ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas

 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
User
Thread poster: Alison Sparks
Off topic: Bilingual Jokes
Alison Sparks  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:42
French to English
+ ...
Feb 25, 2012


This thread is part of the Translator playground: a place for translators to have fun, to network, to learn, and to hone their translation or linguistic skills. See the announcement here.

Need a quick break from work? In this forum translators and language professionals can share quotes about translation, tongue twisters and word plays, translation challenges, etc.

All are welcome to participate and to add new items to this and the other areas of the Translator playground; have fun with it! If you need help or would like to propose an addition to the Translator playground, contact site staff through the online support system.



I came across a joke the other day which was only funny if one knew both languages. I'm wondering if any one has other examples. I have to admit the joke works better when spoken.

Here goes for the joke - and I hope it amuses you.

An English speaking visitor to a French rural town is sitting in a bar drinking a beer.

He is approached by one of the locals who points at the beer and says "fourmi".

"No, no" replies the visitor "for me"

The Frenchman thinks for a minute and the repeats "fourmi"

The visitor rather exasperated says again "No, no, for me"

This sequence is repeated several times until the visitor very annoyed thumps the Frenchman who hastily leaves the bar.

The barman seeing the altercation comes across and explains that the Frenchman was saying there is an ant in the beer.

"Oh heavens" says the visitor, "I must apologise to him. Does he come in here often"
"Yes, every day" replies the barman.

The following day the visitor returns and sits at the bar drinking a beer.
Suddenly he spots the Frenchman coming in, and waves to him. "Come here" he says beckoning to the man, "Come here"
To which the man replies "non, non, non pas comme hier"


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:42
English to Dutch
+ ...
English/Dutch Feb 25, 2012

An American is on vacation in the Netherlands when, driving through the countryside, he spots a beautiful little farm. So he pulls up on the driveway to have a closer look. Unfortunately, he doesn't pay attention and crushes a couple of chickens in the process.
The farmer comes out of his house, fuming.
The American tries to tell him to "keep quiet".
To which the Dutch farmer replies: "Kiep kwait? Kiep kwait? K bun wel duzend kiepen kwait!"

(For those who are not familiar with Dutch dialects: The words "keep quiet" sound almost the same as the Dutch rural dialect "kiep kwait", which means "chicken gone". ("Chicken gone? I've lost at least a dozen chicken!")


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quick and dirty English-German Feb 25, 2012

A very old one my mother told me at least 35 years ago. An Englishman visits Germany and greets the locals:

- Englishman: "How do you do?"
- A German: "Hau du zu erst!"

(The German understands something about "hauen", "hitting", and challenges the Englishman to hit first!)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Aradai Pardo Martínez  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:42
Swedish to Spanish
+ ...
Another English-French... Feb 25, 2012

Why did the Chef kill himself?

Because he lost his huile d'olive!



[Edited at 2012-02-25 12:11 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Libor Zajicek  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:42
English to Czech
+ ...
A Russian on the Czech border. Feb 25, 2012

You don´t need to know Czech as such for this one, but at least cultural background.

A Russian on the Czech border.
Border guard: Occupation?
Russian: No, just a visit.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:42
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
"It kin net" Fries / Dutch: to be possible or to not be possible, that's the question Feb 25, 2012

The Netherlands is a small country, but with most countries, it's more diverse than the preconceptions / stereotypes suggest (...).
It has 12 povinces and in three provinces, Limburg, Groningen and Friesland some of the "natives" don't feel ashamed to call the inhabitants of the other 11 provinces plainly strangers or "Nederlanders", which is the common indication for all inhabitants of The Netherlands. So: they see the federal government like a kind of occupying force and visitors from the other 11 province like a kind of intruders. One of the most characteristic provinces is Friesland, one of the survivals (more cultural and langual survivals in Germany and other NL parts) of a former North Sea coastal kingdom, stretching from Belgium to Denmark. The province flag shows seven water lilly leaves, when NL became the crown on its land reclaiming process, it's 12th province, its capital became Lelystad (Lily-city). In my opinion, the lily leaves refer to the lilly leave crowns on the pilars before Solomons temple (or the other way around) and the numbers 7 and 12 aint coincidental either.
Anyway, next to Dutch, English and Papiamento, Fries is one of the unofficial languages and the languages Fries and Dutch do have a lot of false friends, 17 million speakers and some words, of which “net” is the most vicious one: it means “just, exactly” in Dutch, but “not” in Fries. So the biggest joy of the Fries people might be warning a “Nederlander” something aint possible in the hope he / she understands it wrong: “It kin net!” (“it can not”, which the Hollander / stranger / Nederlander understands as “het kan net” = “just enough room to do it”).
The proud Friesland province, where I have been living for 10 joyfull years, noseing out what was not possible and what should not be nosed out, has a lot of proud brands, among them the gin bitter “Sonnema”. So, watch their ad and you’ll ubderstand theat the peasant in the pub easily makes friends by expressing how he warned the Nederlanders / strangers / Hollanders
And then you’d take into account that I saaiiid to these nincompoops “it kin net!!!”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUXiqkAKr-0
The ad shrewdly uses the effect with “Fries is a beautilful language, but we all understand Sonnema”.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cristina Usón Calvo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
On the bus? Feb 25, 2012

This is about an old man who travels from Spain to the States to visit some relatives there, but he cannot speak English at all.

He is quite worried about it, because he has to take a bus after landing; but his relative tells him not to worry and gives him some directions to follow when landing in the USA.

- Don't worry. When you get the desk you just have to say "to Kentucky".

- O.K. I'll do so - replies the old man.

So, the times comes when he has to buy his ticket and he nervoulsy says to the girl behind the desk:
- What may I do for you?
- To Kentucky - says the old man automatically
- On the bus?
- To Kentucky - repeats the old man.

(On the bus? sounds quite similar to a relaxed pronunciation of the question "¿donde vas? -where are you going?-)


Enjoy!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:42
English to Czech
+ ...
:D Feb 25, 2012


Libor wrote:

You don´t need to know Czech as such for this one, but at least cultural background.

A Russian on the Czech border.
Border guard: Occupation?
Russian: No, just a visit.


This one's GOOOD!

Thanks, Libor!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac
Spain
Local time: 03:42
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Great Feb 26, 2012


Alison Sparks wrote:

I came across a joke the other day which was only funny if one knew both languages. I'm wondering if any one has other examples. I have to admit the joke works better when spoken.

Here goes for the joke - and I hope it amuses you.

An English speaking visitor to a French rural town is sitting in a bar drinking a beer.

He is approached by one of the locals who points at the beer and says "fourmi".

"No, no" replies the visitor "for me"

The Frenchman thinks for a minute and the repeats "fourmi"

The visitor rather exasperated says again "No, no, for me"

This sequence is repeated several times until the visitor very annoyed thumps the Frenchman who hastily leaves the bar.

The barman seeing the altercation comes across and explains that the Frenchman was saying there is an ant in the beer.

"Oh heavens" says the visitor, "I must apologise to him. Does he come in here often"
"Yes, every day" replies the barman.

The following day the visitor returns and sits at the bar drinking a beer.
Suddenly he spots the Frenchman coming in, and waves to him. "Come here" he says beckoning to the man, "Come here"
To which the man replies "non, non, non pas comme hier"



Am still chuckling at this one...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:42
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Thanks, Libor Feb 26, 2012

I have to remember that one

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikolai Muraviev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:42
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
En-Ru Feb 26, 2012

1st: Закрой окно, дует! Zakroj okno, duet! (Shut the window, it's windy)
2nd: Do it yourself!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jan Rausch  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:42
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
For those who've not seen it ... Feb 26, 2012

Not strictly on topic, but this comes to mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR0lWICH3rY

Probably something most of you have seen before. Still funny though I think.

[Modifié le 2012-02-26 17:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Potashnik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:42
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Another Ru-En Feb 26, 2012

An Irishman at the airline office in Moscow:

- Two tickets to Dublin
- Kuda, blin? (To where, blin?)
- Tuda, blin! (To there, blin!)

PS. "Blin" in Russian is a mild swear word, something like "damn it". "To Dublin" sounds just like "Tuda, blin". So it looks like the Irishman asks for "two tickets to there, damn it". What makes this joke funny is that he understands the question in Russian and having been misunderstood in English he replies in Russian too, this time actually saying "to there, damn it".


Direct link Reply with quote
 

tabor  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:42
English to Polish
+ ...
Here's another Feb 26, 2012

A ghetto in a US city.
Three local men are preparing to rape a German tourist who's lost his way.
"Nein, nein, NNNNNEEEEEIIIINNNNNN", yells the guy.
The locals decide to phone six more men up to come.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
An old one... Feb 26, 2012

This one has been all over the web, for ages:

Unos compadres se van a Houston de wetbacks y no hablan inglés.

Llega uno de ellos todo torcido por el viaje en la "troka" y se queja con el otro compadre:
"Oiga compadre tengo un dolor pero "perrón" en la "muñeca" que se me sube pa'rriba hasta el "conejo", luego como que se retacha pa'tras y pega en la "paleta" y de ahí pa'rriba hasta las "sienes" compadre.

El compadre contesta:
"Untate mentolato y no estés fregando."

El compadre insiste en que lo lleve al doctor, porque el dolor está muy severo y el compadre más o menos habla Ingles.

Llegan los compadres al Mercifull Hospital y se entrevistan con el Dr.

"Explicale mi dolencia" dice el compadre adolorido. "Usté si habla algo de inglich compadre."

El compadre leído, inicia la explicación:
"Look Doitor, aquí mi "Withfather" tiene un pain bien "dogy" que begun in the "left doll" and then run up to the "rabbit". And from the "rabbit" como que "take" pa' la "bakward" until the "lollipop" y luego agarra, pesca y get pa'rriba and finish in the "one hundreds" de los dos lados..."

El doctor en tono molesto le reprende:
"You are mentally retarded!"

Y el compadre leido le explica al otro:
"¿Ya ves compadre? !Que te pongas mentolato retearto!"


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
RominaZ[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Bilingual Jokes






Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »