I know that a lot Juventus fans are not Italian, nor do they speak Italian. With this idea, I've written up a translation for a lot of words you'll hear commonly used in calcio, some of which I use frequently myself. In a lot of cases, the Italian word helps us differentiate where English has trouble (ie- mediano v. regista, as opposed to defensive midfielder) so it's useful. Il, gli, i, la, and le are just the pronouns. Plus, if you're a fan of Juventus, Serie A, or the Azzurri, you should probably learn a few phrases of Italian anyways! So without further ado...I present the Juventus Offside comprehensive Calcio dictionary.
THE STADIUM AND SECTIONS OF THE FIELD:
La area di rigore- The 18 yard box in which fouls are penalties
La area piccola- The small 6 yard box within the 18
Il campo- The pitch
Il centrocampo- The midfield
La fascia- The wings, or flanks. Also the word for the Captain's armband.
La rete- The net, frequently used by Italian commentators to mark a goal- like this guy, who's name I cannot remember right now. He's probably SKY's second most famous commentator after Fabio Caressa.
Il pallone/la palla- Two ways of saying the ball
Il palo- The post on the goal
La porta- The "door" or the goal, often a shot that goes wide commentators will say something like "Un buon tiro ma non trova la porta." A good shot but he couldn't find the door.
La traversa- The crossbar
Lo stadio- The stadium
La curva- The areas behind the goals, usually where the ultras sit
La tribuna- The main stands
La panchina- The bench, referred to both as "Ferrara is on Juve's panchina" or the players that are substitutes.
Tifosi/ultra- Tifosi are fans, ultras are the hardcore fans. Tifare is the verb to cheer, ie- "Io (I) tifo la Juve."
Il calcio- Soccer/football. It comes from the verb "calciare", to kick.
Calciatore- Soccer/football player.
Giocatore- A player, giocare is the verb "to play"
Portiere- Goalkeeper, I find it funny in France he's called "le gol."
Allenatore- The coach, often called "il mister."
Arbitro- The referee
Guardalinee- The linesman
La difensa- The defense
Difensore centrale- Central defender.
Stopper- Same as in English, a stopper. There aren't too many of these around, they were usually used in combination with a libero. Claudio Gentile was one of the greatest stoppers for Juventus.
Libero- Like stoppers, this position doesn't really exist in the modern game, but in English it is a sweeper. For an idea of what these used to be, read my Juventus Legends post on Gaetano Scirea, who was probably one of the finest liberos alongside Beckenbauer.
Sinistro- Left, along with destro can be used for a lot of things. When yelled by itself, it usually means a shot from the left or right foot. A terzino sinistro would be a left-back.
Destro- Right, see above. Obviously these can be applied to any words, not just defenders.
Volante- Literally means flying, usually applied to terzini who attack, another words a terzino volante would be a wingback like Grosso.
Centrale- An all-around central midfielder, ie- Marchisio.
Mediano- Defensive midfielder, one who recovers the ball and breaks up play. These players usually can't dribble too well, can't shoot, can't pass, but their role is still vital.
Regista- Literally, it means director, as in movies. And hence what the player does, he is a "deep-lying playmaker" who sits back and "directs" the play. These players often are not very good defensively and are paired with a mediano. Ie- Andrea Pirlo is a regista, Gattuso is a mediano. For Juve, we don't have a regista but Sissoko, Melo, and Poulsen are mediani.
Trequartista- Literally it means 3/4ers, referring to where they play, not in the final quarter of the pitch, but just behind. They are the classic #10s, who play behind the strikers right outside the area di rigore. They have to be very creative, good with the ball at their feet, and generally having a good eye for goal. Diego and Giovinco are our current trequartistas, Nedved occasionally played there but the last one we really had in the team is Zidane. Del Piero can play there, but he usually plays further up as a "seconda punta." Fantasista is often a synonym, but it just means a creative player who dazzles us.
Laterale- This is a midfielder that plays on the side, a "side-midfielder." I avoid saying winger because I have that connotation as a more attacking player. Typically, these players play on the side of a 4-4-2, Nedved and Camoranesi are examples.
Ala- A winger, more like Cristiano Ronaldo. You won't see this too much in Italy, because Italy has never produced those kind of players. Any young winger is converted most of the time into a terzino volante, ie- what will probably happen to Abate. Brazil and South America in general have plenty of these, but Italy has trouble producing enough laterales to begin with.
Attaccante- The generic word for a striker or forward.
Prima Punta- Punta has a lot of definitions, but a "point" I guess would be the best one. Prima means first, so a prima punta is a striker who plays far up and is a reference point for attack. These are usually the big goalscorers, and it can be a variety of forms- Pacey players, like Iaquinta, poachers, like Trezegol or Inzaghi, or big men up front, like Luca Toni or Amauri. Generally they are the less creative player and their position is relatively fixed at the head of the squad. A synonym for this is "centravanti" or literally, forward.
Seconda Punta- This has a decent translation, as a "second striker." This is the more creative of the forwards, also known as a "support striker" because his job is to also create and carve out assists for the other players, this position is of course is filled at Juventus by il capitano, Del Piero. Often there's confusion between a seconda punta in English and a trequartista because they both are creative, have an eye for goal, and frequently wear #10. Also, since the players have similar characteristics they can often play both positions. The difference is in the positioning, seconda puntas play further up top, though they do have considerable more amount of freedom than prima puntas in moving around.
Attaccante di peso- Literally means "striker of weight." And that's what he is, it is a prima punta who uses his body strength and physical stature to score goals, Amauri would be a case of this. These types of forwards are typically very good in the air and score headers.
Il bomber, attaccante di rapina- Bomber is obviously borrowed from English, the second is interesting, it means literally a striker who robs. Basically they refer to the same kind of player, a prima punta who knows how to score and thats it, Inzaghi, Trez, a poacher. A bomber can be referred to as any player who scores a ton, however.
FOULS AND ACTIONS OF PLAY
Ammonito- Literally "warned" so a warning from the referee, usually meaning a cartellino giallo. A booking.
Assist- Just like English, an assist.
Autogol- Own goal, often if it's a bad one it uses my favorite Italian word- AUTOGOL CLAMOROSO!! Clamoroso means shocking.
Barriera- A wall, set up for free kicks
Calcio di rigore- Penalty kick
Calcio d'angolo- Corner kick, often they use the English word though and just say "un corner."
Calcio di punizione- Free kick
Cartellino Giallo/Rosso- Yellow and red cards, respectively. For both, they often will just simply say "giallo" or "rosso.". So anotherwords, "rosso per Sissoko."
Colpo di testa- A header, literally "a hit of the head."
Contropiede- A counter-attack
Dribbling- Same thing.
Espulsione- To be sent off
Errore- An error
Fallo di mano- Handball
Fallo laterale- A throw-in, referred to as rimessa
Fischiare, fischio- To whistle, or whistle. Often in Italian soccer you'll hear plenty of whistling from the fans, but also a "fischio dell'arbitro" would be a referee blowing the whistle.
Fuorigioco- Inzaghi, or "offside"
Gol- Goal, as I said they often say "rete" instead. Great goals are referred to as Eurogoals, Golaccio, or often borrowing the Spanish term Golazo. Doppietta is two goals in a match, tripletta is a hat-trick
Lancio- A kick, a long ball pass is called "lancio in profundità"
Papera- A horrible error from a goalkeeper
Pallonetto- A lob
Passaggio- A pass
Parata- A save
Primo tempo/secondo tempo- First half, second half. Often the second half is called "la ripresa", the resumption.
Rabona- A pass or shot where you effectively kick the ball with your legs crossed.
Rovesciata- A bicycle kick
Segnare- To score
Subire- To concede a goal, synonym is "prendere gol" to take a goal
Scivolata- A sliding challenge
Sbagliare The verb to screw up
Sosituzione- A substitution, or "cambio" a change.
Tacco- Back heel
Traversone- Cross, but like calcio d'angolo they also say "cross" often, ie- "cross molto bello!"
Tiro- A shot
Tuffo- Gilardino, or another words, a dive.
CALCIO OFF THE FIELD:
Andata e Ritorno- Andata is the first half of the season, ritorno is the 2nd part. It literally means "go and return," kinda like a plane ticket.
Capocannoniere- Top scorer for a season
La classifica- The table, or the standings
La fascia- Captain's armband
Forza- Best translation is "Go!" Used for every team, "Forza Juve," or with the Nazionale (national team) "Forza Italia!" An interesting thing to note is since Berlusconi bastardized the elections with a strange blend of football and politics, many in 2006 chanted "Forza Azzurri" (Go Blues) instead of "Forza Italia" which is the name of Berlusconi's political party. That would be like if Bush named his party "America, fuck yeah!"
La moviola- Replays, shown later in the day, generally focusing on "polemiche" or the controversies of the day.
Pareggio- A draw
Posto- The place of the team in the standings, ie- Quarto posto is 4th place.
Promozione- The promotion to Serie A.
Retrocedere, la retrocessione- To be relegated, and relegation.
La salvezza- Avoiding the drop to Serie B
Sconfitta-- A loss
La stagione- The season
La sfida- The game, synonyms- La partita, la gara, etc.
Scudetto- Literally it means little shield, but obviously it means the champions of Italy
Sudditanza, or sudditanza psicologica- A bias from the referee for the big teams, sometimes it's said that it is an unconscious favoring of them
Vantaggio- To be in the lead
Il mercato- The transfer market
Acquistare- To sign, "acquistato" would be a signing
Cessione- A sale
Scambio- Exchange, or switch. Usually this is clamoroso.
In prestito- A player in loan
TEAMS AND NICKNAMES: Many teams are simply referred to as their colors, hence us being the bianconeri, here I put those and others that sometimes have odd nicknames. An interesting note is that Juventus and Sampdoria are the only that do not have the name of their city in the team name, and Juventus is the only with a wholly non-Italian name.
Atalanta- Nerazzurri, black-and-blue for their colors. Also referred to as Orobici (which I don't know what it means), and "la Regina delle provinciali" or the queen of the provinces, as it is a good team not in a big city, Bergamo is fairly small.
Bari- Biancorossi, white-and-red. Also referred to as "i Galletti" the roosters, to which I still do not know why.
Bologna- Rossoblu, red-and-blue. Other nicknames include i Felsinei which comes from Felsineo, the word for someone from Bologna.
Cagliari- Rossoblu, red-and-blue. Other nicknames include Isolani (Islanders) and Sardi, both referring to their status as an island team in Sardegna.
Catania- Rossoazzurri, red-and-blu. Other nicknames are gli Elefanti, the elephants, and gli Etnei, referring to Mount Etna nearby. The elephant is a symbol of the city of Catania.
Chievo- Gialloblu, yellow-and-blue, or the Mussi Volanti, the flying donkeys. Chievo is a tiny suburb of Verona and the bigger team, Hellas Verona, would chant that donkeys would fly before Chievo made it to Serie A. Hellas now is in Serie C2 following a disastrous 5 years.
Fiorentina- La Viola, the purples. Also called i Gigliati, referring to the fleur-de-lis on their crest.
Genoa- Rossoblu, red-and-blue, also called il grifone, the griffin and less often Il vecchio balordo, the old fool. The griffin stems from its status as the symbol of Genova, and legendary journalist and self-proclaimed Genoa fan Gianni Brera referring to Genoa's failings in post-WWII Italy.
Inter- Nerazzurri, black-and-blue, or the Beneamata, the well-loved (because of their reputation as a group of losers) and il Biscione, the big snake which is a symbol of the city of Milano.
Juventus- Bianconeri, black-and-white for the shirts we imported from Notts County. La Vecchia Signora, which is a pun on the fact that Juventus is Latin for youth (the only non-Italian named team in Italy) and of course La Fidanzata d'Italia, the girlfriend of Italy for the role we have played in many a relationship in Italy. Also sometimes called "le zebrette" or the zebras, for obvious reasons.
Lazio- Biancocelesti, just as Argentina, the white-and-sky-blues. Also referred to as the Aquile or Aquilotti which means eagle, named for the Roman legions that were called the same.
Livorno- Amaranto, or dark-reds. Also called i Labronici, which is an interesting story, meaning "big-lipped" and referring to residents of the city of Livorno.
Milan- Rossoneri, the red-and-blacks. Also called il Diavolo, the devil, because Berlusconi is the teams owner.
Napoli- Azzurri, or blues. They are also often called i Partenopei, referring to the Greek legend of the sirens. Another nickname is i Ciucciarelli, which means the little donkeys. I did not know this story until Francesco's Calcio Quiz from a few months back, the symbol was originally a black horse, but after a series of poor performances they were jokingly called just a bunch of donkeys.
Palermo- The Rosanero, the pink-and-black. Also referred to as "le Aquile" like Lazio, the eagles, which is in the city crest of Palermo. (Thanks Lorenzo)
Parma- Gialloblu, yellow-and-blue. Also called the Ducali, for the Duchy of Parma and the i Crociati, the crusaders, referring to the role the city of Parma played in the Crusades.
Roma- The Giallorossi, the yellow-and-reds, though it looks more orange-and-red to me. Also called la Magica by its fans, and i Lupi, the wolves, referring to the city of Rome's legendary founding by Romulus and Remus.
Sampdoria- Blucerchiati, the blue-ringed. A little interesting fact is they have a sailor on their badge, who is apparently is the name Giovanni Battista in Italian, an alternative version of my last name, Giambattista. (John the Baptist)
Siena- Another Bianconeri, with Juve and Udinese. Also called the "Robur" which is some word associated with the region of Siena, Latin for "strength."
Udinese Like Juventus, they are referred to as i Bianconeri and Le Zebrette, for their colors. Also called i Friulani, for the unique region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia that they are from.
Hope this helps a bit. If there's any words in English you'd like to know the Italian for, or vice versa, just post below. Corrections welcome as well, particularly for the club nicknames!