Want to know what Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner are shouting during a Bundesliga match? Here is all you need to know. - © DFL
Want to know what Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner are shouting during a Bundesliga match? Here is all you need to know. - © DFL

German football words explained: what you can hear watching the Bundesliga

What can you hear watching the Bundesliga? Der Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund might not have been the same without an 80,000-strong sell-out crowd at the Signal Iduna Park, but it at least gave fans the chance to hear as well as see their heroes in action.

bundesliga.com goes pitchside to school you in the A(bseits) to Z(eit) of what the players and coaches are saying - and yelling - throughout the frenetic 90 minutes of a Bundesliga match so you can become the most authentic of armchair Fußball fans.

English: Offside!

When to use it: An opposing forward has been played through and is bearing down on your team's goal with only your goalkeeper to beat. Most effective when combined with a raised arm and a desperate/pleading look across to the assistant referee to whom you're sending 'Raise your flag' vibes.

In-stadium use: The ageing centre-back for whom 'fast' is a four-letter word, especially when up against a jet-fuelled forward like RB Leipzig's Timo Werner.

When the flag is raised, "Abseits" (offside) is the call. - DFL

Auf geht's!
Variation: Gib Gas! (lit. Give gas') Weiter, weiter! Komm Komm!
English: Let's go!

When to use it: Most commonly heard at the kick-off of either half, also a terrace favourite with the name of a beloved club inserted happily at the end. 'Gib Gas!' is more often used during the game as coaches and captains call for a greater effort. 'Weiter, weiter' (Keep going) and 'Komm, komm' (Come on) can be used liberally throughout the 90 minutes.

In-stadium use: The captain, an experienced member of the team or a young-buck like Schalke's Jonjoe Kenny looking to give his team the second-wind they need at the end of a game.

Elfmeter (lit. translation: '11 metre!' referring to the metric distance for the 12 yards between the goal-line and the penalty spot.)
English: Penalty!

When to use it: Your star striker has just been invited to taste the turf face-first following a mistimed challenge, an opponent has been auditioning for a sequel to 'The Last Dance' and handled the ball without the Michael Jordan finesse. Warning: best done without spraying a mouthful of your preferred match snack or drink across your TV screen.

In-stadium use: Any member of the attacking team, and the technical staff...

Watch: There's no better player from the spot in the Bundesliga than Lewandowski!

Rot! (Red!) Foul!
English: Yellow card!

When to use it: Any infringement by an opponent of the Laws of the Game that you have spotted and the 'Ref' (see: Schiri) has incredibly - at least in your opinion - not. 'Rot' (red) should be yelled for what you consider the most serious fouls. Germans also use 'Gelb-Rot' for a player sent off for two bookable offences, but shouting that will just get you strange looks. If you're a slightly more objective supporter, a simple 'Foul!' directed at the TV screen is enough.

In-stadium use: Social distancing is not the only reason players should not be crowding referees and appealing for bookings, but fans are in no danger of being cautioned for calling for a card or early bath (especially from the comfort of their own homes).

Gut gehalten!
Well saved!

When to use it: Your goalkeeper produces a leap to make a mating salmon blush to paw away a shot bound for the top corner. Can be accompanied by applause or - if you're on the pitch - a high-five or pat on the back for your gloved saviour.

In-stadium use: Anyone watching or playing with Manuel Neuer, Yann Sommer, Peter Gulasci, Lukas Hradecky and the rest of the Bundesliga's shot-stopping heroes.

Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer has made the most saves in the Bundesliga in 2019/20. - DFL

Hinter Mann!
Man on!

When to use it: Your team's artful midfielder is about to feel the hot breath of an opponent down their neck and you can see the problem coming. At speed.

In-stadium use: Neuer and the Bundesliga's goalkeeping fraternity after chancing an ill-advised throw out to a teammate. Then again, does Neuer ever do ANYTHING ill-advised?

VariatIon: Jahwoll!

When to use it: When Joshua Kimmich has chipped Roman Bürki to win Der Klassiker and helped Bayern Munich take a big step towards an eighth successive Bundesliga title. If you're a Borussia Dortmund supporter, it's 'Neeeeiiiiiinnnnn!!!' (Nooooooooo!!!) that you need.

In-stadium use: Kimmich at full-time at the Signal Iduna Park or any big-time goal celebration.

Komm kurz!
Variation: Komm her!
English: Come short!

When to use it: Your team's forward is lurking on the shoulder of the last defender, looking for a ball over the top of the backline, but your coach wants his football played 'the right way'.

In-stadium use: The frustrated tactician on the sidelines who sees his gameplan going out the window, the ball-playing centre-back (might follow with 'Hinter Mann' (see above) after passing).

Mensch! (lit. Human!)
English: Damn!
Variations: *!x*%* [This section has been censored]

When to use it: Can be liberally applied and used with versatility for any situation in which glaring errors have been made by your team while also trying to maintain a 'family' atmosphere.

In-stadium use: A forward/midfielder/defender who has just missed a glorious chance or 'Elfer' (see above), fans frustrated with their team's showing or any refereeing decision that goes against your side.

"I want the ball there" - Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland always wants the ball played forward. - Kolvenbach/Mirafoto via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Kolvenbach

Nach vorne
Push forward

When to use it: Your side is trailing or drawing, but is looking for an equaliser or dramatic late winner, and even though they can't hear you, you feel a lot better by urging them to throw the kitchen sink at the opposition.

In-stadium use: The desperate coach who feels just like you do as he watches his team struggle to get out of their own half despite needing to chase the game.

English: Out!

When to use it: Your team has successfully cleared a corner and you want your side out of their own penalty area quick sharp.

In-stadium use: Part of the goalkeeper's lexicon since before the Bundesliga started in 1963, watch any German top-flight number one yelling at his teammates. Usually accompanied by vigorous hand gestures.

Peter Gulacsi may shout at his team to get "Raus" before he kicks the ball up the pitch for RB Leipzig. - DFL

Sauber (lit. clean)
English: Nice!

When to use it: When a player hits a crisp accurate pass or shot - similar to hitting it 'as clean as a whistle' - or a goalkeeper produces a fine, textbook save.

In-stadium use: Any player, coach or substitute watching on and admiring the work of a fellow professional.


When to use it: This shortened version of 'Schiedsrichter' - referee - has nothing affectionate about it. Usually stuck on the end of 'Elfmeter' or 'Gelb' (insert card colour variation here), it is given multiple airings throughout the 90 minutes in any number of appeals to the man or woman in charge of the game.

In-stadium use: Any of the 22 players on the pitch, the technical staff, the substitutes…anyone bar the person with the whistle, actually.

Manuel Gräfe is one referee who likes to have fun while on the Bundesliga pitch. - via www.imago-images.de/imago images / eu-images


When to use it: One of the most familiar German words along with 'Raus!' (see above), 'Kartoffelkopf' and 'Franz Beckenbauer' to non-speakers of Goethe's favourite lingo.

In-stadium use: Anxious watch-glancing coach in technical area, equally anxious player to ball kid with time running out, forward glaring at teammate for delivering a pass too late and getting him caught offside.


When to use it: Do you really need help with his one?

In-stadium use: See above

Watch: Matheus Cunha scored the 2019 Goal of the Year while at RB Leipzig!

Zeig dich!
Show [for the ball]!

When to use it: When your team is under pressure and you need an "out ball" from the back, and you feel your forward players should be doing more to lose their markers.

In-stadium use: It's another staple of the ball-playing centre-back and midfielder's vocabulary; a coach wanting more movement from his front line can also be heard bellowing it, usually accompanied by the pointing of a finger.

Opposite: Hinter Mann!

When to use it: You've just drilled a delightful pass into the feet of a teammate who has the luxury of being able to spin 180° and rampage forward unchallenged.

In-stadium use: A ball-playing centre-half - think Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Dayot Upamecano - after showing everyone why their pass completion ratio ranks alongside Tom Brady's to move their team up the pitch.