The songs, chants, and cheers of each country's World Cup fans will be inundating your ears come Thursday, so here's primer on what loud noises you'll likely be hearing throughout the tournament.
Group A – Brazil – "Eu sou brasileiro"
The clapping chant is three lines that even a non-Portuguese speaker can learn easily. "Eu sou brasileiro, com muito orgulho, com muito amor." It then repeats. If you know basic Spanish, you should be able to pick out what that means: I'm Brazilian, with a lot of pride, with a lot of love. The chant has some tonal ups and downs, but you'll likely hear enough of this chant from Brazilian fans all World Cup long to get the hang of it.
Group B – Spain – "Yo soy Español"
Spain had plenty to cheer when they won the World Cup four years ago, and their favored chant will be back in full force. "Yo soy Español, Español, Español," the yell goes, letting everyone near you know that you are indeed Spanish. Heck, even Niall of One Direction knows the song. Let him and tens of thousands of screaming girls teach you how it's done. (Note: turn down the sound.)
Group C – Japan – "Vamos Nippon"
Japan's major chant takes from the Spanish word for "vamos," meaning let's go or come on. "Nippon" is the Japanese way of referring to their own country. Put the two together and add some "Oooooooo" and you've got "Vamos Nippon," a basic chant that is perfect for spontaneously encouraging the Land of the Rising Sun on to victory.
Group D (part 1) – Italy – "Chi non salta"
Italy's big chant is a repeating one-liner that goes with lots of hopping and jumping. "Chi non salta [opponent's name] é, é," the crowd chants, which basically translates to "[Opponent] do not jump." If you're a fan of the other team, don't jump, the Italian fans say as they jump and cheer. So when Italy plays Costa Rica on June 20th, you may hear the crowd chant "Chi non salta Costaricani é, é," while Italians jump up and down exuberantly. Here's a taste of what's in store.
Group D (part 2) – England – "Two World Wars and One World Cup"
One of England's favored chants is the song version of those tasteless "Back-to-back World War Champs" hats you see at highway gas stations in the United States. The chant goes to the tune of "Camptown races," and is pretty straightforward. "Two World Wars and one World Cup, England, England. Two World Wars and one World Cup, England all the way."
The chant is controversial, to be sure, for being fairly stupid, jingoistic, and insensitive to now-allied Germans. It's also common enough that it was a punchline in this 2010 World Cup commercial. Germany and England are on opposite sides of the World Cup bracket this year, so the English aren't likely to have the opportunity to direct that chant at their former wartime adversaries.
Group E – France — "Allez Les Bleus"
The French team's blue jerseys lend the inspiration for this chant, which repeats "Allez Les Bleus" again and again. Go Blue! It's a chant University of Michigan fans can get behind, certainly. In practice, it often sounds like three ambiguous vowel sounds without clear pronunciation. But that might just be because of the intoxication level of French fans.
Group F – Argentina – "Vamos Vamos Argentina"
Sure, we could go with the tried and true "Ole, ole, ole. Messi, Messi" chant, but another Argentinian ditty is what the real fans chant. "Vamos vamos Argentina" has the benefit of being repeating, loud, and also mildly obscene. Here are the lyrics:
Vamos Vamos Argentina,
Vamos Vamos a ganar,
Que esta barra quilombera,
No te deja no te deja de alentar.
That roughly translates to: "Let's go let's go Argentina, we have to we have to win, because these raucous supporters, won't stop won't stop cheering." The best part of the chant is that "quilombera" has a double meaning; it means a mess or bedlam, but it's also a slang term for a brothel. So feel free to sing for Argentina while giggling to yourself about saying a bad word.
Group G – United States – "Boom Boom Clap"
In terms of simplicity and loudness, the U.S.'s boom boom clap chant hits a 10 out of 10. Members of the American Outlaws, the name of the major U.S. fan group, put their hands in the air like a Y. A leader hits a drum twice, then everyone claps. It's pretty straightforward; hear a boom and another boom, and then clap. The chant starts off incredibly slow — Boom.... Boom.... Clap — but then ramps up in speed as the drum beats get closer and closer together. The entire crowd with their hands in the air clapping on beat makes for an impressive sound and sight.
Group H – Algeria – "One-two-three"
"One-two-three. Viva l'Algiré," goes the Algerian chant, which references Algeria's momentous 3-2 victory over the colonialist French at the Mediterranean Games in 1975. That boast began as anti-French resentment but has turned into a national chant of pride for the Algerians, who will certainly bring it out despite not being favored to survive past the group stage.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.