How to Watch Football Like a German Posted by Constanze on Jun 30, 2014 in Culture, Language, Traditions
Tonight we’ll see the tense football match between Germany and Algeria. It’ll be the first time these teams have played one another since the controversy of the 1982 World Cup, which was claimed to have been “fixed” so that Germany and Austria would go through to the next round at Algeria’s expense (Click here to read more!).
With all of the politics behind it, there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a good game. So I thought I’d do a little football post for everyone who wants to cheer for Germany tonight (or maybe I’m only doing it to wind up my Algerian husband)!
Please take it as a bit of light-hearted, topical language learning. 🙂
SOME BASIC VOCABULARY
Schießen – The verb meaning “to shoot”
Das Tor – The goal
Ein Tor schießen – To score a goal
Der Fußball – Football (both the game and the ball itself)
Die Mannschaft – Football team
Das Foul – Foul
Das Eigentor – Own goal
Die Weltmeisterschaft – The World Cup!
SOME (SLIGHTLY) MORE ADVANCED VOCABULARY
Die Ampelkarte: A ‘traffic light’ card. This refers to a second yellow card, followed by a red one.
Das Traumtor: This translates to “dream goal” and refers to those perfect goals that couldn’t have gone any better.
Der Hexenkessel – Literally translated to “witch’s cauldron”, this interesting word refers to an unfriendly stadium atmosphere – usually the opponent’s home stadium
Der Elfmeter – Penalty kick. Literally translates to “eleven meter” – the distance from which you take a penalty kick. Don’t you love how literal German is?
GERMAN FOOTBALL SAYINGS
Wenn das Leder im Kasten klingelt – Literally “when the leather jingles in the box” meaning “when the football jingles in the goal” – scoring a goal!
Den Ball im Tor versenken – Literally “to sink the ball into the goal” – to score a goal
Schlachtgesänge – Football songs. Literally translates to “battle chants”! One example is “Steh auf, wenn du ein Deutscher bist” (“Stand up if you’re a German/supporting Germany”) sung to the tune of “Go west” by Pet Shop Boys. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find that song on YouTube. But if the following video is anything to go by, German football fans seem to prefer chants, rather than entire songs. They also seem to like jumping an awful lot…
THINGS TO SHOUT AT THE SCREEN
Ran an die Pille! – Go for the ball!
Tor! Tor! – Goal! Goal!
Auf geht’s, Deutschland,schießt ein Tor! – Come on, Germany, score a goal!
Der Schiedsrichter braucht einen Blindenstock! – The referee needs a white cane! (insulting the referee; calling him blind)
Schiri!!!!!! – The referee. Short for “Schiedsrichter” (or “Schiedsrichterin”, the female equivalent). You can shout this at the TV whenever the referee blows their whistle for an unfair reason!
Das war kein Abseits!!! – That was not offside!! This little phrase is impressive to show you know your offside rule – and in German, at that!
Komm schon, mein Sohn!!! – OK, I made this one up myself, as a literal translation of the English football expression “Go on, my son!” It doesn’t sound quite as aggressive in German as it does in English. But you could still say it.
That concludes my list of German football vocabulary. To all of you who are watching the game tonight in support of Germany, I hope you now feel confident enough to cheer on the team like a native. But whoever you’re supporting, remember: Es ist nur ein Spiel! (It is only a game!)
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