I would like to know a couple of words so special about soccer even Google can't help me.

  1. What is the "gate" called (if you make the score, you kick the ball into the "gate". We call it "gate" (maybe door or front door) in Hungarian language. Maybe "net" or "goal" in English? Which is the right word?
  2. What do you say if somebody makes a score? (We say "He made a goal", "kicked in the goal", "kicked the ball into the gate", etc., but we rarely say "he made a score", because scores are for the final standing of the match, so teams make scores (0, 1 or 3) not players.
  3. We have the word labdabiztosság which is a special word in soccer to show the player's ability to be able to secure the ball and not lose it against the enemy easily. If somebody is labdabiztos it means he is not easy to dodge and have the ball taken away from him, so the ball is "secured" for his team. The literal translation is "ball security" (e.g. "This player is ball-secure".), but I don't think that's the phrase I'm looking for.
  4. Another word is gólveszélyes which means "how dangerous this player is for making a score, what the chance is that this player makes the score if he is in the right position (in front of the 'net')". Word-for-word my best shot is "goal-dangerous" or "score-dangerous".

How do you say these soccer skills and phrases in English?

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, p.s.w.g, MetaEd, Kate Gregory, Kristina Lopez Jul 19 '13 at 22:55

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  • 2
    You should know that British and American English often have different words for the same thing. For a start, very few British fans refer to the game as soccer. For them it is football. Other examples: BE - extra time, AE - overtime; BE - pitch, AE - field. There are more differences at: bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22633980. – Shoe Jul 14 '13 at 11:27
  • Shoe, that's a good point, considering that the sport in question is English and that in England and the rest of the UK, it is overwhelmingly known as football. – Tristan Jul 14 '13 at 14:06
  • 2
    @Tristan No, Tristan: soccer is not inherently “an English sport”, as you put it. – tchrist Jul 14 '13 at 14:27
  • 1
    tchrist, where do you think it comes from? – Tristan Jul 14 '13 at 14:33
  • 1
    tchrist, you could make an effort to read about the subject and learn about it. You may find it enlightening. As for what "bothers" me, I have not written anything about that. – Tristan Jul 14 '13 at 15:39
  1. 'Goal' is the correct word.
  2. 'He scored a goal' or simply 'He scored'.
  3. I don't believe there is an exactly equivalent single word in English. Such a player might possibly be described as 'strong', which also describes a player who stays on his feet in a tackle, or a player who pushes through the defence rather than going around them.
  4. Again, there's no single word, though there are some clichés. 'Dangerous' is one word, similar to the Hungarian. Such a player might also be referred to as 'deadly' or, if he's known for keeping cool under pressure, 'clinical'.
  • 1
    I'd say that #1 could also be net, although goal would be my primary choice. A referee might also talk about how the ball must cross the plane. As for #2, thanks to some rather infamous World Cup broadcasts in recent years, it's worth mentioning "Goooooooooooooooooooal!!" as an alternative. :^) Like you, I don't think there are exact translations for the last two. #3 could allude to solid footwork; if #4 is related to physical speed, there's always he has wheels, and likely other slang terms as well." – J.R. Jul 14 '13 at 9:05
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    You can't say "A is better than B" if A is only more deadly in one skill (for example scoring when in front of Goal) but B is a better player overall, meaning player B is better for the team overall, but player A is more capable of scoring a goal. – kissgyorgy Jul 14 '13 at 9:25
  • 4
    To add to what Elendil just said, dangerous is a word that's used not only in soccer, but all of sports. Baseball has dangerous hitters; American football has dangerous receivers; basketball and ice hockey have dangerous shooters, etc. – J.R. Jul 14 '13 at 9:26
  • 3
    So, Ed is a dangerous player would usually mean "Ed is more likely to score than his teammates," even though Ed made a dangerous play would mean that Ed is about to receive a yellow (if not red) card. Incidentally, this conversation is probably better suited for ELL, the StackExchange for English Language Learners, in case you haven't seen that place yet. – J.R. Jul 14 '13 at 9:33
  • 3
    "Deadly" would be one kind of overall good rating, but it makes sense mostly for offensive weapons ("He is a deadly shooter"). Ed might be a deadly shooter, but teammate Ted might be a solid defender, Ned a skilled dribbler, and Red an uncannily accurate passer. One other word you might consider is freak, short for freak of nature, occasionally applied to players with raw athletic talent, such as Abby Wambach. – J.R. Jul 14 '13 at 11:02

This website should answer your questions: Learning English Through Football.

The following text is from the homepage:

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at languagecaster.com

  • Unfortunately, every link of this website is giving me a white blank page. :( – kissgyorgy Jul 14 '13 at 8:53
  • The pages take a long time to load, but the content is very good. – Shoe Jul 14 '13 at 8:58
  • Link-only answers are really poor as answers. Could you please summarize the content? – tchrist Jul 14 '13 at 14:32
  • @tchrist. The content is too voluminous to summarize, but I have edited my answer to include information from the website's homepage. – Shoe Jul 14 '13 at 14:53

The term "sniper" is used frequently by Canadian broadcasters to describe hockey players with a fast accurate shot on goal (or net). I think the term would transfer easily to an English-speaking soccer audience, though I don't follow soccer avidly enough to know if it is currently used. I believe that would meet your requirements for number 4.

Although it doesn't convert into a noun or adjective easily, a player who protects the ball/puck well for his team might be referred to "hoarding" it. However, perhaps because it is too similar sounding to "ball hog", I cannot imagine a player being referred to as a "ball hoarder", unless the inference was intended that this instinct was selfish and thus detrimental to the team.

Also, English-speaking sports broadcaster pride themselves on their ability to generate a fast stream of metaphors for describing the play-by-play as well as the players, in order to avoid repeating themselves. Alliterative metaphors are particularly popular, even when mildly ridiculous.

Consequently, I believe that almost any metaphor that you translate from another language will be accepted by English readers, and that you can use your choice of metaphors used by different speakers as a means of characterization for those speakers.

  • I tend to hear "sniper" used in soccer mostly to describe what happened to players who fall down for no apparent reason. :-) – T.E.D. Jul 19 '13 at 12:30
  • Interesting. Do you know why? It seems an unusual use of the word. – Pieter Geerkens Jul 19 '13 at 13:08
  • Well, there has to be some reason that person fell down. Taken down by a sniper seems as good an explanation as any other. – T.E.D. Jul 19 '13 at 13:19
  • Doesn't that confuse the agent and target? – Pieter Geerkens Jul 19 '13 at 13:21

Probably your best bet for learning all this would be to catch an English language broadcast for the Premiere League next season.

  1. You are correct. "Goal" is most typical, but "net" is occasionally used as well.
  2. "Scored a goal" (or "scored"). Three in one game is a "hat trick". Occasionally for two in a game I've heard Brits say "scored a brace".
  3. We tend to call that "ball handling", or sometimes "possession".
  4. I don't think we have just one word for that. I do hear "dangerous" used a lot, particularly with respect to a certain area a player is said to be dangerous in (for instance, Gareth Bale is particularly dangerous at the top of the box with the ball on his left foot). Someone who is good at making runs, getting open, and doing unpredictable things with the ball is said to be "creative". Someone who is just plain fast is said to have "pace" (I seriously hate that term).

At a slight tangent, for a word that is 'special' in football is an English word that was first pushed into popular culture by football.

The noun 'bouncebackability' is originally believed to have been invented ( read used and as a result adopted) by Iain Dowie, the ex-player and now manager of Crystal Palace FC

The meaning 'The ability to bounce back'

The word was promoted by Soccer AM, a cult Sky football show shown on Saturday mornings, in an attempt to see it into the Oxford Concise Dictionary; which it now does.

A possible use 'Crystal Palace have shown great bouncebackability against their opponants to really be back in this game

Not a direct answer to your question but an interesting use of British language in football ( British English as oppose to American English etc as Im unsure how far and wide it is used)

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