Sport: Learn football lingo from around the world!




Common football phrases have been translated into different languages for fans who are looking to expand their vocabulary while following football this winter. The most popular expressions used to describe the ‘beautiful game’ have been translated by an award winning team of linguists at Busuu, offering English football fans international lingo to shout at the TV during matches.

To get a better grasp at the competing nations’ culture and do a bit of language learning, fans are encouraged to familiarise themselves with international football talk. English fans can put their language skills to the test by learning how to say common phrases like “Foul!”, “They’ve bottled it!” and “Back of the net!” in Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic and French.

A spokesperson for Busuu said: “Watching sports in a different language allows you to combine a pastime you love with a more challenging activity, making it an enjoyable and effective approach to learning a new language. We encourage football fans to switch the match commentary to a language they’re trying to pick up, because this way their brain won’t associate learning with hard work, but instead they’ll absorb the expressions and jargon subconsciously.

“Even if acquiring a new language is not your goal, then learning to ‘speak football’ in a foreign language can be useful when you want to chat with international footie fans and impress your friends with foreign expressions while watching matches on the TV. There’s no doubt that it would make the entire room chuckle if instead of “Man on!” you shouted “Achtund, Hintermann!” at the TV.”

Here’s Busuu’s list of popular football lingo in different languages:

EnglishGermanItalianArabicArabic phoneticSpanishFrench
Goal!Tor!Gol!هدف!Hadaf!¡Gol!But !
Red card!Rote Karte!Cartellino rossoبطاقة حمراء!Bitaqa hamra’a!¡Roja!Carton rouge !
Offside!Abseits!Fuorigioco!تسلل!Tasalol!¡Fuera de juego!Hors jeu !
Referee!Schiri!Arbitro!حكم!Hakam!¡Árbitro!Arbitre !
They’ve bottled it!Sie haben die Führung verspielt!Si sono messi paura!لقد ضيعوا الفرصة في اللحظة الأخيرة!Laqad dya’oo alforsa fi allahtha alakheera!¡Han perdido el liderazgo!Ils ont perdu l’avantage !
Man on!Achtung, Hintermann!Marcatura!احمِ الكرة!Ehmi alkorah!¡Detrás de ti!Tu es marqué !
Back of the net!Volltreffer!In fondo alla rete!هدف رائع!Hadaf rae’a!¡Al fondo de la red!Droit au but !
Come on!Jetzt aber!Forza!هيا!Haya!¡Vamos!Allez !
Foul!Foul!Fallo!مخالفة!Mokhalafah!¡Falta!Faute !

Steve Legg

Steve is a British speaker, author and founder of The Breakout Trust, a Christian mission organisation based in Littlehampton on the south coast of England. Since 1988 he has travelled the length and breadth of the UK and 30 countries overseas, covering a staggering 1.5 million miles on the road, using a crazy mix of comedy, trickery and mystery to communicate the Christian message to young and old. He has performed at top venues globally including NIA Birmingham, Wembley Arena and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Radio and TV appearances are in the hundreds. His passion is creative communication of the Christian faith through performances, books, DVD’s and other resources. The author of 17 books, these days when he’s not on the road, much of his time is spent on the groundbreaking men’s Christian lifestyle magazine, Sorted.

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