Humor in Various Cultures

Many people all over the world like telling and listening to witty jokes. But some problems may still appear if the representatives of different culture try to share their national jokes. The main thing one should remember is that it’s not recommended to tell a joke with the help of the interpreter if you are not quire sure that you master the foreign language. Usually the jokes are the most difficult item to translate and they may lose their wit of transmitted in other language. The word “humor” has the old English origin. Englishmen love joking despite of their calmness and offishness. They take the jokes easy and commonly are not affected if someone mildly mocks their national peculiarities. Don’t search for any implicit sense in the English jokes and everything will be OK. A typical English joke sounds as following.

Mr. Smith was trying to open his car as he had left the pub. The lights were off and he couldn’t manage to fit the key to the keyhole. Finally he lit a match. The funeral will take place tomorrow at 10.

If a foreigner won’t smile the Englishmen who told this joke will start explaining that the poin was in the fuel leak.

The German jokes are usually short and matter-of-fact but extremely sharp and witty. However they are often misunderstood by the foreigners. There is an idiom “Russian joke” that denotes strange and unfunny joke. It was Germany where the funny stories about blondes appeared.

One should be very careful telling jokes in Muslim countries. Telling humorous stories in Iraq or Yemen is equal to a walk across the mine field. The main rule to follow is to use the self-diminishing humor. The Muslim people will probably laugh if you say “I’m the dirt under your feet”. In that way you will hear the funny answer “And I’m the two-year old one under yours”.

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