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These are the 3 most popular sports in Germany

Sports can be both a great way to practice a language and get a real taste of a country when you are traveling. So whatever sports you are into or wherever you are visiting in the world, there is something out there for you. Especially in Germany! Here are the top sports you will find in Germany, and a little of the vocabulary you might want to use watching sports there. Enjoy!


Germans are passionate about sports. But what sports do they like most? Click here to find out and get some good sports-related German vocabulary at the same time ;)

Photo Pixabay




Yes, of course, football is one of the most popular sports you will find in Germany! The Bundesliga is the country’s premier football league, home to big-named clubs like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Germany’s national team ranks thirteenth in Fifa’s World Rankings, and some of those players are huge players around the world. Toni Kroos players for Real Madrid, and Mesut Ozil for Arsenal. Germany takes part in many international and European club competitions, though if you are visiting Germany you can see many regional events as well throughout the country.


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So what vocabulary should you use if you’re watching a match in Germany? For the team:


Heim — home team

Trainer — club manager/head coach

Verein — club

Verteidiger — defender

Angreifer — forward, attacker

Angriff — attack

Abwehr — defense

Mittelfeldspieler — midfielder

Links/rechts aussen — left/right wingers

Reserven — reserve players

Spiel — game

Spieler — player

Torwart/Torhüter — goalkeeper


And for the game:


Anstoss — kickoff

Ecke — corner     

Endlinie — endline/goal-line

Feld — the field, the pitch

Kasten — box, penalty area or goal

Mittelfeld — the middle/half of the field

Netz — net

Pfosten — post

Strafraum — the penalty box

Seitenlinie — sideline, touchline

Strafpunkt — penalty spot

Tor — goal

Vorwärts/rückwärts — forwards/backwards

Stand — the score

Anfang — the beginning, the start (season/game)

Erste Hälfte — first half

Zweite Hälfte — second half

Schiedsrichter — the referee

Linienrichter — linesman

Ein/aus wechseln — substitute in/out

Rot, rote karte/Gelbe Karte — red card/yellow card


Germans are passionate about sports. But what sports do they like most? Click here to find out and get some good sports-related German vocabulary at the same time ;)

Photo via Flickr


Ice Hockey


Yes, we promise, there is ice hockey going on in the world outside of the NHL. Shocker! The Deutsche Eishockey Liga is actually considered one of the best leagues in the world; even if ice hockey as a sport ranks far below football in terms of popularity. The league hosts 14 teams which include Adler Mannheim and Kölner Haie. There are various tournaments and championships held around the country both in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga and other, minor leagues, as well as the Deutschland Cup. And if you want to see German ice hockey players overseas, Leon Draisaitl plays for the Edmonton Oilers, while Tom Kühnhackl plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins.


If you’re attending a hockey match in Germany, here is some of the vocabulary you need.


Zuschauer — Spectator(s)

Fan — Fan, Supporter

Kapitän — Captain

Linienrichter (sg. and pl.) — Lines man/men

Schiedsrichter — Referee

Torhüter, Torwart — Goaltender, Goalie

Torschütze — Scorer

Auswärtsspiel — Game on the road

Bande — Boards

Tor — Goal

Heimspiel — Home game

Bank, Spielerbank — Bench

Bully — Faceoff, Draw

Fangnetz — Net behind the goal to protect the fans

Niederlage — Loss

Pass — Pass

Verlängerung — Overtime

Videobeweis — Goal under review (Beweis — Proof)

Zu viele Spieler auf dem Eis — Too many men on the ice

Penalty — Penalty shot

Penaltyschießen — Shoot out

Powerplay — Powerplay

Statistik — Statistics

Strafe — Penalty

Leeres Tor — Empty net

Halten — Hooking

Hoher Stock — High sticking

Abseits — Offside

Behinderung — Interference

Check von hinten — Check from behind

Icing — Icing

Konter — Break away

Netz — (Goal) Net

Schläger — Stick

Schlägerei — Fight

Schlagschuss — Slapshot

Sieg — Win, Victory


Germans are passionate about sports. But what sports do they like most? Click here to find out and get some good sports-related German vocabulary at the same time ;)

Photo via Wikimedia




Our final choice for popular German sports is basketball. The Basketball Bundesliga is the professional hockey league of Germany, and while it isn’t quite on par with the NBA, you will still find some of the very best players and teams. Check out the Geißen 46ers or Science City Jena to see what German basketball is like! Teams in this league compete for the BBL Champions Cup, and there are regular basketball matches throughout the country attracting hundreds of spectators. Why not be amongst them on your next visit to Germany!


Schiedsrichter — referee

Spieler — player

Trainer — coach

Mannschaft/team — team

(Spiel)feld — court

Bracket — bracket

Auszeit — time out

Pause — break

Turnier — tournament

Meisterschaft — championship

Seed — seed

Nachspielzeit — overtime

Korbleger — layup

Dribbeln — dribble

Dreier — three-pointer

Wurf — shot

Freiwurf — free throw

Dunk/stopfer — dunk

Einen Ball werfen — to shoot a ball

Korb — basket


Whatever sport is your thing, we hope it can help you learn German!