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Phrases and songs you'll need for Euro 2016

The Local, Jul 9

France play Portugal on Sunday night, and you're going to need to know what to yell and sing. 

Let's start with the easiest.

Allez les bleus

This literally means "Go the blues" and is perhaps the most popular phrase of football. Pronounced "allay lay bleugh", you can shout it before, during, or after the game. If you'd prefer, a similar version is "Allez les gars" (Allay lay garr) which means "Come on guys" in a kind of encouraging tone.

And if you want to urge France to score a goal then just shout allez! it's basically a version of come onnnnnn! 


While the Brits may say "YEAHHH" and the Spanish will say GOOOOOL to celebrate a goal, the French have a couple of options. They might shout "BUUUUUT" (or "goal"), a caveman-esque OUUUUUIIIIIII (or YESSSSSSS), or just GOAAALLL in English.


The French won't hesitate to call out an actor, so if someone looks like they're faking an injury then yell out "comédien". 


The French will shout this, or more likely "Pénaltyyyyyyyyy" if they think France deserves a penalty.


This is one of the most versatile and important swear words in French. It's roughly the equivalent of "s**t", and is useful to say when something astonishingly good happens (pu-taiiiiiiiin) or when something terrible happens (PU-TAIN! or Puttaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin).

There are two ways to pronounce it. The first is puTAIN (pronounced poo-TAHn), the other drops out the u and becomes almost one syllable, so p'TAIN (pTAHn). [Or if you live in the Languedoc, a third way would be ‘puTanggg’. Ed)

And if things are not going well for Les Bleus we can expect the frustration levels to boil over and the swear words to really come firing out.

Putain will become putain de merde if Portugal score, and if they score again it well then feel free to use putain de bordel de merde in sympathy with your frustrated French friends.


Feel like a Portuguese player is offside? Then yell out "hors-jeu". Pronounced: orr zheurgh.

Arbitre carton jaune!

Does a player deserve a yellow card? Then tell the ref, of course. Just yell out something that sounds like "Arrbeet karton zhonne". Better still, if Ronaldo looks like he needs a red then yell: "Arbitre carton rouge!"

But the reality is you will normally hear the most football fans insulting the referee when he makes a decision they don't like, in which case if you want to join in you could say:

Arbitre enculé! - which basically means you b*****d referee, a phrase we obviously don't condone.

The classic refereeing insult in French is Aux chiottes arbitre! which literally means "to the toilet referee!"

Given that the man who is refereeing the final is English (Mark Clattenburg) you might hear these words a lot: Putain d'arbitre anglais.

And another word you can shout at the referee if you think a French player has been fouled is Faute! If he doesn't give the foul then see above for how to react.

Many fans won't hesitate to yell out payé after a bad call, suggesting the referee has indeed been paid off. 


This word, pronounced kind of like "marn", is what you should yell if a player appears to touch the ball (or "handball" in English). After a handball led to a goal in the semis against Germany, you never know whether such knowledge will prove useful again on Sunday. (Languedoc residents will know that it’s pronounced more like ‘maing’. Ed)

Quel but! 

Lastly, shout out "quel but" or "What a goal!" when Antoine Griezmann scores the winner. 

And the songs...

Qui ne saute pas n'est pas francais - eh!

This repeating chant translates to "Whoever isn't jumping isn't French", and will always come with a whole bunch of fans jumping up and down on the spot.

La Marseillaise 

You really need to learn the lyrics to the national anthem, as it will be a huge moment before the match (and will usually be sung two or three times during the match as well).

If you can't remember the words, here they are:

Allons, enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous, de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes!
Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons! 

Mais ils sont où les portugais ? 

If the Portuguese aren't playing well, then get involved in this one. It means "Where are the Portuguese?", suggesting they've not even bothered to show up.

Griezmann's on fire... 

The French have re-appropriated the now universally famous "Will Grigg's on fire" chant from the Northern Irish and essentially switched "Will Grigg's" for "Griezmann's".

And fair enough! Antoine Griezmann has scored six goals already this tournament, twice as many as anyone else. 

Il m'entraîne au bout de l'euro 

And lastly, this song - an ode to Moussa Sissoko - has gone viral. It's based on the 80's French classic Les Démons de Minuit, by Images, which is still something of a disco hit in some of the cheesier nightclubs.

The new version is about how Sissoko will take France all the way to the cup. (Sorry folks, it was just too cheesy to include the video, go Google if you want a Sunday morning cringe. Ed)

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