Five Things You Can Shout When Germany Is Playing Football

Guys, here's something you may not know about me: I go CRAZY when the football (soccer) World or European Cup rolls round. For a German living in England, I am completely reckless in my support of die deutsche Elf  ("the German eleven" - if you don't know that a soccer/football team has 11 players, this is not your article!).

german football vocabulary

I have my team jersey on order, I may even drink beer, and I am totally ready to go and support Özil, Hummels and Schweinsteiger in my local English pub. Inspired by this fun little football phrase generator from German newspaper Der Spiegel, here are five great things you can learn to shout in support of Deutschland.


Schiri stands for "Schiedsrichter" (referee) - there is of course a feminine version of this job title ("Schiedsrichterin"), but to make it easier on everyone to pronounce and holler at the screen, Schiri is the one to use.

This is one to shout out with passion whenever you hear the ref's whistle, favourably if it's an unfair decision or a foul. Don't forget to pronounce those exclamation points.

Deutschland vor, noch ein Tor

A classic chant that every German schoolkid can produce. Often you'll hear this one with a particular player's name instead of "Deutschland" - for example we could name Germany's lone striker Miroslav Klose: Miro vor, noch ein Tor!

Before you shout this one with passion though, wait until Germany's got the first goal in: noch ein translates to "another".

Das war kein Abseits!

Do you know your offside trap? Yes, me too. Every woman has had to learn this to prove her worth, in some kind of misogynist conspiracay of football fans...but I digress! Abseits (neuter) is the German word for offside, and this phrase is a great one to say with a knowing nod when you're out in the Biergarten with your friends.

Die Spieler sind schwach wie Flasche leer

Deutsch ist schwer, by now you probably know that, right? German isn't the easiest language to master, but the key thing is to get your message across. No football coach ever did a better job of this than Giovanni Trappatoni in the 90s, when he went on a beautiful rant at a Bayern Munich press conference. Die Spieler sind schwach wie Flasche leer ("the players are weak like bottles empty") might not be grammatically right, but it is the perfect reaction when you think your team really needs to kick into gear.

That above, by the way, that is the greatest example of immersion.

Das Runde muss ins Eckige

I used to have this on my favourite t-shirt many years ago and always wore it with pride. "The round thing must go into the square thing" is a classic quote from German football hero Sepp Herberger. Along with his other famous "Der Ball ist rund und das Spiel dauert 90 Minuten.", the quote represents Germany's no-nonsense approach to football. Our team isn't known for beautiful arty moves like the Brazilians - but hopefully it will get the job done!

This is it from me for today - I wish all your teams good luck in the World Cup. Let's hope Gary Lineker is right:

Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.

And if you want to get into the mood with a German football movie, why not watch Deutschland - Ein Sommermärchen, or Das Wunder von Bern?

Thanks for reading this article on Fluent - The Language Learning Blog.