at my profile, you will see that I currently live in CH, so my experience lies there and the UK.

    I can't believe that some patients in Germany don't still need a non-wheeled walker, even though wheeled versions are ubiquitous.

    #13AuthorMarianne (BE) (237471) 11 Mar 22, 10:14
    Context/ examples

    #12: Gehhilfe ist ein Oberbegriff und umfasst weit mehr als nur "Unterarmgehstützen" (vulg. Krücke). Wenn ich nach "Gehhilfe" suche, bekomme ich als erstes folgende Bilder angezeicht:

    ein Gehgestell (ohne Räder), eine Unterarmgehstütze, zwei Rollatoren, einen Gehstock.

    Auf der Straße sieht man "Rollatoren ohne Rollen" nur selten, aber es gibt sie.

    #14AuthorNirak (264416) 11 Mar 22, 11:12

    Dieses Fadens eingedenk sprach ich gestern einer Britin gegenüber von einem wheeled walker und wurde direkt auf rollator korrigiert 😎.

    #15AuthorC3PO (877869) 13 Mar 22, 15:01

    Maybe by now, people are using it all over North America too and RES and I are just behind the times, who knows.

    I thought of trying to sum up the discussion so far, for the benefit of the Wrong Entry thread, and then thought better of it. Which is probably why the entries and descriptions have never been adjusted over the years during which the subject has come up. /-;

    Silly question: How do you pronounce 'rollator'? To rhyme with 'gator' or 'later,' but with the accent on 'roll'? (But like Äquator or Senator in German?)

    #16Authorhm -- us (236141)  13 Mar 22, 15:46

    @hm--us: Auf der zweiten Silbe: Rollator - wie 'Äquator', ja.

    #17AuthorBraunbärin (757733)  13 Mar 22, 16:02
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