Chinese Humour

Chinese Humour

Here is Will and Guy's collection of short Chinese jokes to reflect the humour of this ancient culture.

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How to Translate English Jokes into Chinese

John Evans, a motivational speaker once gave a talk in Beijing, China he asked for his speech to be simultaneously translated into Mandarin. The original version contained some rather elaborate jokes in English, which he feared would not translate easily. But, much to his delight, the delegates laughed hysterically at each joke.  At the end of the session, John congratulated the translator on his brilliant interpretation of subtle English humour. "How did you manage to get all those jokes across?" he asked. "Oh, I didn't bother," the translator replied. "I just said, 'he is making joke now, please laugh'."

The great theorist of rhetorical humour, Cicero, thought that jokes can win the goodwill of the audience; if they exhibit refinement and cleverness then they can undermine an opponent.


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