Follow us on

Learn French with FIFA

France fans enjoy the atmosphere
© Getty Images

Are you heading to France for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup™? Then we have just the thing for you. You may not be able to engage in too many philosophical discussions after reading this bite-sized guide, but it should be enough for you to get by, make yourself understood and – above all – understand everything your fellow fans say while watching the matches.

Basic communication...

Hello Bonjour

Goodbye Au revoir

Thank you Merci

Yes Oui

No Non

Please S’il vous plaît

My name is… Je m’appelle…

What's your name? Comment t’appelles-tu ?

I don't speak French Je ne parle pas français

I don't understand Je ne comprends pas

Useful terms and phrases...

Toilets Toilettes

Taxi Taxi

Breakfast Petit déjeuner

Lunch Déjeuner

Dinner Dîner

Where can I buy…? Où puis-je acheter...?

How do I get to the stadium? Comment aller au stade ?

Hospital Hôpital

Doctor Médecin

How much does this/that cost? Combien ça coûte ?

What time is it? Quelle heure est-il ?

Football lingo...

Referee Arbitre

Goal But

Free-kick Coup franc

Penalty Penalty

Corner Corner

Yellow card Carton jaune

Red card Carton rouge

Offside Hors-jeu

Coach Entraîneur

Common stadium expressions...

Bouffer la feuille (to eat the sheet): This expression is used to describe attackers who miss a sitter or misfire throughout a game. The sheet in question is the official match report.

But casquette (cap goal): A goal conceded in a ridiculous manner, or as a result of a howler.

Café crème (cream coffee): A term referring to a dribble that leaves an opponent for dead, similar to 'skinning' a player in English.

Caviar: An exquisite (hence the name), inch-perfect pass that lays a chance on a plate for a team-mate.

Garer le bus (to park the bus): To employ ultra-defensive tactics in a game, tantamount to putting a bus in front of your goal so that the opposition are unable to score.

Gants en peau de pêche (peach-skin gloves): While goalkeepers who let seemingly harmless shots slip through their hands are said to have 'butterfingers' in English, in French they are depicted as wearing 'peach-skin gloves', i.e. gloves that are too smooth and lack grip.

Nettoyer la toile d’araignée (to clear the cobwebs): To hit the ball right into the top corner of the net, the equivalent of the English 'postage stamp'.

Papinade: A goal scored with an acrobatic volley. Named after legendary attacker Jean-Pierre Papin, who made a habit of such strikes.

Passe à dix (ten-pass move): The action of toying with the opposition by passing the ball to and fro while they give chase, like in the piggy in the middle game. It is usually accompanied by chants of 'olé' from the stands.

Petit poucet (Little Thumb): The name given to the team regarded as the weakest in a competition (roughly the equivalent of the 'minnows' or 'underdogs').