Introduction

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“If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?”

Comedy does not travel well. Yes, films and tv shows have been re-made, or dubbed, or subtitled for foreign audiences, but how many professional comedians use translated material? Many of the submissions on this blog may not seem funny to you. If you think you have some humorous material that can jump the language barrier, please send it in. Please feel free to offer your own translations.

Two Blondes

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Deux blondes discutent: – Je me demande quelle destination est la plus rapprochée de nous, la lune ou la Floride? – Ben voyons, c’est la lune, la Floride on ne la voit pas d’ici.

Two blondes talking: “I wonder which is nearer, the moon or Florida?” “Let’s see – it’s the moon, because you can’t see Florida from here.”

Aphorisms and Witticisms

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“England and America are two nations separated by a common language.” – Variously attributed to George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill.

“Wer nie krank ist im Kopf, ist krank im Kopf.“ – “The person who is never sick in the head, is sick in the head.” – Klaus Zanki

http://www.janko.at/Zitate/Autoren/Zankl.htm

Please send further examples in any language.

One-liners

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“I’m not afraid of dying. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” – Woody Allen.

“I used to do drugs. I still do drugs. But I used to, too.” – Mitch Hedberg.

A un condannato a morte viene chiesto quale fosse il suo ultimo desiderio: – Imparare la lingua cinese!

The condemned man was asked what his last wish was – He said: I want to learn Chinese.

http://www.barzellettetoste.it/barzelletta/a-un-condannato-a-morte-viene-chiesto-quale.asp

Please send translations and further examples.

Word Play and Puns

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Generally not translatable without losing the element of humour.

Examples:

FUNEX? – SVFX – FUNEM? – SVFM – OKMNX. Supposedly two Poles talking in a restaurant: “Have you any eggs?” “Yes, we have eggs.” “Have you any ham?” “Yes, we have ham.” “Ok, ham and eggs.”

“Why can you never starve in the desert? – Because of the sand which is there.”

“En Japon quand tu as le nord devant, tu as le sudoku!”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pun

Auto Translation

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Auto translation has not yet been perfected.

Example:

“Paciente:- ¿Doctor voy a perder una muela? Dentista: -Vea yo se la voy a dar en una bolsa, ya si la pierde es problema suyo !”

Translation: “Patient: – Doctor will I lose a tooth? Dentist: – See I was going to give in a bag, because if you lose it is his problem!”

Example:

“Warum spielen Dudelsackspieler im Gehen? Sie versuchen, vor den Tönen zu fliehen.”

Translation: “Why play Piper in the walk? Try to flee before the notes.”  http://www.mentel-zetel.de/Witz/Witz_Musiker.htm

http://translate.google.com/

Silent film – Two Young Women in Zandvoort – 1913

Twee Zeeuwse Meisjses in Zandvoort - 1913

http://www.europafilmtreasures.eu/PY/345/see-the-film-two_girls_from_zeeland_in_zandvoort

Two young women Mijntje and Trijntje undertake a trip by tram to the sea resort of Zandvoort. During the journey they meet two men who don’t hesitate to charm them and let themselves be seduced. On their arrival the two friends ineptly discover the joys of the beach and partying until the unexpected arrival of the police who accuse them of breaching the peace and take them to the police station.

Clowns

International itinerants, somewhat sinister. Music, mime, mockery and mayhem. Let us remember:

Grock, (1880–1959) – Celebrated Swiss clown.

Batatinha, (Little Potato), from Portugal.

Bim Bom – Famous clown of Revolutionary Russia, executed by the Cheka for his Bolshevik satires.

Josep Andreu i Lasserre – Charlie Rivel – Other than Grock perhaps the most beloved and respected of all European clowns.

Chuchin – Mexican clown who died tragically.

Daniel Rice, (1823–1901) – Famous American clown of the 19th century. Principal inspiration for Uncle Sam.

Drosta – Real name unknown.

The Fratellinis – A dynasty of French clowns.

Kahlan Brooks – Known for her signature hair extensions and bright make-up.

The Rastellis

Remi – “Puerto Rico’s Greatest Clown”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_clowns