L’Espagne a largement battu l’Italie.

L’Espagne a largement battu l’Italie.

lay-spah-nyah laarzh-mah baa-tew lee-taa-LEE. Click below to hear this.*

Spain beat Italy by a wide margin.

This news may have flown far below your radar, if you’re not a sports fan. But it’s a big deal for those who follow soccer. We’re talking about Euro2012, the European Cup, the finals of which took place yesterday, July 1, 2012.

And the outcome was historical. Spain beat Italy 4-0, which is about as decisive as you can get, especially in a low-scoring game like soccer. In French, L’Espagne a largement battu l’Italie.

English-speakers need to be careful of the French word largement. In English, the cognate largely normally means for the most part–that is, not entirely, but to a great degree. If something is “largely true”, it still has some holes in it. If your debt is “largely” paid off, you still owe. You’re not done yet.

In French, largement means by a large margin. Totally, completely, indisputably. If you Google “largement battu”, you will get a long list of who beat whom, from track and field to soccer to politics. Some people just manage to do things in a grand way.

Oh, and here’s where you can read about the match in French.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:

l_espagne_a_largement_battu_l_italie.mp3

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