A World Cup language lesson—for non-fans

The World Cup has a way of new making soccer fans around the world—even China, despite not having a team, has audiences who get up at midnight with beer and snacks, and get riveted by the TV for 90 minutes (or longer), only laugh or cry over the result all over social media afterwards…

Those who haven’t bought into the hype, though, might have had a rather lonely time in the bars or WeChat Moments this month, and it’s only going to get worse with the semi-finals. But don’t worry: as social animals, there’s always the option of faking it to gain acceptance from the tribe. With these simple tips below, you, too, can feign interest and find opportunity to join the soccer talk, even if you don’t know any rules or recognize the players:

Be sorry for a team that has left; any team

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author Sun Jiahui (孙佳慧)

Sun Jiahui is a freelance writer and former editor at The World of Chinese. She writes about Chinese language, society and culture, and is especially passionate about sharing stories of China's ancient past with a wider audience. She has been writing for TWOC for over six years, and pens the Choice Chengyu column.

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