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24th Jan 2020

Ilkay Gundogan explains German football phrases

Reuben Pinder

The German language is a beautiful thing

In English, if you want to convey the fact that you have taken pleasure from another person’s misfortune, you’ll have to use those words. All of them. Alternatively, you could use the singular German word for this phenomenon: schadenfreude.

This use of single words to explain complex emotions or definitions is one of the quirks of the German language, and it’s something we had to bear in mind when meeting Manchester City and Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

There are a lot of football-specific terms in English and logic would state that in German there are many, many more. This logic, it turns out, is extremely accurate.

For every ‘shithouse’ there is a ‘bananenflanke’, so we got the former Borussia Dortmund man to explain as many German football phrases to us as he could.