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A Few of the Most Hilarious Language and Translator Jokes

I’ve had quite a rough week with countless translation jobs. Now the weekend’s here and I’m in the mood for some language humor. I had always fancied a funny joke, although I’m not really that good at telling one, and here comes the beauty of reading them online! The types of jokes that I’ve really been loving lately are language and translator jokes, so I decided to write a blog post about them. As I was doing my online research for this blog post, I came across some jokes that I didn’t know earlier and they are quite funny! Here they are:

 

Two translators on a ship are talking.

“Can you swim?” asks one.

“No” says the other, “but I can shout for help in nine languages.”

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“I’ve just had the most awful time,” said a boy to his friends. “First I got angina pectoris, then arteriosclerosis. Just as I was recovering, I got psoriasis. They gave me hypodermics, and to top it all, tonsillitis was followed by appendectomy.”

“Wow! How did you pull through?” sympathized his friends.

“I don’t know,” the boy replied. “Toughest spelling test I ever had.”

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The past, the present and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.

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The linguist’s husband walked in and caught his wife sleeping with a young co-ed. He said, “Why, Susan, I’m surprised.”

She bolted upright, pointed her finger and corrected him, “No. I am surprised. You are astonished.”

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A former secretary of commerce liked to tell how a high ranking official once responded to a subordinate’s request for a raise by saying, “Because of the fluctuational predisposition of your position’s productive capacity as juxtaposed to governmental statistics, it would be momentarily injudicious to advocate an incremental increase.”

The staff person said, “I don’t get it.”

The official said, “That’s right.”

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How does a freelancer define “weekend”?

Two working days till Monday.

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A linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative.”
A voice from the back of the room retorted, “Yeah, right.”

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A linguist walks in to a doctor’s office and says “Doctor, I have a rash around my mouth”. After close inspection, the doctor says “hmm, looks to me like it’s perioral dermatitis,” to which the linguist replies “yeah, that’s what I said.”

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A teacher asked a particularly dull, lazy and objectionable pupil if he was ignorant or apathetic. The pupil replied: “I don’t know, and I don’t care!”

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Students in a college class were instructed to write a short story in as few words as possible.

The short story had to contain the following three things:

  1. Religion.          2. Sexuality.                 3. Mystery.

Below is the only A+ short story in the entire class:

“Good God, I’m pregnant; I wonder who did it”.

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Translator gets 400 words to translate.
Client : How long will it take?
Translator : About a week.
Client : A whole week for just 400 words? God created the world in 6
days.
Translator : Then just take a look at this world and afterwards take a
look at my translation.

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EuroEnglish

The European Commission have just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase-in plan that would be known as “EuroEnglish”: –
In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favor of the “k”. This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with the “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling k-an be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent “e”‘s in the language is disgracful, and they should go away. By the 4th yar, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.
During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaiining “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. ZE DREM VIL FINALI KUM TRU!

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An African chieftain flew to the United States to visit the president. When he arrived at the airport, a host of newsmen and television cameramen met him. One of the reporters asked the chief if he had a comfortable flight. The chief made a series of weird noises….”screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z-”…and then added in perfect English, “Yes, I had a very nice flight.”
Another reporter asked, “Chief, do you plan to visit the Washington Monument while you’re in the area? The chief made the same noises…”screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z”…and then said, “Yes, and I also plan to visit the White House and the Capitol Building.”
“Where did you learn to speak such flawless English?” asked the next reporter.
The chief replied, “Screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z…from the short-wave radio.”

 

Sources:

http://linguagreca.com/blog/2013/03/jokes-translators-intepreters-linguists/

http://french-to-english.net/translation-and-language-jokes/nondescript-linguistic-madness/

https://www.facebook.com/grammarly

 

Do you know any other funny translator or language jokes? Share them with us in the comments, and make sure you subscribe to our blog if you like it!

Also, check Grammarly for all your grammar checking! You’ll thank me later 😀

 

Rania

rania@transpremium.com

<p>I AM RANIA MERCHAK ANDRAOS, A CAREER MOM WITH A PASSION FOR WORDS, FITNESS & HEALTH, AND FOOD! STICK AROUND AND ENJOY THE RIDE AS YOU GET A GLIMPSE OF MY WORLD!</p>

11 Comments
  • Michael Allen

    A student friend of mine, in her year as an “assistante de langue anglaise” in France, was invited to a meal with other teachers by their head master, where the dessert involved a fruit-based sauce. The French word would not come to my friend, so racking her brains for a Latin-based word in English she remembered that we often see jars of fruit preserve. So she whispered to her neighbour, “Passez-moi le péservatif, s’il vous plaît.”

    The next is what we call a malopropism in English, after Dickens’s Mrs Maloprope, who habitually mixed the order of the letters of words. I heard on the BBC some time back the story of one of their international correspondents, talking on the French African service about the large population of the Cape, and came out with ” la grande copulation du Pap”.

    October 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm Reply
    • admin

      Dear Michael,

      Your comment just made my day! I can’t stop laughing.

      I believe this is where we step in. Our job mainly consists of adapting as per the target culture while staying true to the source text. If you like this post, make sure you subscribe to my blog for more interesting posts about languages and translation!

      Cheers,

      Rania

      October 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm Reply
  • RUBEN MARTINEZ

    I laughed my head off. I am very glad to subscribe to your blog !!

    Have a nice day.

    October 31, 2013 at 9:03 pm Reply
    • admin

      Dear Ruben,

      I’m glad you like it! Thanks for subscribing 🙂

      November 1, 2013 at 5:51 am Reply
  • Irene Cudich

    This was hilarious!!! I couldn´t stop laughing, reading one after the other! Make it a second series!!

    Congrats for such a good idea!!

    Irene

    November 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm Reply
    • admin

      Thanks, Irene!
      I might consider another series because this post was pretty successful 🙂 your contributions are welcome!

      November 7, 2013 at 8:06 am Reply
  • Norma Bailey

    Here is one on punctuation:
    A giant panda goes into one of those expensive and pretentious restaurants serving French/Asian fusion cuisine and takes a table for one. The surprised waiter for that table explains unctuously that his name is Marcel, he will be your server tonight, and we ‘ave a number of specials (he is French), etc., etc. The panda listens impassively to the list of $27 chili-pepper encrusted swordfish specials and so on, and then orders a delicately flavored dish of young bamboo tips and mixed greenery served with steamed jasmine rice. On finishing his meal, the panda gets up, reaches into his fur for a handgun, brings down the waiter with one shot, and calmly heads for the door.
    The head waiter is near the door and exclaims in shock, “Oh, monsieur, what ‘ave you done? You ‘ave killed Marcel! Why ‘ave you done zis, monsieur? You ‘ad some problem? Ze service was not acceptable?”
    The panda scowls at him and says, “I’m a fucking panda. Go look it up.” He stalks out into the night.
    The baffled staff huddle round the compact encyclopedic dictionary that they keep on the premises, and turning to Panda, giant, they read this:
    Panda, giant. Large bear-like animal, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, with distinctive black and white markings, related to raccoon family. Rare; found only in bamboo forests of Tibet and western China. Eats shoots and leaves.

    November 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm Reply
    • admin

      Dear Norma,

      Thank you for sharing this hilarious joke! I can’t stop laughing 😀

      Rania

      November 7, 2013 at 8:10 am Reply
    • ddaycolin

      ys, except the joke should end as “eatsCOMMA shootsCOMMAand leaves. This is the whole point of the book which is about punctuation (author = Lynn Truss, if I remember right)

      March 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm Reply
      • Roger McKeon

        Actually, the joke is on everybody :). It works only if you include the sentence reading “The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.” See hereafter (back cover of the book by Lynne Truss – title: “Eats, shoots and leaves.”

        A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then
        draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
        “Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards
        the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual
        and tosses it over his shoulder.
        “I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”
        The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds
        an explanation.
        “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to
        China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

        March 20, 2015 at 9:32 pm Reply

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