World Cup in Chinese – The Quick Vocabulary Guide
Every four years, millions of people across China, like the rest of the world, gather in front of TV screens to watch the FIFA World Cup – the biggest sporting event on the planet!
If you want to talk about the World Cup with the locals and put your Mandarin Chinese skills to the test, you’ve come to the right place!
Whether you’re a die-hard football (soccer) fan, or you’re a newbie to the sport, you’ll feel so much more involved if you’re well-versed in World Cup lingo, no matter which team you root for! In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the most essential Chinese words and phrases regarding the World Cup, followed by example sentences to help you talk about the tournament in Chinese.
Let’s kick things off!
“World Cup” in Chinese
First and foremost, let’s learn how to say “World Cup” in Chinese.
The word for “World Cup” in Mandarin Chinese is 世界杯 (shìjiè bēi). It’s a combination of two very basic Chinese words: 世界 (shìjiè), which means “world”, and 杯 (bēi), which means “cup”.
Pay attention to its corresponding measure word. The measure word for the World Cup is 届 (jiè). It might not be one of the most common measure words in Chinese but is customarily used for sports tournaments like the World Cup.
this Word Cup
zhè jiè / běn jiè shìjiè bēi
sān jiè shìjiè bēi
three World Cups
shàng jiè shìjiè bēi
the last World Cup
xià jiè àoyùn huì
the next Olympic Games
Chinese Names for the Countries Playing in the World Cup
Every World Cup sees 32 top national teams compete for the title of football world champions (48 teams in 2026). Let’s get on with a list of the countries with frequent World Cup appearances in Chinese.
巴西 (Bā xī / Brazil)
阿根廷 (Ā gēn tíng / Argentina)
乌拉圭 (Wū lā guī / Uruguay)
美国 (Měi guó / USA)
墨西哥 (Mò xī gē / Mexico)
德国 (Dé guó / Germany)
法国 (Fǎ guó / France)
英格兰 (Yīng gé lán / England)
意大利 (Yì dà lì / Italy)
西班牙 (Xī bān yá / Spain)
葡萄牙 (Pú táo yá / Portugal)
荷兰 (Hé lán / Netherlands)
比利时 (Bǐ lì shí / Belgium)
瑞典 (Ruì diǎn / Sweden)
瑞士 (Ruì shì / Switzerland)
俄罗斯 (É luó sī / Russia)
塞尔维亚 (Sài ěr wéi yà / Serbia)
摩洛哥 (Mó luò gē / Morocco)
喀麦隆 (Kā mài lóng / Cameron)
日本 (Rì běn / Japan)
韩国 (Hán guó / Korea)
沙特阿拉伯 (Shā tè ā lā bó / Saudi Arabia)
伊朗 (Yī lǎng / Iran)
澳大利亚 (Ào dà lì yà / Australia)
FYI, China (中国/Zhōng guó) has played once in the World Cup, and that was in 2002 when it lost all three games and failed to score a single goal. The appearance, however, was monumental.
Interested in learning more Chinese country names? Here’s the full list of 197 country names in Chinese plus their abbreviations.
World Cup Vocabulary in Chinese
Ready to brush up on your vocabulary in Chinese? World Cup fans and football newbies alike will enjoy this awesome vocabulary list!
If you want to branch out beyond football, we also have a general post on sports in Chinese. For now, check out the following sections broken down by category so you can talk all about the World Cup in Chinese!
General World Cup Vocabulary in Chinese
These words are vital to know to get the conversation started with Chinese-speaking football fans.
group of death
sǐwáng zhī zǔ
World Cup Game Lingo in Chinese
Now we’ll cover the different tangible components of the football game to help you level up.
out of bounds
Not enough? We’ve also written a detailed Chinese vocabulary guide for football if you want to talk more knowledgeably about football in Chinese.
Chinese Phrases Related to the World Cup
Now that you’ve seen a bunch of useful vocabulary words about the World Cup in Chinese, we’ll leave you with some top Chinese phrases you can use when talking about the World Cup, or watching the games with your Chinese-speaking friends.
We’ve also thrown in a few advanced expressions at the end if you’re ready to take your knowledge to the next level!
Nǐ shì qiúmí ma?
Are you a football fan?
Zhè cì shìjiè bēi nǐ kàn le ma?
Did you watch the World Cup this time?
Quán shìjiè de qiúmí dōu zài kàn shìjiè bēi.
Football fans around the world are watching the World Cup.
Kǎ tǎ ěr shìjiè bēi shì shǐ shàng zuì guì de yí jiè shìjiè bēi.
The World Cup Qatar is the most expensive World Cup ever in history.
Zhè shì Méi xī hé Luó nà ěr duō de zuìhòu yí jiè shìjiè bēi.
This is Messi and Ronaldo’s last World Cup.
Zuótiān de bǐsài nǐ kàn le ma?
Did you watch the game yesterday?
Wǒ méi kàn zhíbō, dàn kàn le jíjǐn.
I didn’t watch the live game. But I watched the highlights.
Bǐsài tài jīngcǎi le!
What an exciting game!
Zuótiān wǎnshang de bǐsài shéi yíng le?
Which team won last night?
Èr bǐ yī. Rì běn yíng le.
2-1. Japan won.
Jīntiān wǎnshang de bǐsài shì shéi duì shéi?
Which teams are playing against each other tonight?
Bǐsài jǐ diǎn kāishǐ?
When does the game start?
Wǒmen qù nǎli kàn qiú?
Where are we going to watch the game?
Juésài mǎshàng kāishǐ le!
The final is about to begin!
Nǐ zhīchí nǎ zhī qiúduì?
Which team are you for?
Nǐ kàn hǎo nǎ zhī qiúduì?
Which team do you think will win?
Wǒ cāi Ā gēn tíng èr bǐ yī yíng.
I think Argentina will win 2-1.
Nǐ zuì xǐhuan nǎ míng qiúyuán?
Who is your favorite player?
Wǒ dǔ Bā xī shì guànjūn!
I bet Brazil will be the champion!
Bǐsài zěnmeyàng le?
How is the game going?
Jǐ bǐ jǐ le?
What’s the score now?
Háiyǒu duōshǎo shíjiān?
How much time is left?
Fǎ guó yào shū le!
France is about to lose!
Zhège rén bú huì shèmén.
This guy doesn’t know how to shoot.
Cáipàn shì gè xiāzi!
The referee is blind!
Méiyǒu fànguī, shì jiǎshuāi!
It wasn’t a foul! He dived!
Nèi mǎ ěr shòu shāng le. Tā dǎ bù liǎo xià yì chǎng bǐsài.
Neymar was injured. He can’t play the next match.
Tā pǎo bú dòng le, kàn shàngqu fēicháng lèi.
He can’t run anymore. He looks very tired.
Bǐsài jiéshù le!
The game ended!
Bú huì ba! Dé guó bèitáo tài le!
No way! Germany was eliminated!
Gōngxǐ Yīng gé lán jìnjí xià yī lún!
Congratulations on England’s qualification for the next round!
Wǒmen yíng la ! Wǒmen shì shìjiè guànjūn!
We won! We are the champions of the world!
Recap: Talking World Cup in Chinese
With this post, we’ve got you covered to be able to keep up with all the go-to vocab and phrases you’ll need when talking about the World Cup with your Chinese-speaking friends. Don’t be afraid to holler out a few of these at opportune moments during a game, modifying them for your favorite team, of course!
While you’re here, feel free to explore ImproveMandarin.Com, one of the world’s largest sites dedicated to Chinese learning. We serve up straightforward, science-backed guides and honest reviews of courses and apps we’ve battle-tested ourselves to dramatically improve your Chinese.
Here are some posts to help you get started:
Sports in Chinese – The Complete Vocab Guide
Basic Chinese Words and Phrases to Survive in China
Chinese Grammar Made Easy for Overwhelmed Beginners
The Best Way to Learn Chinese in 2023 – An Actionable Guide
By the way, if you’re thinking about taking a Chinese course online, make sure to read our review first. We’ve taken the time to try out dozens of Chinese courses on the internet, some are fabulous while others are junk. Here are honestly the best online Chinese courses in 2023.
Every four years, millions of people across China, like the rest of the world, gather in front of TV screens to watch the FIFA World Cup – the biggest sporting event on the planet! If you want to talk about the World Cup with the locals and put your Mandarin Chinese skills to the test, …
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