Manchester United: Translating English to English

In honor of our lengthy list of followers from the United Kingdom, I’m making a concerted effort to learn a bit more about football—also known as soccer to us American rebels.  Sometimes the news about UK football teams is confusing.  A good British to American english translator would be a godsend—not just for articles, but during most of the conversations with our UK mates.

I recently read an article about Manchester United and although english is my native tongue I’m not sure I understood a word of it.  Here is an attempt to translate select text from the article so others don’t need to read the original—I left the British word spellings from the article.

soccer-2
A young American footballer ready to fight hard for Manchester United.
  • Statement #1: Manchester United produced a lacklustre display as their Europa League campaign began in defeat.
  • Translation #1: Manchester United got stomped.
  • Statement #2:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on for the visitors and headed wide as he failed to turn around his side’s fortunes.
  • Translation #2: Some dude tried hard but Manchester United still got beat like a cheap flea market drum.
  • Statement #3: Nicolai Jorgensen, who was offside, crossed for Tonny Vilhena to drive in Feyenoord’s late winner.
  • Translation #3: Manchester United got stomped because a dude from the other team scored.
  • Statement #4: The defeat means United have lost four successive European away games for the first time.
  • Translation #4: Manchester United on the road is like your overweight neighbor prancing naked with the drapes open—horrible to watch.
soccer-6
Getting ready to drill an unstoppable free kick.
  • Statement #5: Paul Pogba, who re-joined United in a world-record £89m move from Juventus in August, had his lack of discipline and positioning heavily criticised by ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.
  • Translation #5: Manchester United over paid for a prima donna French midfielder with questionable talent.
  • Statement #6: The France international was a peripheral figure in the first half as he epitomised a lack of urgency and intensity from the visitors.
  • Translation #6: In addition to sucking like a vacuum cleaner, Pogba has the motivation of a three-toed sloth.
  • Statement #7: Pogba pushed further up the pitch after the break and, despite looking a little more threatening as he attempted two long-range shots which went comfortably off target, he could not find the quality to help find a way through the Dutch side’s defence.
  • Translation #7: Pogba couldn’t hit the side of the Fullers Brewery with a beach ball.
soccer-7
One American teaching another American how to play soccer—the game will never be the same again. (Photo by my beautiful, amazing, talented wife; she’s a big thinker.)
  • Statement #8: England forward Wayne Rooney has played behind United’s main striker so far this season but was rested for this trip.
  • Translation #8: Rooney is da bom.
  • Statement #9: United boss Jose Mourinho claimed he had other “solutions” for the role but the poor performance of his supporting cast of players can have done little to persuade him of the strength of his other options.
  • Translation #9: Maurinho’s “solutions” stunk like a team of sewer flushers.
  • Statement #10: On his selection for this coming Sunday’s Premier League trip to Watford, the manager added: “We go back to a normal team without so many changes.
  • Translation #10: We’re putting Rooney back on the field.

Corrections to my admittedly horrendous translations from our UK friends and followers are welcome.


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Unless otherwise noted, I drew or took the photographs in the article—as lame as they may look.  Sometimes drawings come from my head, other times they’re from something I saw somewhere.  Any resemblance to persons living or dead is probably planned.  Copyright can be found here for my original work.

Source: Sanghera, Mandeep. 2016. “Manchester United produced a lacklustre display as their Europa League campaign began in defeat at Feyenoord.” BBC Sport: Football (online). http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/37302380 accessed 17 September 2016.

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