Trips Off the Tongue: World Cup Edition

Q: Since we are in the middle of the World Cup football tournament, some of our readers might be interested in the vocabulary connected to the games.

A: Luckily enough, most Polish football-related words are just the same English words, only spelt differently. An example of this would be “gol” – the Polish spelling of goal. However, if you want to join the excited fan (kibic) crowd in a pub, you’ll need more. If a team wins (wygrać) the match (mecz), then the team’s victory (zwycięstwo) means the defeat (porażka) of the other. If both teams (drużyny – pl.) are good, the meeting (spotkanie) ends up in a draw (remis). You might also be asked “za kim jesteś?” which is a colloquial form of “komu kibicujesz?” (“which team do you support?”). The answer then is “jestem za” and then name the country in the instrumental case; for example, “jestem za Brazylią” (lit. “I’m for Brazil”) or “kibicuję” and the dative case, such as “kibicuję Anglii” (lit. “I’m rooting for England”). The word “dawaj!”, exclaimed by Poles when the match gets hot, means simply “go!” or “give it your all!”. The score (wynik) is pronounced as regular numbers, e.g. “dwa – zero” (2:0).

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