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The Set: 7 Words For Non-German Speakers To Know

Flaggy Teaches

I am going through the process of learning German and while finding the toilet is always nice, it really doesn’t help when it comes to the reason I want to learn the language: Fußball. So here are seven random words for you who don’t know German to learn. You will come across them on occasion. And if not written by me, there’s a good chance they will be used properly.

1. Tor) This is a goal and the name of the definitive English language book on the German game by Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger. Hertha Berlin’s sensitive fans need not learn the word as it a fairly meaningless concept to them, like teaching a dog the word for galaxy. Sure they can look up and see one in the sky, but when your biggest thrill is smelling your own crack, there’s little point.

2. Hinrunde/Rückrunde) The Bundesliga is split evenly by a very long winter break. So the first 17 games are called the Hinrunde. The second half of the season is the Rückrunde. The winter break is just called “Annoying”.

3. Meisterschaft) Championship! An approximation of the compound word is top team, although it works equally well in a cruder translation for Bayern Munich as they are a bunch of cock monkeys (schaft has the same connotation in English and German).

4. Dreierkette) This is a defense with a three-man back-line. Why is this important? Because it was the standard until, a then 40 year old, Ralf Rangnick introduced a flat back four to the Bundesliga. It is called the Veierkette and Klinsmann has been known to club baby seals at it’s uttering.

5. Jack Wolfskin) This is literally a crazy man living in the Black Forest who is into skinning wolves and self-promotion. Okay….it’s a sporting good’s chain that you see advertised everywhere. But admit it, you wanted to believe my story.

6. Punkte) Points! But many KSC supporters will feel that Ashton Kushter is Punkte-ng them at the moment.

7. Torschützenkönig) While Torjäger means goal scorer and you will see tables referring to the top goal tally under the banner of that name, the title at season’s end is called Torschützenkönig. It’s also a term that roughly translates into “Nice job, but you ain’t Gerd fucking Muller, are you?”

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  1. Double Pivot

    March 19, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Fsquid is completely right. Great book and truly will detail things you had no idea about unless you grew up with the league.

    Like why there was no professional league until the 60’s, how the Nazi era led to a lot of Rot-Weiss because of extra flags, etc.

    And thanks Horhay. I do hope everyone realized it was just for fun and my digs at Bayern, KSC and Hertha were only in jest.

  2. Fsquid

    March 19, 2009 at 10:31 am

    By the way, if anyone hasn’t read Tor! you really should. It is an excellent book.

  3. Horhay

    March 19, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Great Article, DP. I couldn’t pronounce any of the words but it was fun trying and reading your explanations. My favorite is Meisterschaft.

  4. 4alpha

    March 18, 2009 at 7:24 am

    @The Gaffer: Most probably you mean “Mannschaft”. This simply means “team”. The only other possibility is “Gemeinschaft”, which menas “community”.

    Regarding the article… “Veierkette” is wrong, I think “Viererkette” is ment. Actually, this is a funny mistake for somebody who speaks German, because “Veierkette” would be pronounced just like “Feierkette” (Feier = party).

  5. diana

    March 17, 2009 at 4:44 am

    It’s alright, Mark. But you really reminded me of my former English teacher! 🙂

    Ah…how I remembered the days when she used to ‘break’ up the word she was teaching us to pronounce. 😛 It might had given me the occasional nightmares back then but, it was only years later, I realised why she used to make a big fuss over it. A cliche, but true.

  6. Mark

    March 17, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Actually, Diana, let me try one more time… Tor-schütz-en-kö-nig, so… Toor (the ‘oor’ like in door) shouldts (still like should, but with a hard ts attached) en kir (like in bird) nich (a soft ch, like the hissing of a voiced h in huge).

    I’m glad I don’t try to teach full-time!

  7. Mark

    March 16, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Diana – Tor-schüt-zen-kö-nig, so… Toor (the ‘oor’ like in door) should tsen kir (like in ‘bird’) nik

    Gaffer – Let me preface this with a “I’m not completely sure, because I wasn’t there” but if it was ‘Meinschaft’ my initial thought is a play on the word ‘Mannschaft,’ which means team. ‘Meinschaft’ in this sense would be a pun of ‘my team.’ Just a thought.

  8. The Gaffer

    March 16, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Dumb question, but what is the correct meaning of the world ‘meinschaft’?

    When I was in Switzerland last summer for Euro 2008, I was watching Austrian TV footage of one of their matches. It seemed that the analysts kept repeating the word ‘meinschaft’ every few seconds.

    The Gaffer

  9. Double Pivot

    March 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    pronounce it fast. That’s my method. I learn it to read more than write

  10. diana

    March 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    DP, I will like to ask, how do you pronounce the last one you suggested? If I want to impress anyone with my knowledge of football in German, I do not want to have egg in my face if I realise I pronounce it wrongly.

    Or maybe again, it goes back to the days when I used to have an English teacher who is particular on how we pronounce words, as much as how we stress them. It was always stressful during English classes whenever she called anyone of us to read a passage aloud. I should know, because I was once reprimanded by her, in front of the class, on how I read the passage. This was after I finished it. And it happened 11 years ago. You would not want to know how she commended on my reading after I finished it. But then, whatever she said reminded me that there is even a technique to reading aloud.

    Anyhow, I’m surprised I did not see ‘Abseit’ over in the list. Offside! Oh, just the offside rule is enough to make me go dizzy.

    One thing which fascinates me about the German language is that whatever is written in English in a handful of words, it becomes a word in German. Just take ‘Schadenfruede’ for example. And what I get from Wikitionary – ‘malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else’s misfortune’.

    Ah, tor. Back in the ‘early’ days (or rather, three years ago) when I was still struggling those German football terms I came across, I kept seeing ‘Tor’. It was then I found out it is ‘goal’.

    I can really go on and on of what I came across in my ‘early’ days but, if not for the fact of the 2006 World Cup…my interest in the German language would not had been rekindled since the days when I had to study History back in school. One section of the History textbook was on the Adolf Hitler era, and there was another section, but on post-WW2 Germany till the fall of the Berlin Wall. German terms I had to learn for the sake of it. Just three years after those History classes, the World Cup came along…and the rest is history. In a way, I can say in regards of the tournament rekindling my interest in German: Danke! 🙂

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