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Playing Backgammon Game in Different Languages

Imagine you are on a holiday in some magical island with turquoise sea, golden sands, coconut trees and all. Eventually, you get tired of swinging on the hammock and counting the stars, and you feel like doing something more productive, such as playing backgammon game.

The laptop is not with you, so you cannot be playing backgammon game online, like you are used to; and with all the sunscreens, you forget to pack a backgammon board. You try to check with the beautiful French girl, if she happens to have one, but she is not familiar with the word “backgammon”, nor does it ring any bells to the group of Israeli fellows. God dam it, you must be cursing now, how many phrase books should you take for a holiday?

Now open your eyes and wipe up your forehead. After reading this exclusive and comprehensive guide, playing backgammon game in different languages, this horrifying nightmare will never come to life.

How to Say Backgammon in Other Languages

Playing backgammon game is very popular worldwide. But it does not carry the same name everywhere around the world. In fact, the name backgammon was not in use until the 17th century, which is about 2000 years after the game was invented. The argument on whether the word “backgammon” means “little battle” in Welsh or back game in Middle English, is still unsettled.

You will not need to carry a phrase book to the United States, England, Australia and New Zealand, but note that in Scotland, backgammon is simply called Gammon.

The term backgammon game is pretty familiar among German backgammon players, yet the term Puff (sometime spelled Poof) refers to the same game.

If you are travelling to France, you should know that backgammon game in French is called Tric-Trac.

In Spain, they call backgammon game Tablas Reales and in Italy backgammon game is called Tavole Reale. In both countries, the meaning is “real board”.

Some believe that Ancient Greece is the motherland of backgammon game. If this is true; no wonder the game is so popular there! Backgammon game is called Tavli by the Greeks. It means table, and it contains three different games, all of them played on a backgammon game board: Portes, Plakoto, and Fevga.

In Turkey, backgammon game is called Tavla and it is played without the doubling cube. Same game with the same rules is called Takteh in Iran.

Shesh Besh is the term that describes backgammon game in Hebrew; while in Arabic it is called Tawla (which also means “a table” in Arabic). The origin of the name is Turkish, by the way.

In Russia, backgammon game is called Narde, and its rules are closer to the Turkish variant of backgammon game, rather than to the Western backgammon rules played in most countries around the world.

Finally, if you are visiting Brazil or Portugal, be on familiar terms with the term Gamao.

To make things easy this is a small summary of how to say backgammon in other languages. Feel free to print it and get it into your traveler bag…


English
Backgammon

German
Puff (poof)

French
Tric Trac

Spanish
Tablas Reales

Italian
Tavole Reale

Greek
Tavli (Portes, Plakoto, Fevga)

Turkish
Tavla

Iranian
Takteh

Hebrew
Shesh Besh

Russian
Narde

Brazil
Gamago

Arabic
Tawla

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