Reaching your goals in English

    Ian McMaster
    Von Ian McMaster


    This week, the new UEFA Champions League season started. For those of you who don’t follow football, this is Europe’s top competitionWettkampfcompetition for clubs rather than countries.

    The winners of the Champions League for the past three times have been Real Madrid, who beat Atlético Madrid in 2016, Juventus Turin in 2017 and Liverpool this year.

    Real Madrid also won the first five finals of the predecessorVorgängerpredecessor competition — the European Cup — between 1956 and 1960. The 1960 final, in which Real trounce sb.jmdn. verhauen; hier etwa: niedermachentrounced Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in Glasgow, is rightyzu Rechtrightly regarded as one of the great games of all time.

    annoyance: to sb.‘s intensezu jmds. großer VerärgerungTo the intense annoyance of many football fans, the Champions League is no longer available on free-to-air televisionFree-TVfree-to-air television in Germany. The only (legal) ways to watch it are via the pay channel Sky or the British video streaming service DAZN (pronounced “Da-Zone”).

    As a DAZN subscriberAbonnent(in)subscriber, I was able to see Liverpool beat Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in a 3-2 thriller on Tuesday evening, a battle between two former Dortmund coachTrainer(in)coaches, Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel. As usual, “Kloppo” come out on topdie Oberhand habencame out on top.

    Klopp, who is enormously popular in Liverpool, is an excellent communicator in English. He doesn’t speak perfectly according to the rules of standard English, and sometimes he translates idiomatic expressions and idioms directly from German into English. But he rarely fails to get sth. acrossetw. rüberbringenget his message across and he creates excellent rapport(harmonische) Beziehung(en)rapport. Anyone using English for international business communication can learn a lot from him.

    Klopp is not alone as a foreign coach at English clubs — or “managers” as they have traditionally been called there. Of the 20 teams in the Premier League, only seven have managers from English-speaking countries. Four managers are from Spain, — including Pep Guardiola at Manchester City — three are from Portugal, and the others come from Argentina, Chile, Italy, France and Serbia.

    English has become the lingua franca of international football

    The Liverpool-PSG game, between an “English” and a “French” team, in fact featured players from all around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, the Netherlands, Senegal, Switzerland and Uruguay.

    Football is now a global business, and English has become the lingua franca of the international game. In the latest issue of Business Spotlight, we spoke about the implicationAuswirkungimplications of this to Tom Challenger, an English teacher in Vienna and author of the book Football English: Soccer Vocabulary for Learners of English.

    As well as the players and coaches, refereeSchiedsrichter(in)referees and their assistants also need a good knowledge of English. Although, as Tom Challenger told us, “they may sometimes wish that they didn’t understand many of the things players say to them”.

    In his blog, Ian McMaster has been commenting on global business issues since 2002. For older entries, see the blog archive on our former website.