Soccer in any Language

I’m sure that it’s difficult for World Cup soccer players to hear each other over the vuvuzelas.  When the words do make it through that drone, they probably have a difficult time understanding their own teammates.  In many matches, they can only guess at what their opponents are saying.  Goal appears to be universal even if the O-sound has a slightly different shading from country to country. 

When we lived in Merano, Italy, I had a taste of this as I watched a team from my son’s club take on a local German speaking team.  The Italian coach would yell things like “Forza!” and “Dai!” (Loosely translated as “Strong!” and “Come on!”)   “Dai” sounds a lot like “Die!” so it took awhile for my American ears to get used to that. About the only word that I recognized from the German coach was “Schnell!” (Fast)   I used this experience for one scene in my girls’ soccer novel, DEFENDING IRENE. 

But if you’d like a taste of what it would feel to be coached by someone in a different language, you can click on this link for a story that appeared in Highlights back in 2006.

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