How to score tennis in Spanish, German and French

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

 

20120528 170400 How to score tennis in Spanish, German and French
Sign at Puerto Vallarta hotel

 

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: nfzehn – 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

 

7431264912 618438b52d How to score tennis in Spanish, German and French
Tennisschläger – literally, “tennis striker/smasher”

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.

 

Tennis Paris How to score tennis in Spanish, German and French
Courts at the Jardins des Tuileries, Paris

 

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,
 Aaron Rosales

Comments

  1. says

    Hello Anne!!! Thanks for the article.

    I speak Spanish — and I’m happy I learned some new words today! I definitely need to watch more Spanish television to improve!

    Hope you’re well!

  2. Linda Parks says

    Thank you for this information.
    I watch a lot of tennis, especially the slams and leading up to them.
    I’ve tried to listen to the scores given by the umpire (native languages) but the commentators are usually talking C(:
    Love to have this in a small chart so I could print it out and keep it close at hand while watching the matches. Keep up the good work. Glad I found this site.
    Just know that you’re appreciated by one septagenarian.
    Linda

    • says

      I agree, isn’t it annoying when you’re trying to hear the umpire give the score and the announcers talk right over him/her? Sometimes it would be nice just to watch the match and not listen to all the commentary. . .

      Thanks so much!

  3. says

    Awesome! Hope you find some fun Spaniards to hit the “pelota” with — and you’ll definitely know how to score, especially if you watch the Madrid action going on now. Have a great trip!!

  4. Magnus Larsson says

    Thank you for a very good and informing site.

    I’ve found a small error, though.

    The French word for the English “advantage” is avantage (without a “d”).

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