Your child's ... entrenador
A memory from my son's U-9 soccer days: The coach, who could fly through the air but did not speak much English, wanted Aaron to do a throw-in. "Adelante! Adelante! Adelante!" the coach yelled and my son, who spoke no Spanish, just stood there, clueless.
It got worse when two Spanish-speaking brothers on the opposing team rushed in from both sides in front of my son. Not seeing them, I tried to translate. "Aaron, throw it straight ahead," I said. He threw the ball right to the Garcia boys, who took it and scored.
Ever since that day, I try to make sure my kids -- and those I coach -- know at least a few words of basic soccer Spanish. (Entrenador is coach, by the way).
Bilingualism is a hot-button issue, I know. But there are superb coaches out there, many from South America; not to mention parents on the sidelines screaming, "mandale mandale mandale" (send it, send it, send it) and "parate parate parate" (stop the ball, stop the ball, stop the ball).
Good phrases for soccer: "duro" (hard), "arriba" (high, or in the air), "con la cabeza" (head it), "a la linea" (up the line) and "atras" (behind you.)
If Berlitz is not on your to-do list, befriend someone bilingual so you'll understand when an adult says "al suelo," which could be interpreted as "trip him!" That's dirty even in my neighborhood.
Marlene Sokol, Times Coach