Thursday, December 3, 2009

,,Hat nummer sechs keinen Witz bekommen?'' ,,Doch,'' sagte der Bartender, ,,aber du erzählst ihn falsch''

Small complaint, but I have to get this off my chest: In Deutschkurs we did a few days involving humor, Witze, Scherzen, und so weider. Supplemental homework was to learn a joke, each member of the class being expected to tell one over three days. Well, I don't know any German jokes, but how different could an American or English joke sound in translation?

Pretty different, it turns out. I volunteered on the first day, so I had completed my obligation. Nearly no one else even attempted to come up with one, however, which left a lot of dead time at the end of the second day, when it was obvious our instructor had counted on the tell-a-joke exercise to eat up a good twenty minutes that she otherwise would have had to spend teaching. Well, not to brag, but I'm one of the better speakers in the class, so I offered to tell a second one the next day, and then today when the clock showed minutes still left with no volunteers, the instructor came back to the well a third time.

Three days, three chances to tell a joke, three times I got it all out without any curse words and no grammatical mistakes so gruesome that they would have made it impossible to understand. Three jokes. Not one person laughed, not one time.

"I would, but I really need the eggs." "My dog, he has no nose." Nothing. Fuck you, humorless language students---how's that for a joke?

1 comment:

  1. I remember rolling my eyes at the jokes occasionally part of Italian classes. I think the intense concentration of translating as you go prevents the pleasant surprise of finding something funny. -billy