I haven't written much about the World Cup -- nothing since the time my entire school gathered in the auditorium to watch Korea vs. Russia -- and this is because I'm not really following the games. Facebook and a few blogs I follow have kept me in the loop enough to satisfy my curiosity. This morning, though, when my news feed exploded with status updates and funny pictures related to the Brazil vs. Germany game, I thought it would be worth checking out in more detail.
That's how I found out that the gods of international soccer, Brazil, sustained a record-breaking, mind-blowing 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-final match. This game was on their home turf, and there were tens of thousands of fans present, hundreds of thousands more watching on television, as the team failed spectacularly again and again and again.
Photos of Brazil's soccer team looking agonized and desolate, as well as photos of angry, crying, screaming fans have gone viral. In a moment of inspiration, I made a last-minute addition to my afternoon lesson and taught my third years about schadenfreude.
"It's a German word," I said, "so it's appropriate that we are learning it today."
I looked up the Korean definition; there's no translation, just an explanation. "남의 불행에 대해 갖는 쾌감": "pleasure derived from other people's misfortune."
HS was very pleased to learn this. He said that he experiences schadenfreude quite often. We then took a break to watch some "epic fail" videos.
The actual point of bringing up the World Cup game was to remind the students how to correctly talk about winning and losing. It's kind of complex in English (why "A lost to B" but not "B won to A"?), and then there's all the slang we use to refer to victory and defeat. "What happened at the World Cup today?" I asked my students. Their using-what-they'd-just-learned-replies:
"Germany kicked Brazil's butt."
"Germany schooled Brazil."
"Brazil blew it."
"Germany steamrollered Brazil."
"Germany owned Brazil."
"Brazil was a hot mess."
"Brazil got creamed."
And because we all had a good laugh at this, well... schadenfreude!