Off topic: Don't drink the water!
Thread poster: John Bowden
John Bowden  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:48
German to English
Jul 11, 2007

I've recently been told the same joke in English and German, and I was wondering if it is also told in other languages; the English version goes something like this:


A Welsh farmer was out on his Welsh hillside tending one day, when he saw a man drinking with a cupped hand from the stream which ran down from one of his fields. Realizing the danger, he shouted over to the man,
"Paidwch yfed yr dwr! Mae'n ych-y-fi" (don't drink the water, it's not nice).

The man at the stream lifted his head and put a cupped hand to his ear, shrugged his shoulders at the farmer, and carried on drinking.

Realising the man at the stream couldn't hear him, the farmer moved closer.

"Paid fachgen! Dwr ych-y-fi! Defaid crappio yn y dwr!" (Don't boy, the water is not nice. The sheep crap in the water).

Still the walker couldn't hear the farmer. Finally the farmer walked right up to the man at the stream and once again said
"Dwr yn ch-y-fi! Dim yfed!" (the water's dirty don't drink it!)


"I'm dreadfully sorry my good man, I couldn't understand a word you said"
said the man at the stream in a fine English accent.

"Oh I see" said the farmer in English,
"I was just saying, if you use both hands you can get more in".

The German version always involves a person drinking from the River Isar in Munich, who is warned not to drink the water by a passer-by in a broad Bavarian dialect - the man replies in an East German dialect (probably Saxon, Brandenburg or Berlin dialect), at which the Bavarian replies in standard German that he should drink the river water slowly because it's cold.

Can anybody quote examples of this joke in other languages? I could imagine it would "travel" well, as long as there are two identifiable dialects whose speakers don't get on very well!


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:48
German to Italian
+ ...
Italian Jul 11, 2007

Yes, I had heard it in Italian many years ago: in this case it's about a Northern Italian and a Southern Italian

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 11:48
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Don't remember Jul 11, 2007

But probably in Finland the stranger would be Swedish.
Cheers
Heinrich


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cecile_warrot
Belgium
Local time: 10:48
English to French
+ ...
It also exists in French Jul 11, 2007

I have heard the same in Belgium between a Walloon and a Flemish. The Walloon also tells to drink slowly because it is cold.

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Strega  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
French-Dutch Jul 11, 2007

In Belgium, we've got lots of jokes like this.
Flemish against French speaking Belgians...


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Also in Catalan Jul 11, 2007

Used from people outside Barcelona to ridiculize the Barcelonese "urbanitas" and their particular accent and attitudes.

In fact, it's useful for any group you wish to laugh at

Ruth @ MW

[Edited at 2007-07-11 21:40]


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Veronika Hansova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 10:48
Member (2006)
English to Czech
+ ...
Fantastic - also in Czech (and Moravian accent) Jul 12, 2007

I can't believe it, but it is true. this time it is about Moravian citizen discouraging a Praguer from drinking the water from a city fountain (don't ask me how the water gets polluted in the fountain).
For that purpose I cannot even quote the joke since i could hurt somebody's national feelings and also the joke in Czech is a bit vulgar (but still very funny
More or less, it drives at the famous "Prague-centrism"...


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Almost the same in Belarusian/Ukrainian towards Russian Jul 12, 2007

But it sounds a bit harsher:

Western Belarus (Ukraine), some time after the 2nd World War. A village. A man is trying to drink some water from a well. A local peasant sees it and shouts in Belarusian (Ukrainin):
- Are ye nuts?! The Moskali (in modern Belarusian/Ukraininan - pejorative for Russians) have poisoned this well!
The first man answers in Russian:
- Sorry, pal. I can't understand you.
The peasant, in Russian:
- I say, don't drink too fast, yer throat'll ache.

(for reference - in Belarusian):
Паваенная заходняя Беларусь, вёска. Расеец п'е ваду з калодзежа. Селянін крычыць яму:
- Ты што, з глузду зьехаў? Маскалі ваду атруцілі!
Расеец:
- Извини, товарищ, я тебя не понимаю.
Селянін:
- Я говорю, не пей быстро, горло простудишь.

[Редактировалось 2007-07-12 10:47]


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, in Catalan, this short form too !! Jul 12, 2007

Western Belarus (Ukraine), some time after the 2nd World War. A village. A man is trying to drink some water from a well. A local peasant sees it and shouts in Belarusian (Ukrainin):
- Are ye nuts?! The Moskali (in modern Belarusian/Ukraininan - pejorative for Russians) have poisoned this well!
The first man answers in Russian:
- Sorry, pal. I can't understand you.
The peasant, in Russian:
- I say, don't drink too fast, yer throat'll ache.


Good: I also knew this short form. It's particularly good when you deal with a pal on the drinker side. For obvious reasons they may need shorter, easier to understand versions...

Ruth @ MW


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
By the way, Jul 12, 2007

could you all put up the original versions of the joke(s) in your languages? Just for fun.

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John Bowden  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:48
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Good idea... Jul 12, 2007

esperantisto wrote:

could you all put up the original versions of the joke(s) in your languages? Just for fun.


The German version I mentioned goes something like this:

"München, Hochsommer, Mittagshitze ca. 38 ° C:

Steht ein Mann in Badehose mitten in der Isar, füllt einen Maßkrug mit Flußwasser und will gerade zu trinken anfangen, als vom Ufer ein Bayer zu ihm hinüberbrüllt:

"He, Du do, wos machst'n nacha Du do? Bist deppert? Du konnst doch net des dreckerte Isarwassa saufa. Do werst doch krank und griagst an sackrischen Duachfoi und schbeim muaßt gwis a drauf! D'Hund und Katzn scheiß'n nei; des is do ois mit Bakterien und Vir'n versaicht. Wenn's bled hergeht, muaßt sogoa ganz elendiglich dro voregga."

Der Mann in der Isar schaut ihn an und fragt:

"Wat ham se jesacht? Sprechen Se keen Deutsch, Mann?"

Darauf plärrt der Bayer im perfekten Schriftdeutsch noch lauter:

"Gaaanz langsam trinken, das Wasser ist seeehr kalt..."

I'm interested in the cultural differences in this joke: e.g. in the various German versions, which are all very close, the man is always drinking from a "Maßkrug" (large beer mug, often called a "stein" in English - one version of the joke even describes how he buys the mug from the landlord of the pub next to the river!) - whereas the English versions always mention "cupped hands", and the Czech version apparently has him drinking from a fountain! The German versions also always seem to mention that it's "the middle of summer" and give a temperature, as if to explain why the man should be drinking at all!

Thanks to all of you for your very interesting input - any more out there?!.



[Edited at 2007-07-12 12:08]

[Edited at 2007-07-12 12:09]

[Edited at 2007-07-12 12:25]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:48
Member
French to English
+ ...
Home-brew version Jul 12, 2007

Well, I'd never heard that one before, but I'm quite proud of the fact that I had quite spontaneously invented a not-dissimilar joke of my own! In fact, it was a genuine remark I once made to an elderly lady neighbour of mine, quite an old harridan, who has something of a reputation as a gossip and a witch!

I offered her a chocolate, and she replied: "I shouldn't really, because of my diabetes... still, one isn't going to kill me..." — to which I replied: "Oh, do take TWO!"

The others in the room fell about in hysterics at my shocking rudeness, though luckily, the poor old dear didn't get it at all — though she did give me an oddly sideways look.

When English black humour meets French country peasants...


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Nadine Kahn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:48
English to German
+ ...
Swabian - Saxon (Danube) Jul 12, 2007

Steht ein Schwabe auf einer Donaubrücke und sieht einen Mann
am Ufer knien und das Wasser aus der Donau trinken.
Er ruft sofort warnend: "Heh! Bischd verruggd? Des Wassr kasch
doch net saufa. Desch doch gifdig ond dreggad!"
Der Sachse am Ufer schreit zurück: "Nuh, was haste jesacht?"
Da ruft der Schwabe: "Langsam trinken! Das Wasser ischd kalt!"


[Edited at 2007-07-12 17:01]


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