Word of the Week: Schwalbe | Word of the Week | DW | 07.06.2016
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Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Schwalbe

You look like a swallow when you fake a foul like this - at least according to this clever German word. It's something to watch out for at the Euro 2016 in France.

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If you were in Germany watching the first game of the 2014 World Cup - Brazil versus Croatia - then you would have heard a chorus of outraged Germans screaming Schwalbe in the 70th minute. That's when Brazilian striker Fred, who was being marked by Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, was awarded a penalty after taking a fall in the penalty box. The reason why so many spectators were outraged is because Lovren barely touched Fred, who seemed to go down on his own with a bit of dramatic flair. Many believed he was faking a foul.

A deliberate dive to convince the referee to blow the whistle for a free kick, a penalty or the booking of an opposing player is called a Schwalbe in German, which literally translates to "swallow." A person falling down with widespread arms and slightly splayed legs resembles this small bird with its typically long, slim wings and its often split tail, which is why the term Schwalbe was introduced into Germany's football vocabulary.

If you want to participate in the outraged screaming during the Euro 2016 starting on June 10 in France, learn this word. Because let's face it, screaming in German is so much more effective than screaming in English.

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