German word of the day: Mannschaft

Rachel Loxton
Rachel Loxton - [email protected]
German word of the day: Mannschaft
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

You're going to hear this German word a lot in the coming weeks - and it is even known abroad.


Why do I need to know Mannschaft?

Granted, this isn't a common word in everyday conversations but with the Euro 2024 championship coming up on June 14th, Die Mannschaft is a handy word to know. And you can use it impress your German friends if you're supporting Germany.  

READ ALSO: The German stadiums hosting Euro 2024 and how to get to them

What does it mean?

Die Mannschaft is the German word for 'team'. But it has come to stand for something more than that. It's also the nickname for the German national football team. When you hear the words 'Die Mannschaft' uttered, there is no mistaking who is being talked about. (Fun fact: the Austrian national football team is affectionately known as 'Das Team'.) 

Although used a bit less frequently than previous years (and there's been some debate over whether it's still relevant), commentators say the Mannschaft nickname reflects the unity and collective strength of the German squad, but it could also expand to the supporters. 

Germany is a land in love with football. You've probably started noticing German flags pop up on balconies  - and even some pubs and cafes - as the country gets ready to host Euro 2024 and support Die Mannschaft.

The nickname is even well known abroad with football journalists slotting in a reference to the German team by saying things like ‘La Mannschaft’, ‘El Mannschaft’ or ‘The Mannschaft'.

But one thing you might notice is that the word sounds a bit funny to English speakers' ears. 


That is something that's been picked up on by Scottish marketing teams who have formed a whole advert playing around with the word 'Mannschaft', ahead of the opening match that will see Germany take on Scotland. 

READ ALSO: Euro 2024 - 6 things to know about visiting Germany this summer

In the ad by the popular Scottish soft drink Irn Bru, a kilt-clad Scotland supporter says: "Well Germany, you're about to see what the Scottish Mannschaft is all about" adding that this year, the Scottish 'Mannschaft "could even reach a semi". This is a sentence that sounds utterly ridiculous and amusing to English speakers (and not just because Scotland are usually not known for getting very far in big football competitions). 

The ad has gone down well with Scots - but there's been a mixed reaction from Germans. 

Some pointed out that Mannschaft is not being used correctly in the advert.

One user on X, formally Twitter, said: "It is quite funny, but Mannschaft just means team, not football team. The word's been chosen as kind of a brand-name for the national team."

Others have grown to love it. 

"My German boyfriend needed some of the jokes explained to him but then was howling and watched it 3 times and sent it to everyone. It’s def gone down well," an X user said.


Use it (correctly) like this: 

Die Mannschaft wird heute sicher gewinnen!

The German team is surely going to win today!

Ist die Mannschaft fit für das heutige Spiel?

Is the German team in good shape for the match today?



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