As I was watching the Sweden-Ukraine game last week and simultaneously getting my heart broken into ten thousand tiny pieces (we didn’t do so well), I was also realizing that it can be really hard to watch a soccer game with friends without knowing WHAT ON EARTH THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT.
I don’t know why SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) doesn’t cover soccer vocabulary because it is obviously an extremely necessary set of words if you want to be able to hold a conversation any time in the month of June.
Also, since I’m probably already attracting derision from 85% of the readers of this post:
Yes, I am aware that you call it football in your language. Yes, I am aware that you play it with your feet. No, I do not care. I am American and I will continue to use my American words because that’s just how it comes out.
If I switch from saying “soccer” to “football” then I’ll have to start saying “pitch” instead of “field;” otherwise, the inconsistency will make me sound like an idiot.
Do you know how much work it would be to be like, What’s with their uniforms, I MEAN KIT or, in another situation, GET HIM!! I mean, tally-ho old chap, you might want to give defense a try one of these days. It would be a lot of work.
Also, I just don’t care about the football-soccer name debate. I’m just tired of people trying to debate it with me as though they have any chance of changing my mind.
Out of respect to the British English enthusiasts all over the world, however, I have included their terminology to the extent that I know it. Feel free to fill in the holes where necessary.
End of discussion.
Anyway, back to the terminology. Sweden did not play very well in their last game, and tonight they are playing England, which is by most accounts a far better team than Ukraine.
They are going to need your help.
So expats in Sweden, bone up on your Swedish today in preparation for the match tonight. And don’t forget the most important phrase of all: HEJA SVERIGE!!
ZLATAN! Sweden's best and most important player. Photo: Kate Reuterswärd
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