Woordenboek Woensdag: Spelen

Perhaps not surprisingly, today’s posting is inspired — once again — by the World Cup. After all, I’ve been watching the Dutch coverage of the matches, so I’ve been hearing a lot of basic terms used repeatedly. This is how I started learning Italian years ago, as well. This is going to be a quick posting, since it’s half time of the Chile-Honduras match and I don’t have much time.

One of the terms that I’ve definitely learned in the past week has been wedstrijd (match), in part because it’s said a lot, and in part because I kept mishearing it in the past and wondered why they were talking about websites (with a strange accent) so much during matches. A similar word is spel (game). Is spel used more for “games” in general, while wedstrijd is used more for sporting/football “matches”?

Spelen (to play) is the verb of the day, or perhaps of the month. It’s definitely being used extensively! There’s also speler (player). The problem comes when de spits (striker) is buitenspel (offside), ruining a goeie kans (good chance) at a doel (goal). One last question: spits is listed in my dictionary as both de and het. Is it interchangeable?

7 thoughts on “Woordenboek Woensdag: Spelen

  1. oh, don’t forget:
    de spits: rushhour, it has a lot of traficjams (files)

    And Spel can also talk about the way a player is playing.
    Goed spel: playing nice kind of football, it’s nice to see
    Slecht spel: only playing on defence, it’s no fun to see

  2. Thank you both for clarifying things. I realized after the fact that spel could also have the meaning that Iooryz mentioned. Lots of ways to use spel!

  3. Spelen is the verb of my life. I don’t mean that in a playboy millionaire way (although I wish I did). I just mean my working life revolves around making computer spelen.

    • It does seem to be one of those words that covers a variety of meanings. With the variations on the word, it seems like you could make whole sentences with almost nothing but spel. De speler spelt de spel buitenspel. :p

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