The clay court season is well under way, and tennis professionals are playing on courts accross Europe — all culminating in the French Open at Roland Garros, May 26 – June 9, 2013. The men just left Monte Carlo and are in Spain now, and the women are playing in Germany. So watching the Tennis Channel offers an opportunity to learn how to score tennis in Spanish, German and French.
¿Juega usted al tenis?
In Spanish, you start off the match with a saque (serve). Interestingly, the word for “lob” is globo, which also means “balloon.” You can find more Spanish tennis terms here if you’re interested. Here’s how to score a game en español:
- 15 – Love: quince – cero
- 15 -15: quince iguales
- 30 – 15: treinta – quince
- 40 – 15: cuarenta – quince
- 40 – 30: cuarenta – treinta
- deuce: cuarenta iguales (or just “iguales“)
- advantage: ventaja
- to win/to lose: ganar/perder
Spielen Sie Tennis?
In Germany, the tennis court is called a Spielplatz, or “play place.” German’s use of compound words makes their tennis vocabulary lots of fun — look here for more examples. If you can return your opponent’s Raketenaufschlag (“rocket serve”), here’s how to keep score:
- 15 – Love: fünfzehn – null
- 15 -15: fünfzehn – beide
- 30 – 15: dreißig – fünfzehn
- 40 – 15: vierzig – fünfzehn
- 40 – 30: vierzig – dreißig
- deuce: Gleichstand (or Einstand)
- advantage: Vorteil (or Advantage)
- to win/to lose: gewinnen/verlieren
Jouez-vous au tennis?
A clay court, such you’ll find at Roland Garros, is called un court de terre battue. Somehow the entire sport sounds more beautiful in French — see this link for more examples. Prepare for the French Open by learning how to score en français:
- 15 – Love: quinze – zéro
- 15 -15: quinze à (or quinze partout)
- 30 – 15: trente – quinze
- 40 – 15: quarante – quinze
- 40 – 30: quarante – trente
- deuce: égalité (the first deuce is often referred to as quarante à)
- advantage: avantage
- to win/to lose: gagner/perdre
So turn on the TV, watch some European matches, and listen to the umpires as they announce scores first in the native language, then in English. Think of it as a way to improve your foreign language skills while vegging out in front of a sport you enjoy.
Then, when you head out to play your next match, announce the score in a different language — you’ll have fun, and your opponents won’t understand what you’re saying.
Juego, set et partido.
Spiel, Satz und Sieg.
Jeu, set et match.
Do you know more fun facts about tennis in Spanish, German or French, or do you have a correction for something I’ve said here? Let me know in the comments!
Image credits: Anne Rosales, explainthatstuff via flickr,