Polish Vocab for Euro 2012… and Some Polish Football Wisdom

A few words and phrases to help you discuss the beautiful game with the locals:

Football – Piłka nożna (pew-ka noz-na [the ‘z’ is pronounced like the ‘J’ in the French name Jacques]

We was robbed! – Zostaliśmy okradzeni (zo-stal-eesh-mey okrad- zeni)

It’s a game of two halves – To gra mająca dwie połowy (toh gra may-on-say dvee-eh po-wov-eh)

Sick as a parrot – Chory jak papuga (horr-ah yak pap-ooga)

Looks strong on paper – Wygląda dobrze na papierze (vuh-glonda dob-zeh na pap-ee-air-zeh [the ‘z’s are pronounced like the ‘J’ in the French name Jacques]

It’s a funny old gameTo dziwna gra (toh jiv-nah [‘j’ as in ‘James’] gra)

Offside! – Spalony (spa-lon-eh)

…And some well-known Polish football wisdom:

Mecz można wygrać, przegrać lub zremisować.
A match can end in a win, a loss, or a draw.

Piłka jest okrągła, a bramki są dwie.
The ball is round and there are two goals.

Praca trenera jest jak molo – kiedyś się kończy.
Coaching is like a pier – eventually it comes to an end.

Dopóki piłka w grze, wszystko jest możliwe.
As long as the ball is in play, anything is possible.

Tak się gra, jak przeciwnik pozwala.
You can only play the way the other team lets you play.

Nasza reprezentacja gra bosko – Bóg jeden wie, jak zagra.
Our team plays divinely – only God knows how.

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4 thoughts on “Polish Vocab for Euro 2012… and Some Polish Football Wisdom

  • June 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Hello Mr. stokes,

    I am a journalist from China, and right now I am in warsaw corvering Euro 2012. I read your article about racists and jewish people living in Poland and BBC documentary, which I am really interested in. If it is possible, I would like to go to Krakow to have a chat with you. I also would like to do an interview with Jonathan Ornstein with your kind help.

    My cellphone number in Poland is 537050771, please call me if you see this.

    Thanks and best wishes.

  • June 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Good idea to provide a few vocabulary items for Euro 2012, but what has ‘We was robbed’ got to do with it? It suggests that you can easily get robbed in Poland while you are here for Euro and I think it’s not very nice to give such impression, especially that it’s not true.

    • June 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      Zuzanna, relax. ‘We was robbed’ is a common expression used in the UK about football matches in which a bad refereeing decision has been made – in other words ‘we were robbed of the victory/goal’ The other phrases in the list are also footballing cliches.

  • June 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Churchill and Curzon robbed us big time.


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