Thursday, July 3, 2014


Unless you've been trapped in cave for the last few weeks, you've been surrounded by the excitement of the Copa Mundial 2014.  And if you have been trapped in a cave and just recently managed to escape, it's not too late to get in on all the fun.

I know I'm a little late with this post, but you still have time to learn all the key words and phrases you need to enjoy the Mundial 2014.  I'm not going to try and teach you everything, just enough to get you into the conversation.

First things first, you have to look the part.  And in order to do that you need to wear la camisa de la selección of your favorite team.  And la selección refers to the countries national team.

Here's what Mexico's camisa looks like:

But maybe you should wear Colombia's since Mexico has been eliminated.

Now that you look the part, it's time to learn how to talk the talk.  Let's start with the basics.

If by some chance you don't know this, what we call soccer is called fútbol in the Spanish speaking world.

A game is called a partido.  And every partido needs two equipos (teams) which are composed of jugadores (players).  One player is a jugador, btw.

Fútbol is played on a cancha (soccer field) also called a campo.

There's a lot more vocabulary that I'm not going to cover here, but you can download this free PDF to catch up on what I left out.

And here's an interesting page where you can see the names of the positions in English, Spanish or French, and hear an audio with the correct pronunciation in each language.

Alright, now we get to the interesting stuff.

The first thing you're going to need to know is who's playing, and when.

¿Quién esta jugando?
Who's playing?

México juega contra los Estados Unidos
Mexico is playing against the United States

¿A qué hora es el partido?
What time is the game?

¿A qué hora es el partido de Colombia?
What time is the Colombia game?

If you're not watching the game in the comfort of your home, you may need to call and ask if your favorite restaurant or bar is showing the game.

¿Vas a poner el partido de Brasil el sábado?
Are you going to show the Brazil game on Saturday?

If you want to find out who's rooting for who, you'll find these phrases handy.

¿Por quien vas en el partido Agentina-Colombia? 
Who are you going for in the Argentina - Colombia game?

If you want to sound really, really Mexican, go with these.  And remember, these are Mexican expressions, so your buddies from Argentina or other countries may look at you funny if you say this to them.

¿Quién es tu gallo en el partido Agentina-Colombia? 
Who are you going for in the Argentina - Colombia game?

¿Quién es tu gallo para ganar la copa mundial?
Who's your pick to win the World Cup?

And to tell the world who you're rooting for, you can say:

Voy por Chile
I'm rooting for Chile

Of course you can just substitute your team name for Chile.

While you're watching the game here are a few things you can shout out.

¡Pásala,  pásala!
Pass it, pass it

Pásala is referring to the pelota o bola (ball) of course.

When a player or players are driving down field this is a good one to throw out.

¡Dale dale dale!
Go go go

¡Tira, tira!
Shoot, shoot

Since we're on the topic, tirar and disparar both mean to shoot, to kick the ball in an attempt to score.

¡Vamos Mexico!
Go Mexico!

¡Que cabezazo!
What a header!

El cabezazo que le paró el corazón a toda Argentina
The header that stopped the heart of Argentina

Don't know what a cabezazo is?  This will help.

A cabezazo is when you use your head to bounce the ball around.  Too many of those can't be good for you.  It's also the word you want if you need to refer to a good old-fashioned headbutt.

The real excitement in a partido de fútbol is when someone scores, so let's talk about that.

To score a goal is to meter un gol.  But when a goal is really impressive, it's a golazo.

¡Metió un golazo!
He scored an amazing goal!

Ingleterra acaba de meter un gol
England just scored a goal

Barcelona metió uno
Barcelona scored

¿Lo metió?
Did he score?

To miss a goal is to fallar.

¿Lo falló?
Did he miss it?

Now, when someone scores a goal, feel free to shout out ¡Gol!. But your sportscaster is going to one up you by shouting.....


If you want to hear what that sounds like, watch this short video.  It's actually a Geico commercial starring a very famous sportscaster in the world of fútbol, Andres Cantor.   And no, I'm not trying to get you to buy insurance.

IF you can't see the video, here's the direct link:

If you can beat that, you will be the hero of the bar.

Of course we need to be able to talk about who's winning or losing.  Here's what you need to keep up with the score.

¿Quién va ganado?
Who's winning?

México va ganando a Brasil
Mexico is beating Brazil

Real Madrid le va ganando 1 a 0 al Barcelona
Real Madrid is beating Barcelona 1 to 0

Están empatados
They're tied

¿Cómo va el partido?
What's the score?

¿Cómo va el marcador? 
What's the score?

España esta ganado Costa Rica
Spain is beating Costa Rica

You'll need these for after the game or to catch up on the things you missed.

¿Cómo fue el resultado?
What was the final score?

Alemania perdió
Germany lost

Grecia perdio contra Croacia
Greece lost to Croatia

¡Colombia ganó!
Colombia won!

Speaking of Colombia, they pasaron por los cuartos.

Pasar por los cuartos means they're moving on to the semi-finals.  Están en cuartos means they're in the semifinals.  The equipos lucky enough to get to the final (use your Spanish pronunciation) will become campeones (champions).

That's all I'm going to write about today, but it's more enough to get you started.  But I'm not done yet.

Here's a free beginner Spanish lesson about the mundial.

World Cup Lesson

The lesson was developed by Marcus Santamaria, the creator of Synergy Spanish and Shortcut to Spanish.  He's got some really great material for everyone, not just beginners.  You'll also find more free lessons if you poke around his sites.  Pay him a visit, my Spanish wouldn't be where it is today without his help.  

And lastly, you don't have to memorize all of the stuff you learned to today, if you have an android phone you can take your Spanish with you using my app, My Spanish Phrasebook.

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