Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Would not understand them: the German jokes are not laugh

which asked 30,000 that mention the most fun country. While the Americans were the first in the list, the Germans turned out to be less fun nationality. The perception that the Germans have no sense of humor is not new. It is a well known (at least in Europe) stereotype that Germans are punctual, serious and efficient; the antithesis of the comic. But, this feature is something cultural and innate or rather is a function of the language?

In fact, the Germans have a history of very rich comedy, and even today there are many comedy in Berlin clubs. Then, why other countries don't see the comic side of German culture? The problem seems to be the language in itself. In a BBC article, a German linguistics professor explained that the way in which the language German is structured affects the production and perception of the jokes. Humor often make use of ambiguity and the play on words to create double meaning, as a classic pun. However, in German grammar gender and case must match exactly to produce the desired meaning, so it is much more difficult to do word games. In addition, it is one of the few languages that uses compound words. A well-known example is "Schadenfreude", which means to enjoy the misfortune of another. This word not be translated directly into another language, implying that the jokes in German lost part of grace with foreign audiences.
Even Mark Twain wrote in 1880 a contemptuous essay whose title was the awful German language (The Awful German Language), where he wrote "when a German is immersed in a sentence, we will not see it again until it emerges on the other side with" a verb between the teeth". Having three different genders for nouns and four different cases, it is not surprising that playing with the German words can be a challenge. However, with a good translator and a little creativity, we can translate their jokes without ruining the finish.Please contact our account executives if you need to locate material in German.