World Cup Spanish- Colombia’s out

Well, waaah. Colombia’s out of the World Cup, and I was feeling quite glum for a while. What was the point of continuing with World Cup Spanish vocabulary? What got me out of that funk? Colombians, of course! I know it can be dangerous to generalize, but by and large I find Colombians to be extremely alegres (happy), agradecidos (grateful), and celebratory for any little reason at all. We lost 2-1 to Brazil, and, yes, we were all crying along with James, but people were immediately applauding the team’s excellent overall performance, thanking them for bringing the country such positive attention, and celebrating that we got as far as we did. I just wanted to go home and sulk because that’s my nature, but, uh-uh, no one was having any of it. I was forced to go to a party, and, what do you know, I felt a million times better right away. In the end it’s just a game, and Colombia played and ultimately lost with honor and dignity. Can a heart be heavy and happy at the same time? I think so.

colombia team equipo world cup mundial

Who to root for now? Hmm, Costa Rica, because they’re the little engine that could, and their coach is Colombian. Then, Holland? Or Argentina? My enthusiasm is waning, truncated just like Colombia’s sparkling trajectory. ¡Pero la vida sigue! May the best team win.

A controversial figure in the Colombia-Brazil game was the ref. Not that that’s anything new. How do you say referee in Spanish? El árbitro. We have the word arbiter in English, but it’s very rare. Arbitrator isn’t too common, either. I think the first English word that you unconsciously associate with árbitro is arbitrary and, sigh, many of their calls and silences seem to be just that. Refereeing in general is el arbitraje, so blame it on the mal arbitraje if the ref had it in for your team. Sometimes the ref is called el juez. What if it’s a lady ref? La árbitra? El árbitra? La árbitro? The internet can’t decide. Juez becomes la juez or la jueza. Oh, English, how I long for your simplicity sometimes!

árbitro colombia brasil brazil world cup mundial

Everyone was complaining that the Colombia-Brazil ref was an árbitro comprado, or that he’d been bought off or bribed. That he was crooked and in the FIFA’s pocket. But at the end of the day, Colombia didn’t play well and didn’t score the goals it needed. While most of the fouls were against Colombia and it seemed that they especially ganged up on James, there was leniency (or blindness) toward Colombia as well. Seeing as one player’s knee to Neymar’s back fractured the Brazilian star’s vertebra, and he’ll now be out for the rest of the tournament.

The linesmen are los jueces de línea.

Fouls? Faltas.

Yes, some people are still crying foul and saying the biased ref this, the disallowed goal that, but overall Colombians accept the loss. We’re not sore losers or poor sports. A sore loser is a mal perdedor, or someone who no sabe perderBut, actually, I think that losing is what Colombia knows how to do best, soccer-wise. The series of wins and beautiful plays were a little dizzying, but I’m certain that there will be many more in the years to come.

Finally, something weird but cool. This beautiful giant grasshopper flew onto James Rodríguez’ arm and then stayed there for a good while as he took a penalty shot and scored Colombia’s only legitimate goal. Click on the picture to see it with greater detail. A grasshopper is a saltamontes or chapulín, though it’s not uncommon for it to be called a grillo (cricket) out of insect ignorance. Some are even saying the bug was a locust (which just sounds too messianic). Smart little critter, whatever he was.

james rodríguez insecto bug locust grasshopper cricket

¡Súper orgullosa! And now . . . back to normal life, back to reality. I really don’t even care about soccer, but I’m grateful for this surge of unity, hope, and cheer that my adopted patria inspired in me and so many people. I also love that the coach, José Pékerman, is Argentinian and that he has done so much for Colombia. He’s truly revered here, and he deserves it. Apparently, when Colombia qualified for the 2014 World Cup, Pékerman requested Colombian citizenship and received it the next day. I confess that I like to fantasize about what I could possibly do to one day receive Colombian citizenship on the spot! I’d love to do some great, heroic deed for Colombia, but I’ll probably just end up putting in the requisite number of years here plus the mountain of paperwork. If only those citizenship issuers were blog readers . . . I need a rosca . . . who can help me out here?


12 responses to “World Cup Spanish- Colombia’s out

  1. Yes, the arbitro was terrible, but it is not one I would call “picaro.” He had bad calls on both sides. Was constantly interrupting the game, buying into all the players’ dives. From the Colombian perspective, I think the players were much too focused on diving and getting calls than on moving toward the Brazilian goal, at least for a large portion of the match. They had a good World Cup so congratulations to them. The worst part of yesterday’s match was Neymar’s injury. Very sad.

    The ref may be SOMETIMES called juez, except if you are actually playing a match. Then, that’s the only word used to talk to whomever is the unlucky guy doing the refereeing. It is juez this and juez that, constantly.

    Time to move on. Argentina played a good game today. Thanks for your coverage.


    • Yeah, he was bad. This NYT piece on him was excellent:

      Oh, so when directly addressing the ref, you have to say juez? Like, sir? Interesting.

      Yep, time to move on. Now that Costa Rica’s out as well, I’m rooting for Argentina. Then, Holland. Ahh! Glad you enjoyed the linguistic coverage- thanks for reading and commenting! :)


      • Thanks for the link, I had not seen it. I think the basic message is spot on, without going into who did what. The ref was a main contributor to an atmosphere that resulted in Neymar’s injury. I do not believe that Zuñiga went into the play with the intention of hurting Neymar. The play was unnecessarily rough, though.

        I don’t remember playing a many matches with an official referee, but went many times to see my brothers and friends play in local leagues. Everybody always called the ref “juez.” Never saw a woman in that role but jueza would have been the logical way of addressing her.

        The main reason I am leaving this reply is to wish you a Happy Fourth of July! It is a beautiful weekend in New York.


  2. Fue un dia increíble para mi lleno de muchos sentimientos encontrados y bastante cerveza.
    Me parece muy chévere que tu (suponiéndote extranjera en Colombia) sientas las cosas que vivi ayer durante el partido. Leyendo tu lineas me sentí un poco melancólico pero motivado a la vez a seguir aportanto mi granito de arena a un país tan lindo como este.
    Es bueno también ver que gracias a esto Colombia hace notar que ha superado mucho de su pasado y que ahora esos molestos comentarios del pasado cada vez son menos frecuentes, todo gracias a esos grandes deportistas, artistas y demás gente colombiana que muestra que somos un pueblo alegre y hechao pa´lante como se dice aca.
    Respecto a las palabras árbitra y jueza, no son muy usadas pero son palabras que existen dentro del español. En la RAE se pueden encontrar (
    Tal vez no son muy usadas por que suenan un poco raro o demasiado correcto para una charla de fútbol, igual no esta mal usarlas de vez en cuando.
    Un abrazo Vocabat.


    • Hola nekoneo,

      Muchas gracias por tu comentario tan lindo. Supusiste bien, soy gringa y llevo dos años y medio acá en Colombia, pero hace mucho tiempo que vengo y que amo a este país como si fuera propio. Uy, sí, muchos sentimientos todavía, llegamos muy lejos, y con un desempeño y unos talentos que realmente dejaron descrestados al mundo. Tienes razón, creo que quedó claro para todos que éste es un país alegre y que ha superado su pasado tan sufrido. Que sigamos, que esa misma unidad se demuestre en la política y entre las varias comunidades.

      Respecto a lo de jueza y árbitra, pues no las iba a incluir, pero en últimas se me ocurrió que claro que las mujeres también pueden desempeñar ese rol, y siempre trato de compartir en este espacio un lenguaje inclusivo para todos.

      ¡Un abrazo para ti! ;)


  3. I’m on the fence about Costa Rica’s result yesterday. On the one hand it would have been a super surprise if they had made it into top 3 and surprises are good. On the other I don’t think I would like to see a team playing like that among world’s top 4. We had the super defensive Greece as the European champion bach in 2004 and that’s enough.

    Also, as sad as the elimination of US and Columbia may be for you, don’t despair. In 2015 US will be hosting Copa America for the first time in history and, if Columbia maintain their form they may be a strong contender against the usual three powers (Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay). Also, US being the host team, I\m sure they’ll prepare carefully for the event.


    • Good to know! This is all very new for me, but I’ll definitely be following the next time Colombia is on the world stage :)

      (I never really cared about the US- gasp- soccer’s not very important there, and them winning wouldn’t mean nearly as much as it would mean here or in most other places. Was more of my patriotic duty, whereas Colombia es pasión!)


  4. No, hold that. US will be hosting the centenary edition in 2016. The 2015 one will be held in Chile.


  5. Want to know something really cool? I was reading about how that giant grasshopper thing that landed on James is actually a type of cricket called Esperanza in Brasil… like, you know, HOPE. And it landed on James just as he scored that goal.. like all the hopes of Colombia manifested into an insect called Hope. Isn’t that amazing?!


  6. Pingback: And another blog birthday! | Vocabat

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