And then he said, "How do you think I rang the doorbell?"
May 3, 2014 10:31 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for examples of jokes that just don't translate.
posted by vogon_poet to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
It's notoriously the case that a lot of jokes are only funny in their original language. I'm looking for examples of these: either foreign jokes that lose something translated into English, or English jokes that non-English-speakers find baffling.
I'm not especially interested in jokes that rely on puns and wordplay -- of course these won't translate -- although if they are particularly befuddling it would be a helpful contribution. I'm also not that interested in jokes that rely on cultural context that speakers of the target language wouldn't have (e.g. the Russian joke about Karl Radek in the prison). I'm really looking for cases where the humor just disappears in translation and it isn't clear why -- which is of course funny in its own way.