And now —Socceranto

(Canscene) — In a country which is the home of Canadians from all 32 of the World Cup countries we’re all aware of the language barriers the majority of newcomers must face on arrival here.

One of the great internatonal unifiers is love of soccer — futbol, football, calcio and so on — the world’s most internationally played game which every four years for a month turns entire communities into seas of waving flags.

Recalling the 120-year effort to get Esperanto accepted as a universal language, Ignacio van Gelderen, an Argentinian university student and Ted Freedman, an English schoolboy have developed a new language for soccer fans. Socceranto draws mostly on six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. It has been published in book form by

Socceranto: Birth of a Language is part dictionary and part phrasebook. In it a fliegenfanger is a useless goalkeeper derived from the German for “flycatcher.”

A mister is a manager or coach; in southern Europe and Latin America many managers used to be English.

A rono is a player who is an honorary Brazilian, named after the great Ronaldhino and a baguette is a tall or lanky player like England’s Peter Crouch or France’s Patrick Viera

A rustico is a player with little skills and a biaggio is one who misses a penalty shot, named after Roberto Biaggio of Italy who missed a crucial spot-kick in the shoot-out at the end of he 1994 World Cup final.

To which I’ll add my own: a Santa Clara is a street victory gathering of 100,000 or more like the massive, jubilant Italian Canadian crowd along Toronto’s St. Clair Avenue West, in July 1982.

Copies of the book can be ordered online at
for $12.99 (plus the cost of the shipping method the customer chooses) or by writing to
Lauren Moseley, Marketing/PR 860 Aviation Pkwy, Ste 300 Morrisville, NC 27560
919-447-3294 direct
919-459-5867 fax


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